Cutting off 4 Inches

In Educate by El Moreno26 Comments

Because Sometimes You Just Have To Say Goodbye

As a longhair there’s great pride in lettin’ it ride. You learn about yourself and your hair, and together you and your trusty strands grow an inseparable bond. These strands are the ones that have been with you since the beginning. The old vets, who were once young recruits leading the charge to your shoulders. These days though, they hold the line as the last four inches on your glorious head of hair.

Together you’ve reached milestones you never thought possible. It started with overcoming the awkward stage. Then it was reaching your shoulders, officially proclaiming longhair. A year later it was a full flowing mane and going strong. You’ve probably mastered the menstail, highball, and even the elusive double highball.

You’ve been happy and enjoying life together, but then shit starts to get complicated.


You begin to realize those last four inches—your longest, most loyal strands—don’t cooperate like they once did. In their old age they become unruly, frizzy, dried out split ends. They no longer stick with the pack, but go every which way. You’re hampered by breakage and uneven length, until soon you start wondering…whose side are they on?

And truth be told, in their old age they just don’t have those same good looks of their youth.

Let’s be honest, you haven’t always treated them so well. Wearing hats, pulling, stretching, harsh brushing, braiding, tying and twisting. They’ve been wrung out, doused in chlorine and saltwater, caught in your sunglasses, watch and wetsuit zipper, sun damaged, dipped in motor oil and worse.

It can’t be changed, you can’t go back and treat them better, but the fact remains they’re old and tired. You begin to realize these old strands are doing nothing but holding you back. You try to work with them, but finally enough is enough and you have to tell them how you feel.

“You know what guys? You’re really starting to look like shit.”

You come to terms that the relationship is severed, and it’s time to cut your ties. But before you do you reflect on the years spent together.


You stare in the mirror contemplating, trying to imagine life without them. You grab them with your hands, hold them away and try and get a glimpse of what you’ll look like without them. You ponder the future possibilities. It’s emotional, but deep down you know what’s right. The veterans have had their glory. They were there when you needed them, and their legacy is the now-fortified foundation of your long locks.

The fact is, it’s time to call in the younger, stronger, healthier generation of strands to keep the dynasty alive. Unfortunately, that means saying goodbye to the vets. It’s hard to part ways, but it’s the best for everyone.


After much turmoil and deliberation you’ve made the decision and there’s no turning back. You walk into your local haircutter and you tell them it’s time. You point out the problem and explain what must be done. To your surprise, your haircutter agrees and without hesitation marches straight into veteran territory and starts making cuts with a stone cold, businesslike approach.

As you sit in the chair watching your closest comrades–the ones who have helped build your dynasty–go down one by one, all you can do is look towards the future and remember the past. These guys will go down in the history books, their legacy will live on.

While the cut comes close to the end you look in the mirror with excitement and joy. You realize the right decision was made.

You’ve lost a few inches, but it’s alright. You’re still long. But now with a youthful, vibrant, full-bodied, even length head of hair. And it’s a great feeling. It combs and brushes smooth. It’s neat and orderly in appearance, regal even. Tying and braiding leaves you with an even length at the tips, while annoying, dried out, frizzy split ends are gone, rusty old vets vanished! The new recruits are eager to please and you know these new fresh strands are your guys. Charging forward, holding the line, continuing the legacy.


So you know what? Sometimes parting ways is a good thing, even necessary. It’s for the betterment of the whole. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and you’re FEELIN’ GOOD.

Have you battled with the decision to get a trim? Have you gone through with it? What’s your experience been? Break it down for us.



