Why do our edges disappear?
So. Many. Reasons. Here are some of the main culprits in hairline-snatching crime:
1. Tight or extreme hairstyles. This includes pony tails, tight buns, and especially braids. Even crochet braids. As soon as your braider says “Yes I can catch it,” run for your life. Your edges are about to be SNATCHED to the ends of the earth. This tension on the hairline can lead to traction alopecia, which is the medical term for hair loss caused by excessive physical stress on one’s strands.
2. Frequent, overly vigorous brushing/styling. This is another kind of physical stress that can lead to traction alopecia. Particularly for coily textures, harsh brushing can literally tear the hair out.
3. Weaves, wigs, and other low-manipulation styles. Ironically, protective styles can sometimes be just the opposite. Wig caps, wig combs, the thread used for sewins, even just the weight of the added hair, can contribute to breakage, and ultimately hair loss.
4. Harsh chemicals. You know what we’re talking about: creamy crack. The chemicals in most relaxers and texturizers are simply too caustic for use on the scalp. Over time, burns and repeated exposure can permanently harm your follicles.
5. Bad habits such as not tying or protecting your hair at night, sleeping on pillowcases that aren’t made of satin or silk, using heat on your hair daily, and repeatedly wearing your hair in the same style can stress out your strands.
6. Stress and diet. Lifestyle factors can also contribute to hair loss. Poor sleeping habits, over-scheduled days, and (frequent) unhealthy meals make it hard for your hair to flourish.
7. Hormonal fluctuations due to childbirth and menopause. Though in most cases our hairlines suffer due to “operator error,” there are situations in which they get thinner through no fault of our own. Hormones can wreak havoc on your hair, causing it to get thin and brittle, or to fall out completely.
Get your hairline back!
Here are our top tips on how to help your edges live their best life.
1. See a professional. Go to a doctor, trichologist, or dermatologist. Any number of medical factors could be at play, including, but not limited to gluten sensitivity, hormonal fluctuations, nutrient deficiencies, alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition that is different from traction alopecia), and thyroid disorders.
2. Be more gentle. How many times have you been told “Keep your hands out of your hair!!” You might not like to hear it, but it is actually excellent advice. Handle. Your. Hair. Less. The less you manipulate your hair or try to get it “laid,” the less likely it is to break. Also: kiss your brush goodbye, at least temporarily. The strands around your hairline are more delicate and prone to breakage, so if you feel you MUST smooth your hairline, do it with your fingers instead.
3. Stop doing what caused it. Seriously. Stop it. You can’t serve two masters. (You can choose braids OR your hairline, but you likely can’t have both.) So no more tight buns, Nikki Minaj-inspired ponytails, wig glue, wig caps, edge control, or whatever has led to your particular situation.
4. Incorporate hair growth products into your regimen. Different things will work for different people, but some of the most popular ones are: water, biotin, horsetail supplements, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, castor oil (“regular” or Jamaican Black), and apple cider vinegar.
5. Improve your diet. A healthy body will support a healthy scalp, so pay attention to what you’re eating. Incorporate as many fresh vegetables as possible, and if necessary, supplement with nutrients such as biotin, zinc, and selenium.
6. Drink more water. Think of your hair like a plant. Plants need to be watered (gaining moisture from the inside out), as well as misted (gaining moisture from the outside in.) Do the same for your hair. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and mist your hair once or twice a day as well. This will help improve your hair’s elasticity and make it less prone to breakage.
7. Scalp massage. Many beauties with full, healthy hairlines swear by a twice-daily hair massage. A couple of minutes a day of gentle stimulation can help improve blood flow and encourage growth.
Go forth now and reclaim your hairline!