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Beware the Bun!

Avatar • Jan 10, 2011


Reader Kadian (not pictured at left) says;

When I went natural, I thought that I had left destroyed edges behind. I waved goodbye to weaves and braid extensions and watched them disappear across the horizon, then turned my attention to figuring out a natural regimen. That is when I discovered a tried and true protective style: the simple bun! It was ‘all bun EVERYTHING’. I bunned for work. I bunned for formal events. I bunned for workouts. I took special pride in my “slicked back bun”; I would wet my hair, load it with a shea butter/castor oil concoction, slick it back and watch the shiny waves appear.

Imagine my horror when I spotted a picture of me my husband had taken, with a pathetic looking hairline! There was one small, prominent tuft of hair, surrounded by some light fuzz. I was mortified!

Since discovering this, I have taken it easy on the buns. I now rock looser styles (twistouts, curly fros) and, if I bun, I hold my hair at the top of my head and move it around before securing it, to make sure it’s not too taut.

But I was curious, have any of your readers dealt with destroyed edges — even though their hair is natural. Was it because of bunning, or something else? 

Interesting! What have your experiences been?!

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Chai
9 years ago

I suffered from severe hair breakage one summer after overusing a few of my headbands. I’d become lazy with the Fro, and tied the headband so tight, it broke the back half of my hair…and thinned out edges because I’d been slicking it back. I’m more gentler nowadays, but lesson learned!

Ashley
Ashley
9 years ago

Bunning and ponytails have been my enemy smh. I already have edges that are starting to thin (thinner on one side) so I’ve been advised to stay away from tight hairstyles but I can’t let go of the convenience of throwing my hair in a ponytail or bun and going.

Shones
9 years ago

My hair is fine and prone to break easily if pulled too tight, even after just a day or two of a bun style. I have to make sure that whatever I use to pull my hair back actually has some give. Right now my hair is in a bun style, and I’m using a stretched-out Goody band.

Laura
Laura
9 years ago

Hey I noticed that my edges started to look a little bit thin also. I just started rocking twists so I’m not constantly pulling my hair back. Plus anyway I think the twists are cuter than the buns i to wear.You can rock the twists for like a week and half. You can do alot of differents styles.

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/twiast2.jpg[/img]
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/twists1.jpg[/img]
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/IMG_4381.jpg[/img]

La Tina
La Tina
9 years ago
Reply to  Laura

Cute hair styles!!!

Kadian
Kadian
9 years ago
Reply to  Laura

Your hair is gorgeous!!

Laura
Laura
9 years ago
Reply to  Kadian

Thanks!

JuicesnBerriez
JuicesnBerriez
9 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I LOVE your hair! It’s so thick like mine.

anonda
anonda
9 years ago
Reply to  Laura

Your bun is adorable.

Nikki
Nikki
9 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I like these twists!

Keisha
Keisha
9 years ago
Reply to  Laura

we have the same mirror… I love my 2 sided mirror

Libby
9 years ago

There was a period when I used to wear extension cornrows. The ends were pinned into a bun. That was the period when I got tired of the puff. I went to the same stylist I had gone to when I was permed and transitioning, but the problem was when my hair was all natural, let me add — super, super thick and natural, the stylist pulled tighter on my edges to give it the sleek look she was accustomed to. Then one day when I was taking those braids out, some of my hairline came with it! I pay… Read more »

Camille in Slovenia
9 years ago

i think ten years of locs coupled with not knowing my boar brush was a no-no have left me with thinning ages. i am still at illegal bun length anyway, but i appreciate this warning. my mother and grandmother have very receded edges and i am hoping to break the cycle by giving my edges special TLC with massages and light oils and prayers.

Camille in Slovenia
9 years ago

i think ten years of locs coupled with not knowing my boar brush was a no-no have left me with thinning edges. i am still at illegal bun length anyway, but i appreciate this warning. my mother and grandmother have very receded edges and i am hoping to break the cycle by giving my edges special TLC with massages and light oils and prayers.

