How to do a Controlled Shape Trim (Mix’G Trim)


I’ve read various methods for trimming the hair, from the “fairy knot search and destroy” to the infamous Deva Cut. The goal of those types of trims is to remove the oldest hair that may be prone to damage or splitting. The end result is refreshed hair that probably has multiple random layers.

For a time, as my hair was growing, I would just section my hair into four, put my hair into ponytails with banded ends, and cut the ends off easily. It worked very well, but as it grew, I did not like the shape it was taking.

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Before the Controlled Shape Trim

My hair had the “Sideshow Bob” look in my opinion. The bangs were too long, and the top was too heavy, although my hair was healthy and moisturized. I wanted a more evenly layered shape, so I decided to go back to my cosmetology principles with a twist. I would use angular directional cutting to shape my hair with banding to control it.

Cutting Angles with Direction

If you have ever had your hair layered and watched the cosmetologist cut it, they lifted your hair to some degree and made the cut. They may have even pulled your hair in a certain direction to add or remove weight in an area of your hair. Those general principles are all it takes to create shape in a hair cut. Curly hair has the added challenge of coiling at the ends, making an accurate cut very difficult, so banding is necessary to control the hair.

Banding for Control

It is a challenge to cut curly hair when it is wet. Even hair with a gentle wave can throw off the evenness of a haircut. To shape natural hair, use a no-snag elastic to hold the hair in place for better control when cutting. Be sure to plan your cut first and think of how each section of the hair is to fall on the head, so that every section falls into place once the bands are released.

Step-by-Step Instructions for a Controlled Shape Trim

To achieve my layered look, I took the following steps.

1. After the normal wash routine, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner and section wet hair into four.

2. Take each section of hair and detangle it by combing it to the crown (top) of the head.

     By pulling the hair to the crown of my head, I was giving direction to the hair to have shorter layers around the              crown of my head and longer layers around the periphery.

3. Pull each section into a ponytail and used a no-snag band to secure the hair at the base of the head as well as the ends of the hair. With four ponytails at the top of the head, the hair is ready to be cut.

4. Take each ponytail and pull it straight up to the ceiling. Cut the ends of the hair past the rubber band about a half-inch, making sure all the lengths of the ponytails are relatively even with each other.

5. When done, release the ponytails, added curl cream, and style.

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After the Controlled Shape Trim

The resulting shape was better suited for my face and was not so heavy in the front. I trim my hair about every 4 months, or after every other color retouch. I plan on keeping this shape for a while and see how it looks as it grows out.

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally

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