CHAPTER 1: SOME BASICS
CHAPTER 2: CHEMICAL DAMAGE
CHAPTER 4: AVOIDING SETBACKS
CHAPTER 5: EXCESSIVE MANIPULATION
CHAPTER 6: MOISTURE
CHAPTER 7: PRE-POO
Freeze! Drop the scissors! Put your hands up! Stop cutting!
Excessive trimming can hinder length retention. If your hair grows six inches a year and you trim half an inch every month, then you are essentially cutting off all your growth progress. In order to retain length, you have to (1) be healthy from the inside out, (2) treat your hair right, and (3) pick up the scissors only when necessary. There is a time to trim that is not dictated by the calendar on the wall but by the health of the ends of your hair.
TO THE RIGHT: A photo of hair that has not been trimmed in over a year. The ends are not blunt, but they are also not damaged. Trimming for style is your choice, but if you want maximum length retention, then only trim when needed -- when the ends are damaged.
HEALTHY VS DAMAGED ENDS:
Healthy ends are free from splits and other damage. Splits are an indicator of damage to the cuticle and come in all shapes and sizes. Some occur at the very ends of the hair while others form in the middle of a strand. The hair may be appear to be split into two pieces or more. It is a myth that split ends can be repaired; some products may temporarily make them less visible, but splits cannot "heal" themselves and will exist until cut off. If you are taking great care of your hair, you will see fewer splits. Fewer splits = healthier hair. Healthier hair = fewer trims.
CUTTING DAMAGED ENDS:
Even if you've determined that your ends are damaged, a full-on trim may not be required. Search and destroy is a method for only cutting the strands that have splits or other visible damage. Dusting is a method of trimming a very small fraction of hair -- about 1/4 of an inch or less. Search and destroy and dusting are ideal for hair that exhibits a small amount of damaged ends. A full-on trim is needed when a large portion of the hair's ends are damaged.
MINIMIZING SPLIT ENDS (great article btw)
SEARCH & DESTROY AND DUSTING