BeesOHoney
9 years ago

Oh yes, my edges were very sensitive to hairstyles that involved being slick back. Even wearing half wigs destroyed my edges, because I’d pull my hair behind the ears. :/ Switching up the design was the only thing that would save my strands.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BeesOHoney

AnonCA
AnonCA
9 years ago

I think that this just shows that too much of ANYTHING is not good, and too many naturals go to the opposite extremes and still don’t get the hair that they want. I think that variety and moderation for everything you do, hair or anything else, is a good way to go. Every hair style has pros, but also cons. Straightened hair won’t tangle and doesn’t require much manipulation and is easy to moisturize (as in wrap and roll). Twists don’t require manipulation but your hair can get tangled if worn too long. Buns and cornrows and weaves and braids can cause… Read more »

Kadian
Kadian
9 years ago
Reply to  AnonCA

Hey Anon,

Thanks for your comment. I agree that naturals sometimes go to extremes. But I do mention in my post that I still do buns, I just make sure that they are loose.

Kadian

Dolores
Dolores
9 years ago

My edges appear to be very fragile. I had to chop off half of the length of my edges when I realized they were TRASHED from brushing them with a coarse brush. Now I don’t use brushes. Instead I use a silk scarf to lay down my edges when I need to. Aside from that, I try to avoid styles that require sleek edges. When I do a bun (a loose one), I bun on twisted hair and I use a hair pin to secure the twists along the edge that do not make it into the bun. I think… Read more »

Khadijah
Khadijah
9 years ago

I noticed hairline breakage from wearing the bun for too long. I swicthed to a softer brush, and the problem improved significantly. As well, I now wear different styles that don’t put so much tension on my hairline, and only revert to the bun occasionally.

NewNaturalista
9 years ago

I noticed this with my daughter. I’d wet her hair and slick it into two ponytails. It looked so cute! Imagine my horror when I saw photos of her with a barely there hairline! I cut back now — her hairline is back to normal. Whew!

Shani
Shani
9 years ago

My edges are really delicate and thin due to my harsh handling previous to embracing my natural curls a year ago. I LOVE buns !!! I use a 100% soft boar brush, loads of conditioner/water/oil concotion and secure with a Banana clip. No elastic what so ever. Works like a charm and also yields a much fuller bun look.

ain't misbehavin'
ain't misbehavin'
9 years ago

I will definitely wear more twists/braids this year. I am kinda envious of women with full hairlines.

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

I wore buns for years with natural hair and my hair was fine…or so I thought. When I started twisting and switching up styles, I noticed that the edges seemed to grow or retain length better. I did not have a problem with thinning, they just didn’t seem to grow as long. Moderation is important for any style. Tight edges for cornrows or braids can be really bad. I have my hair done in a salon at times but I learned how to do some styles on my own so as to be gentle

Crys
Crys
9 years ago

Scary!! Right now I have been binning with a hair piece for almost three months. My edges appear do seem a bit more fragile but I just don’t have the time or energy to battle dryness and brittle ends. I wash, DC and detangle every two wks then bun. One a wk a spritz and seal then put the bun back on. I have a difficult time keeping my ends from getting brittle and knotting. Ive been natural for maybe 8 yrs (3 yrs with sislocs) and this is one thing ive yet to conquer. But I plan to reduce… Read more »

Nikki
Nikki
9 years ago
Reply to  Crys

Your ends are probably getting tangled from leaving your bun in for too long. I never do a wash & go bun, the only time I do a bun is if I’ve done a twist-out first and it’s gotten old. Then for a couple of days I’ll rock a bun, I try not go longer than that because my hair will lose its definition and it will become very tangled and knotted by the time I shampoo. If you do other styles that are more protective I’m sure your ends won’t be as dry.

Crys
Crys
9 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

Interesting! And thank you! I didnt mention that I do put my ends in big twist so they don’t tangle up so much. Also I find with my 4a/b texture and med-length that since my hair is more pliable when wet I can get it in a bun without having to tie it so tight VS when it’s dry. Since I’m protecting my ends I’m not doing twist-out. I appreciate your response thigh because I probably need to trim.

funkystarkitty50
funkystarkitty50
9 years ago

Traction aloepicia from wearing micro-braids so much. Now they are growing back with the help of hair regrowth treatments and daily scalp massages with various natural oils. It has made a huge difference!! I wear twists and silk scarfs or bonnets. My hairline has never been very thick anyway, but the fragile nature of my hair means I have to be careful about certain headbands.

atrielle
atrielle
9 years ago

I’ve had a problem with thinning edges they seem to be coming from my headscarf (night) and my headbands/scarfs. I’ve actually stop wearing headbands complete b/c of it. trying for some new styles in 2011

Cam
Cam
9 years ago
Reply to  atrielle

What can you do if thinning edges are related to your silk scarf used at night?

