About the Occasional Trim

We used to advertise our Los Angeles hair salon in a music newspaper (“BAM”) back in the ’80s, when all the musicians had hair practically down to their waists. You had to like long hair and learn how to trim and style it in order to work here. We did. Even though the styles have changed and that paper has since gone out of business, some of the people who originally came to us from that ad are still with us today because of the trust factor that we’ve established over the years.
Just like the rock stars, you too are going to need the occasional trim, to avoid looking scraggly during the growing-out process, and you’ll probably want a stylist for that. Find one you can trust not to sabotage your long hair goals. I think it’s the rule, rather than the exception, that most stylists will try to lop off your hair. It’s not their fault actually.
They learn in beauty school that having clients with shorter hair is “good business.” I actually had one of my beauty school instructors tell me this. Short hair is faster to do than long hair. It doesn’t take as much shampoo and conditioner, nor as much time to detangle and blowdry; and as a stylist, your time is your money. That’s what’s being taught anyway. I always saw it as a false economy though, since a stylist who’s trying to talk you into making your hair short when you want it long is probably going to lose you as a client altogether.
But I went to beauty school as an adult seeking a career change, so I had already formed some opinions of my own, based on previous experience, and wasn’t quite the “blank slate” that my 17-year-old classmates were. Now these classmates of mine are out there as stylists, perpetuating the information they were taught in beauty school. No wonder long hair stylists are hard to find.
When you tell your stylist, “I only want a teeny bit off the ends,” make sure you clearly define what you mean by “a teeny bit.” Some stylists think an inch is a teeny bit. Well, that could be true if your hair is two or three feet long and straight, and you haven’t had a trim in six months or so. But with shoulder-length super curly hair, taking off an inch could mean the hair is going to shrink up to your chin after it air-dries. Since hair only grows an average of half an inch a month, to me “a teeny bit” is something less than that, if you’ve been coming in regularly and if you’ve told me your goal is to grow out your hair.