Beyond the general well being of the hair, caring for the edges is almost like a first commandment for every woman. Not having your edges in place can sometimes be stressful and can erode confidence.
The hair around the hairline is finer and more fragile than the hair strands throughout the rest of the scalp, and can be manipulated, brushed, and pulled more than the other hairs, which increases their fragility.
Unfortunately, many of the styles we know and love- sky-high ponytails, box braids, and weaves among others- can snatch your edges in the worst way. Due to the fact that the edges is practically the first part of the hair that people see, there is this rush to get it right fast which a lot of cosmetics companies have capitalised on.
Spoiler alert! People who have grown their edges can tell you for free that there’s no secret potion that can return them to their glory in 30 days but with time, patience, and input from an expert, you can actually restore your hairline.
Hair experts acknowledge that the hair follicles are fussy. So, if your hair loss is recent, regrowth can be stimulated, but with recurrent and repeat damage through aggressive styling, hair follicles can be permanently damaged.
Do not lose hope. Keep scrolling to see what you can do to reclaim your edges.
Know what type of hair loss you’re dealing with:
Although traction alopecia is the most common type of hair loss to affect the edges, it is not the only scalp condition to do so. This is why before you consider growing back your edges, you need to know the cause.
For some people, it’s harsh products like hair relaxers which can accelerate hair loss for people who have a sensitive scalp, or if they relax their hairline sooner than six to eight weeks. Trichologists advise that the edges should be the last place the relaxer is applied since it is a fragile area that tends to burn fast. Another reason for hairline loss could be using petroleum-based products with hot tools to straighten the edges. The combination of the two scorches the hair and causes hair loss because of the high amount of heat used too close to the scalp.
Leave quick fix measures alone:
Desperate times don’t always call for desperate measures- at least when it comes to your hair. As uncomfortable as it sounds, experts agree to leave urban edge growing products behind — including those that go viral on YouTube and Instagram. For some, the menthol and cedar leaf oil may be helpful, but the ointment is not, so it may be better to use the oils without the rest of the ingredients.
In terms of growth stimulators, the only two ingredients (FDA-approved) for hair growth are minoxidil and Propecia. Those in other regions can find out what their food and drug agency approves.
Aloe vera can moisturize but ultimately can’t help with regrowth, nor can shaving off your edges completely (who does that?).
Rely on “protective” styles:
Realistically, protective styles like braids, weaves, and wigs are designed to give your hair a break from constant styling and manipulation. However, some unprofessional hair stylists tug, pull, and strain your delicate hairline too aggressively causing more harm than good. If the wrong stylist braids your hair too tightly, or glues on your tracks — versus sewing them onto a net — you can experience massive, sometimes permanent hair loss. So, choose your stylist wisely.
To make sure your protective styles are actually protecting your hair, avoid braid styles that cause pain or are too heavy. If you experience excessive discomfort during the installation, inform your stylist so they can adjust the style. If they refuse, you should find a new stylist.” Also, if you experience pain and discomfort more than a day after installation, that is your body’s warning system that something is wrong and you should remove the style immediately.
Despite being easy to remove, wigs can really weaken delicate follicles because hair units that are too small or large can rub against the hairline and cause hair loss. Take breaks when wearing wigs to give your edges a rest from the tension. Your scalp will thank you.
Have you considered stress?
While breakage is more likely to be the culprit behind thinning hair edges than actual hair loss, stress can disrupt the natural hair cycle temporarily leading growth stoppage. You may notice this more obviously on other parts of your head, but it’s possible for it to affect the hairline, too. So, observe your hair growth pattern and give yourself a break.
Stimulate Hair Growth:
To boost hair follicles that have become dormant, you need something to get the circulation going. Light therapy is one of the more advanced options and may be worth consulting with a cosmetic dermatologist if your thinning is more severe. You can also try home remedies like a scalp massage or gentle brushing with a natural boar bristle brush. This gets the blood flowing on the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles to re-start the growth cycle.
What are the best hair oils for your edges? Castor hair oil, specifically Jamaican black castor oil comes highly recommended for restoring damaged edges. A daily or weekly application – depending on the seriousness of your need for edge regrowth- deep temple massage with the oil will greatly improve circulation and stimulation of the hair follicle. This oil claims to remove toxins and impurities from the scalp, which allows your natural oils to function properly, creating a healthy environment and nourishment for new growth.
Peppermint essential oil is an antibacterial oil, known for removing impurities causing growth obstructions. Its cooling effect also relaxes the follicle and promotes healthy hair growth. A soothing carrier oil is needed with peppermint oil because of how potent it can be. Since jojoba is the oil closest to that of your own natural oils, it is the best choice for a carrier oil. Consistent and weekly pre-shampooing scalp massages with this mixture can improve hair growth.
Monoi Oil is another remedy for reversing damage to your edges. It’s made from rare, naturally fragrant ingredients, found only on the French Polynesian islands. The Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum, which is also formulated with olive and grape seed oils, reverses and prevents damage on hair that’s been distressed by heat-styling, coloring, and chemical straightening.
Finally, remember that these methods require patience so you can get better results in the end. While using these tips to regrow your edges, stay away from protective styles that cause tension to your edges. You can try wearing your hair down or loose, wearing low ponytails or experimenting with kinky clip ins which blend with your natural texture.
Did we miss any tips? We would like to hear from you. Do share with us in the comment section.