Braided hairstyles such as box braids can last six to eight weeks, but if you get bored with your hairstyle or if the ends get damaged, you might want to change your braids sooner. Frequently going back to salons to trim or restyle braids can be expensive and time-consuming. Trimming your braids yourself is a low-cost option if you want to change up your braided hairstyle or remove damaged hair without taking out the braids or spending hours in a salon. The process is not easy, but the money you'll save can make it well worth your time and energy.
Part the braids in the way you usually wear them. This will ensure that the length you cut the braids to is even when you wear your hair in its normal style. If you want a layered effect, a center part will be necessary.
Spray the section of the braids you plan to cut with water. This makes the hair easier to cut and ensures the cut will be more even.
Wrap a small rubber band around each braid just above the point you want to cut it to. If you plan to wear the ends loose, you can wrap the bands around a few braids at once to save time, but make sure each bundle of braids is no more than half an inch thick. For an even look, make sure each band hits at the same height of each braid so that they will all look the same length when you wear your regular style. For a layered look, hold the braids out at increments up to a 90 degree angle from the head and place the bands so they are an equal distance from your scalp at any angle.
Cut each braid with sharp hair-cutting scissors. Make sure you cut the individual braids so they lie at an even length with your chosen part. If you plan to leave the rubber bands in place to secure the braids, cut below the rubber band. If you plan to leave the ends loose, cut above the band.
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Linda Becksterhed is a professional writer with a legal and crafting focus. She handled creation and distribution of fan newsletters from 1998 to 2001 and maintains an entertainment blog. She is a paralegal and an accomplished fiber artist, specializing in yarn, spinning fibers and crochet and knit designs.