Thinning Edges 101

December 12, 2014

Thinning edges occur when there is very sparse hair on the hairline. Relaxers, braids and weaves are the notable culprits, but tight updos, buns or ponytail are just as responsible.


The science

The hairline has very sensitive nerves and hair follicles than the rest of the head.  When excessive stress is placed on the hair shaft, the hair follicle experiences tremendous stress; the follicles are intertwined with nerves, which is why you feel the ‘pull’. Overtime, the nerves become so weak that you no longer feel it.

Hair structure

Hair follicle becomes weaker and cannot sustain healthy hair, resulting in sparse hair at the edges.  If not addressed, it becomes so weak that hair growth stops, leading to permanent loss of edges.

Solution

Prevention is better than cure

Avoid styles that pull on your edges
The best way to combat thinning edges is to avoid styles causing the problem; You MUST lay off the styles for a (loooong) while, as it give your hair follicles time to rest up and to heal. The styles may look fantastic, but a receding hairline is not.


Inform your stylist when braids or weaves are pulling at your edges. Some stylist will try to bully/guilt trip you into having their way, but remember that it is YOUR HAIR, YOUR edges!

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Avoid excessive manipulation
Sorry to disappoint you but your edges WILL NEVER stay completely smooth and flat. Stop using toothbrush on your edges and limit the gel/edge control products. If you insist on getting the ‘perfect’ edges, use a soft bristle brush with a little bit of aloe vera gel, it gives the same result but with less damage.

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Avoid rough fabrics and accessories that rub against edges. Wear a silk (or satin) scarf/bonnet when going to bed, a cotton pillowcase dries out and rubs against edges. You can also spread the scarf over your pillow.

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Protect hairline from alcohol-based cosmetics
Most cosmetics products (cleansers, toners, etc.) contain alcohols that thin hairline. Cover your edges with a silk/satin scarf (or bonnet) prior to your beauty routine and remove just before styling.


Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO)
Several blogs, such as Strawberri Curls detailed how edges were significantly recovered (approx. 3-5 months) using JBCO. I have never tried it but I will recommend it, based on the reviews and results I have noted.

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What are your thoughts on thinning edges? Have you tried JBCO? Do you know other remedies ? Share your thoughts below


Sources:

Curly Nikki Forums | Strawberri Curls | Soul Hair | Google Images