by Grace Clarke
Getty Images For something that takes all of 20 minutes, regular hair trims have a bad rap. They're groaned at, rescheduled, or avoided entirely. Of course, put it off long enough and your hair starts to cut itself for you (split ends, anyone?). When I read Glamour's interview with Blake Lively in the July issue, I thought that maybe the ideal compromise was at hand. Lively, reigning queen of my Hair Inspo board, admitted to going years without a trim. Instead, she says she braids her hair into small sections and neatly prunes the bits sticking out. Intrigued, I called up hairstylist Clyde Elezi, owner and creative director of the Drawing Room salon in New York City, to ask if this method works (spoiler alert: neverrr). Elezi, who had no idea I'd already tried the method out on my own blonde braid--oops!--gave me three irrefutable reasons to put down the scissors.
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This isn't even technically a trim. Lively's number-one rationale is that tiny snips here and there keep her style's shape intact. "From a professional's standpoint, a trim isn't just removing damage, it's maintaining the shape by actually cutting," Elezi explained. Granted, his livelihood depends on us not pulling a Blake, but a stylist has something we just can't: perspective. "The angle, the scissors, the stylist's ability to pull back and watch hair move all make the difference."
You may well get more breakage. Elezi conceded that the broken bits will stick out of a braid--"think about something plastic sitting in the sun--it'll dry out and curve and warp, just like dry hair"--but even rebraiding hair a few times won't highlight all the damage. So split ends remain hidden and break further up the hair shaft, and all of a sudden, you've lost inches.
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It's not even a good holdover until your next appointment. The best weapon is a quenching overnight mask, not shears. "Deep treatments, like Tigi Hair Reborn Reparative Nocturnal Therapy, work like a Band-Aid, sealing the ends so they stop splitting," said Elezi, who prescribes hair masks for all of his clients, no matter the hair's trauma level. Starting three inches down from the roots, coat your hair entirely, sleep on it (shower caps are bed-linen savoirs), and shampoo and condition in the morning. Now, who's going to break the news to Lively?
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by Grace Clarke