Last month, I straightened my hair and, though I was pleased with the length I attained, I was disappointed that my perimeter wasn’t fuller. You see, ever since I entered the Curly Nikki presents Kim Coles’ Grow Out Challenge in early 2011, my goal has been to have waist length hair with a full perimeter. I dreamed of having a “hemline” that looked like that of one of my hair crushes, Courtney Natural Hair.
Although I’ve surpassed waist length a couple of times since then (I’ve had one trim and two haircuts since January 2012) … my slower growing and more breakage prone crown, low density nape, propensity for search and destroy (S&D) missions, and a layered cut have prevented me from achieving a full thickness perimeter.
As I mused over the elusive, full hemline that kept evading my grasp, I happened to end up watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers one evening. It was shortly after I had my hair cut and specifically requested that more length be taken off of my longest layer and less off the shorter layers so that I could thicken up my perimeter. But, as I looked at the women in LOTR and their long, flowing, wavy hair, it struck me that their wavy locks were also not blunt or full at the ends. And, you know what? I kind of liked it!!
I then remembered that this type of perimeter is called “fairytale” ends. I think that I came across the term a couple of years ago on The Long Hair Community forum in thread like this one here. As I started perusing the pages of the post, I began to think about how many of us equate a thick, full perimeter with healthy hair and a wispy, thinned one with damaged, unhealthy hair. But, as I looked at the pictures on the thread, many of the women appeared to have very healthy, shiny, long hair despite having wispier ends. As I read the comments, I noted that the fairytale ends were attributed to varying hair growth rates and employing S&D trimming versus overall trims/cuts to make the ends even. The thinner ends weren’t frowned upon as unhealthy, damaged, broken or “dead” (I love that one — all hair is dead! *lol*). It really was interesting to see how this type of hemline was celebrated, and even coveted, in this forum as it is viewed as more natural looking and enables easier updos due to the tapered ends. Also, similar to Chicoro’s “Lead Hair” Theory, it is espoused as a way to achieve longer lengths as one is not constantly cutting hair that grows unevenly (due to varying growth rates) even, which results in the loss of healthy hair length.
In contrast, when I attempted to find a similar thread in the Long Hair Care Forums (the black counterpart to The Long Hair Community) I didn’t have much luck. The only thing that I found was this thread: Girl, ur ENDS are JACKED UP. LMBO (I’m sorry, that subject is HEE-larious to me!) In this thread, one young lady references fairytale ends and how she thinks they look nice on longer hair. A couple of others essentially said the same. And a few commenters did state that thin ends did not necessarily mean damaged hair. However, the overall consensus was that thinner ends look wrecked, they need an “aggressive” cutting and “hanging onto thin ends” for the sake of length is pathetic. I think in the black hair community in particular (though this does seem to be a universal view), thin ends are typically seen as a sign of broken, damaged, unhealthy hair and we’ve been conditioned to think that there is no way that wispy ends can be healthy. If someone insists that their thinner ends are healthy and their hair isn’t damaged or excessively breaking, we give them the *side eye*. And, don’t get me wrong, in many instances, thin ends are a sign of damaged hair. But, I’m discovering more and more, that may not always be the case.
As I continued to think on this, I realized that, generally speaking, I had never been too concerned about even hair. Over my 12 1/2 years of being natural, I generally only wear it straight twice a year. As long as it hangs well when curly (which can be a challenge given my multiple curl patterns) and feels healthy, I’m good. And, when I do wear my hair straight, I have never gone for the pin-straight look. I always curl it in some fashion to give it volume, body and bounce as my hair is so fine and would be very flat if I wore it bone straight. Finally, I thought about how even long, wavy or curly weaves or wigs often don’t have a blunt perimeter and usually have fairytale ends to make them look more natural.
So, all this being said, I’ve started re-thinking my two year goal of achieving a full thickness perimeter! I mean, I still love a full hemline and I still want mine to be thicker than it is above (think I’m on the right path with my last cut). And, of course I want my ends to be healthy, which is why I cut off any split ends and SSKs that I feel or see regularly. But, now, I don’t know if I’m worried about my hemline being blunt anymore. I’d like to get to tailbone/hipbone length as my ultimate goal. But now, I think I’ll be happy with, and may even prefer, a healthy fairytale hemline on me versus the elusive blunt one that I’ve been seeking for the last two years. Go figure!
