We’ve all been there. After years of switching out protective style after protective style, your hairline starts to suffer, and what used to be a healthy head of hair with flourishing edges is now a thinning mess…and you don’t know how to get it back. That’s why we consulted Monica Stevens, licensed cosmetologist and founder of MoKnowsHair, to give us some insight on how to grow your edges back, along with which products to buy.
First, what causes thinning edges?
There are several culprits that lead to a thinning hairline. Here are some common ones:
1. Too much friction/pulling. We love a good protective style—nothing beats butterfly twists, box braids or lace front wigs. But while these styles make maintaining your natural coils that much easier, they can also take a toll on your hairline overtime. “Thinning edges are usually a result of over manipulation and tension,” Stevens explained. “There’s no way to ‘grow them back’ unless you stop doing what’s pulling them out. Once you stop applying stress and pressure to the area, the hair should begin to grow back in after six to eight weeks.”
2. Hormonal changes or medical conditions. Pregnancy, menopause and even conditions such as diabetes can sometimes cause hair loss. While your body can regulate once hormones are back in balance, it’s always wise to consult a professional just to be sure.
3. Genetics. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s just a matter of your genetic makeup and there’s nothing you can do about it. “If the area is very smooth, bald, [with] no follicles visible and does not grow in, you should visit a hair loss clinic for evaluation,” Stevens advised. “From there, treatment options can be explored.”
Okay, so how can I grow my edges back?
If you’ve ruled out hormonal changes, medical conditions and genetics as the source of your weakening hairline, there may be some counter measures you can take to get your edges back to their fullest:
1. Switch to protective styles that aren’t tight. Listen, caring for natural hair can feel like a Herculean task and truly, the best way to maintain your curls is to keep it tucked away in some sort of protective style. So, if you want to grow your edges back without giving up your box braids, you can start by simply asking your stylist not to grip so tightly when she’s doing your hair. Also try to avoid ponytails or any other styles that may put stress on your hairline.
2. Don’t skip the deep conditioning. Wash day is tedious as is. And after all that detangling, pre-pooing and shampooing, you don’t want to wait another 20 minutes deep conditioning your hair. But it’s essential that you do so if you want your edges to stay nice and healthy, because deep conditioning restores all the moisture back into your hair.
3. Avoid using heat tools. Your edges are perhaps the thinnest hairs on your head, so it’s easy to sear them away with a straightener or curling iron. Steer clear of these tools until they’ve fully recovered. And to avoid thinning again, try and use as little heat as possible. And while we’re here, it’s also important that you use combs and brushes with soft bristles that don’t tug on your little baby hairs.
4. Use essential oils. Natural oils such as jojoba, castor, argan and grapeseed oil all have nutrients that strengthen your hair and promote growth. Try to incorporate them in your haircare routine to keep your follicles moisturized and nourished.
5. Wrap your hair in silk-lined or satin headwraps. All that essential oil usage won’t matter if you then turn around and wrap your hair in fabrics such as cotton which does nothing but absorb all that oil. Keep everything intact by using silk-lined or satin headwraps instead.
6. Eat those veggies. We’d never discourage you to turn away your weekly slice of chocolate cake, but make sure you’re consuming an overall balanced diet. Foods such as spinach, eggs, avocado and red peppers are loaded with folate, iron as well as vitamins A and C all of which promote hair growth.
So what products can I use to give my hairline a boost?
1. Tropic Isle Living Jamaican black castor oil
This tried-and-true oil is known to perform wonders for your integumentary system. Not only does it support nail growth and give your skin some added plumpness, but it also moisturizes, thickens, strengthens and promotes hair growth.
2. Evolve Satin Edge Wrap Scarf
Protect your edges with this non-abrasive satin wrap perfect for nighttime use. It prevents frizz, breakage and is perfect to wear with any hairstyle.
3. Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
With no sulfates, silicones or parabens, this nifty deep conditioning mask not only strengthens damaged hair, but it also helps prevent future damage. It contains rosehip oil, algae extract and vitamins to nourish your follicles and has been clinically proven to decrease hair breakage after two uses.
4. Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Edge Gel
Infused with biotin and essential oils that support healthy edge growth, this edge gel will lay those baby hairs without snatching them up. It also contains coconut and babassu seed oil which aid in the nourishment for your natural tresses.