Nikki
Nikki
9 years ago
Reply to  Cam

I would probably try a bonnet then since it doesn’t have to rest against your edges.

Vick
Vick
9 years ago

I don’t wear any style that feels taught on my edges. When I was relaxed I read online that you shouldn’t bun (even if you can get your hair into a pony or bun) until you are at least SL…bare minimum for this simple fact.

You can try looser buns or a twisted or braided headband to relieve that tension from the hairline and still have a super cute hairstyle.

JuicesnBerriez
JuicesnBerriez
9 years ago

I’ve actually been seeing this myself. It’s from too many puffs. Whenever I wear my hair out (be it wng, twistout, braidout, etc) , I usually turn it into a puff after a few days. My hair is so thick and dense I pull the headband pretty tight to make it. My edges have definitely taken a toll. It’s not really noticeable to anyone but me. But I’m definitely gonna be doing some protective styling to try and nip it in the bud.

EJ
EJ
9 years ago

I never ever had any thinning of my edges prior to going natural, even with relaxers, colors, braids, weaves, the works, I never did. However, being style challenged, the pony puff and bunning became my friends. But I have started to notice some thinnning (probably noticeable only to me at this point) on the left side of my head. So I will have to figure out something else to do once I take out the twists I have in right now.

islandgirl
islandgirl
9 years ago

I have locks and when they became a certain length I would throw them in a ponytail or bun. I used those cheap ponytail holders that you get at the drugstore. Big mistake. My hairline was already fragile from years of perming, and especially micro braids. I learned my lesson, I just let my hair loose now. I am in the repair process and started using black castor oil on my edges.

Tiffany
Tiffany
9 years ago

The problem is not necessarily the bun, probably the amount of tension that you are putting on your hairline. If you decide to wear a bun in the future you may want to ease up on how “slicked back” you make it. Personally I have grown accustom to having some curlies around the hairline. I think that if you couple this with alternating with other styles you will find that your hairline will thrive.

Rciyah
8 years ago
Reply to  Tiffany

YUP!

jeje1718
jeje1718
9 years ago

The same thing happened to me. I have been bunning my hair since I was 16, it was my signature look. always liked my hair to be neat and slicked back also. Well its like I got an epiphany last october. It was rili bad when I realize that my hairline was beginning to look thin and both sides of my head have the shortest hair (becuz I brush them to obtain that neat look). Since then I have been doing plaits, twists, bantu knots and doing a bun every once in a while. Its only been about two months… Read more »

QQ
QQ
9 years ago

I put in large braids (coz I din’t have much time) The braids were thick and really long, so the weight and traction really damaged my hairline. I din’t notice till I took the braids down, and then I was like huh?? Where did my hairline go. So word of warning: Large, long, heavy braids = No hairline a la Naomi Campbell. Be careful ladies.

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

I have thin edges due to perm and extension damage from my childhood.

My fave protective styles are buns (cinnabuns and mega buns). I style my buns loosely on dry, stretched hair. I often take a section out of the front the bun and style it into a loose pompadour/roll-and-tuck hybrid to keep the tension off my edges.

I never brush or comb my edges (or the rest of my hair for that matter), I apply JBCO to my edges nightly to keep them moisturized and I lay down the fuzzies with a scarf and some shea butter instead of using gel.

Alice
9 years ago

Yep, but only on one side thanks to a bad bleach job.

Bajan Bella
Bajan Bella
9 years ago

I have locs and I noticed that sisters that wear them pinned up or in a bun tend to have thin edges. I wear mine in spirals and they look super cute plus I get to keep my edges. I am so paranoid about losing my hair line that I stay away from styles that taunt my hair line. I think that a lil fuzz around a healthy hair line is cute.

anonda
anonda
9 years ago

I agree Tiffany. I actually have a new found love affair of the bun! Since my hair is so frizzy around the edges (always has been even as a little girl) I don’t even attempt to get a slick bun. Also, no matter what kind of ponytail holder I use it tears my hair so anything that cant be gathered loosely with a few tucks and hair pins or hair sticks, I’m not doing. I actually like the full look of a loose bun. Often I leave the front of my hair out in a few twists or tucked into… Read more »

anonda
anonda
9 years ago

Also, tight puffs give me a fantastic headache no matter what I use, so I usually do a braided band of my own hair across the front and let the rest just be. I do use some stretched out nylon to pineapple loosely at night, but that puts zero tension on my hairline.

nappy headed black girl

I have a naturally weak hairline made worse by the constant wearing of braids all the way up until college.