Please feel free to expound upon any of your answers and/or add your thoughts on this topic in the comments below!
I don’t like the “blunt” look at all. Bring on the layers!
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I believe that when your hair is cut bluntly, it looks much more artificial than when you have “fairytale ends” I love that name! lol Anyway, I have never had natural waist-length hair (on my way!) but I have had MBL/BSL relaxed hair and the way my hair was cut into layers I NEVER had a blunt cut. My hair always fell in a V shape and I loved it. I am hoping to achieve the same look natural and straightened so I say poot what those BHCF chicks say Shelli! Embrace what your hair looks like as it grows out as long as its HEALTHY! POW!
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I’ve worn my hair layered over the last few years so I rarely have blunt ends when I straighten. But I love fullness, body and movement for my hair. 🙂
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I love fairly tale ends!!! I think they are so sweeping and romantic! I also love blunt ends, they are so full and even!! I think both are equally beautiful when the hair is healthy. A blunt end can be unhealthy in the same way as fairy tale ends may be, if the hair is not properly taken care of. The ends will be all one length, but the hair will be sparse and thin. I believe with healthy hair it doesn’t matter which type of ends you choose to wear, as long as the hair is shiny, full of moisture and healthy, both looks are equally stunning! I’m a fairy tale ends girl myself because, we’ll that’s just the way my hair has always grown and I’ve come to love it and embrace it because it’s one of my gifts from God 🙂 Stay blessed!
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Excellent post, Sis! And great points you raised. Thank you so much for reminding me that “fairytale” ends (never heard that term before, I like it!) aren’t always necessarily unhealthy because my ends look much like yours and my crown seems to be similar to yours as well. Woo hoo for wispy ends!!
Both Fairy tale and blunt ends are equally gorgeous when healthy.
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Loved the post. Pretty eye opening, especially for multi-textured curly heads. I am 2 years post relaxer, and I have a mullet y’all! The hair at the back of my head is of a far looser texture than the rest of my hair and hangs low. For me to achieve a full perimeter, I would have to cut the back layer constantly to match the upper layers. What sense does that make. Thanks for helping me embrace fairy tale ends, because I was planning to cut my back layer in Feb, now no dice.
I’ve always loved blunt cut ends on my relaxed hair. It always looked healthier and fuller to me. Only since I’ve grown out my relaxer, I think fairy tale ends are nicer. I feel like blunt ends on natural hair make it easier to get ssk’s.
I’d like to note that there is a difference between fairy tale ends and a layered cut. Fairy tale ends can definitely be healthy as well as blunt ends.
Love love love Courtney’s blunt ends as well as your fairy tale ends.
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I have fine low-density hair, so blunt ends makes it look fuller and/or thicker than it is. I’m currently transitioning and I’m at BSB with 2/12 inches of relaxed ends, so I will not know completely what looks better on natural hair until my relaxed ends are gone. My hair is thicker at the roots since I’ve stopped relaxing.
This was a great post. I’m very glad I found your blog. The fairy tale ends are much much sexier. Men expecially find it sexy. Speaking from experience.
I don’t know how I missed this post! Glad you linked it in the most recent post.
Sooooo, I love blunt ends but they are very unrealistic for me. They just never happen unless I’m pregnant (lol bring on the hormones) or cut it that way….and it doesn’t last. Therefore, i just let it do what it do. As long as it’s not damaged, i’m good. plus, i only straighten my hair once every 2 years, maybe less
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The Black community is obsessed with blunt ends because they are used to buying weave. I call them “weave weft ends,” and I have had women crassly suggest I needed a cut simply because my lower nape was longer than the crown and I had a fairytale hemline. I left LHCF because there is a lot of cattiness on there, and I much like the overall demeanor of people on LHC. One reason why many Black women cannot grow their hair past bra strap is because they obsess over a blunt hemline and chop off unnecessary hair.