  1. Well… it happened… the nightmare we all dread. I went in hoping to take off 2 or 3 inches. I’d read this article and went in knowing what I didn’t want.
    I’d grown my hair for 2 1/2 years without touching it and to be honest I was fine with it but had that niggling feeling I should trim for ages.
    Went in all nervous. Told her what not to do and went over each detail. She ninjad my hair! Brushed it all behind my neck so I couldn’t see and bang! There goes 6 inches! It was down to my chest and now hovers just below my shoulders. I feel like I’ve been transported back to the awkward stage! In fact, I reckon it was more like 7 inches at the back.
    I told her it was too much but what can you do at that point! So she cut it all round and then to make things worse went for the thinning scissors! I didn’t even see her do it! So I now have some layers that are literally half way up my head! I think it’ll take me 1 1/2 years or more to get it all back 🙁
    It’s not even evenly cut… more layers on one side than the other etc. I feel I need to go back to sort out the mess but don’t want more off!
    I literally used the words 2 or 3 inches and ‘all the same length’. She said after that it was only ‘light layering’ but also declined to comment when I asked why she’d cut so much off!
    I’m pretty devastated guys so thought I’d come on here for moral support :/ I was going to grow it out to donate as well!!! If I’d known she was going to cut so much off I would have told her to back off and I’d wait another few months.
    I wish so bad that I’d just left it alone and continued to grow! I’ve let myself and my hair down!!!
    Please be careful guys! The hair ninjas exist and they’re out to get you!!!

    1. Author

      Yo Gecko! Unfortunate that the stylist did not respect your requests. Total bummer. Having a relationship with your stylist/hair cutter/barber is so critical. Good thing is it will grow back, I know it’s a setback but you’ll be back to where you were before you know it. Thanks for sharing man!

  2. Couple months back, I had to make this decision myself. Been growing for 11 years strong and the ends just had to go. Measured about 4inches, the looked and the trim , and it was like 6inches !! Felt betrayed !! Hahahha but after a few days realized, it had to be done, gotta keep it fresh and now it’s almost back to its length again. Love your guys page!!! Keep up the good work!! #trimNOTcut !

    1. Author

      Thanks Joey!! Happy to have you here. Love the #trimNotcut, definitely going to use that. Got to keep it fresh.

  3. You know it’s funny, I’ve been thinking about trimming the ends. I’ve let my hair grow for about 2 years & it’s grown in a very fast rate. I do feel the way you described about the old vets, my hair is pretty silky and healthy but it’s just that last part that always feels frizzy and hard to tame. I haven’t gathered the courage to trim them though. But after this post I think it’s time to do something about it. How long do you think I should cut them? My hair is about 14 inches long.

    1. Author

      What up Antonio! Around 2-4 inches should be good. Would recommend you see a professional haircutter or stylist. Make sure they have experience with other longhairs. Let them know that you just want your hair to look healthy but still keep the length. If they’re good they will assess the damage and let you know how much they think. Send us a pic after the trim and let us know how it went.

  4. Lol.. this has to be the best written and best executed article on this topic in the history of mankind.

    1. Author

      That has to be the best written comment on this article of all time 😉

  5. Lindsay, you sure have a way with words; the way you describe this is very masculine and awesome.

  6. It feels so fresh right? So fresh and so clean… Breathing in with the new and out with the old. Locks are looking fleek Lindsey…extra awesome sauce in that blog.

    1. Author

      Thanks Debbie and thanks for the cut! You did a great job on the cut.

  7. It’s a love hate relationship, losing one’s locks after months and years of cultivation. In the end though, it’s about healthy, happy hair. It’s a deed that needs to be done. When I chose to go under the sheers, I do it at fundraising events so the few inches I do cut away I know at least the money I am giving is going 100% to charitable organizations like Gillette Children’s Hospital, cancer research, or other worthy organization. It takes the sting away, and I leave with a smile on my face.

    1. Author

      Great point Equus! I’m going to do that on my next cut for sure.

  8. The hardest part can be findng a stylist who will ONLY cut what you ask for, i.e. four inches, not eight!

  9. Had my hair the same length since 1974
    I’ve only been to a barber 2 times ever I cut my own
    It dosent split or frizz
    I eat right and use mild shampoo

        1. Author


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