I have to be careful wearing styles like ponytails and puffs for long periods. I also don’t use anything with teeth near my hairline (combs, headbands, etc)

LBell
LBell
9 years ago

I agree with the basic point: that you should pay attention to how you style your hair, and switch it up as needed. At least twice in my natural life I’ve experienced thinning edges due to improper styling (buns, extensions). I brought them back by LEAVING THEM ALONE. People insist on spending all this $$ on products to regrow edges when it’s just not necessary. Listen: If you absolutely have to put something on your edges, make it the cheapest natural oil you can find. Yes, even vegetable oil will work! Put it on gently with your fingers and then LEAVE… Read more »

stacey
stacey
9 years ago

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CurlyChronicles
9 years ago

When I started pinning my hair in the front to my temple area, I noticed a little thinning so I stopped. I try not to brush much now cause my edges are really fine and sensitive.

Nikki
Nikki
9 years ago

I didn’t try a bun until my 2nd yr natural when my hair was shoulder length. And so it’s never been a consistent style for me. I do it every once in a while when a twist-out has gotten old and I don’t feel like doing it again. I try to keep it up for 2 days, sometimes 4 max and then I go back to normal routine. Sometimes I do make them tight depending on how it looks in a looser bun, but I set it far back on my head so my edges in the front are never… Read more »

quoththeraven
9 years ago

I doubled up a black Goody elastic hairband and used that to make a puff on 6 to 8 inches of shrunken hair. It was very tight but it didn’t give me headaches. I did this almost everyday for several weeks because it was raining a lot and didn’t want to do wet set styles. After about 8 weeks I noticed that my edges looked thinner than before so I stopped immediately and my edges recovered. This is why it’s important to take lots of pictures of your hair. If I didn’t have the pictures to compare, I might not… Read more »

Help
Help
8 years ago

okay so i have really long thick hair and i have no idea what to do with it. when i get out the shower its long and curly but as it dries it just gets more and more like an afro. i just want my hair to be pretty and i dont really know how to do many hairstyles so the only thing i do is put it in a pony tail if you can please help!!!

forex
8 years ago

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[…] natural hair is that you can change up your look. Great styles for the professional environment are buns, twists-outs, braids, and even […]

Charlotte
7 years ago

I have been talking about a problem I have had with buns and protective styles in general on my blog and youtube channel. It is worth noting that this stuff is not for everyone. I do not have edges. The roots of my hair are straight and always have been. I actually had straight hair as a young child but as my hair was allowed to grow more and when I stepped into a different climate one day, my hair turned curly and never looked back, though I feel like since I had my daughter my texture changed, not so… Read more »

Charlotte
7 years ago

If anyone wants to see the video about my experience with hair breakage it’s here: http://www.youtube.com/chamarieq and it’s called Protective Styles Are Not For Everyone

Chachamusicgirl
7 years ago

I always wear buns but I never slick back my hairline. I do not have straight hair so I do not expect my hair to lay down perfectly flat against my head. Also I do my buns on wet and damp hair and switch them up quite a bit making sure that I loosen them if they start to feel too tight. I also take mine down everyday to redo them since I wet my hair daily but only shampoo every other day.

Charlotte
7 years ago

FYI I do realize everyone is different but everything I have read warns against bunning wet hair all together and damp hair depends on the person, for me it was bad. I’m not sure how long your hair is but my hair was hip length but I had to cut a few inches, it can take time and length to figure out what your hair truly does not like. I personally do not see why anyone would want to risk putting their hair up when wet or damp if long term length retention is their goal. According to my research… Read more »

Aliyah Morrison
Aliyah Morrison
5 years ago

I wear buns too but I never slick back my buns . I never use gel and I put it in a loose bun . My hair is growing alot with this . Weaves and wigs don’t work for me my hair broke off with wigs and weaves and I had a lot of dandruff . I LOVE Loose Buns I ONLY LEAVE MY BAng out and twist it into a twist out bang .

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