It’s time for another BGLH compilation series! This time we’re discussing edges; how they thin out and what you can do to restore them. First up is Geniece sharing her experiencing with thinning edges.
My challenges with thinned edges can be traced back to my childhood. One style common among many little black girls, 2 to 8 large braids or twists, fastened with colorful hair barrettes and bows were pretty standard in my household. I never had tightly braided styles like cornrows and yet as I grew older I would find that my edges were weak and thin. This became especially pronounced during adolescence. For me, the reason for this was primarily genetic. My mom had a weaker hairline and so I came to learn that the tight ponytails and slicked back buns girls wore in the mid-1990s (with accompanying baggy jeans, oversized shirts and large hoop earrings…think TLC) were styles I could only wear in moderation.
Once I recognized my edges were thinning, I was usually able to resolve the issue fairly quickly. At night I or my mother would massage hair grease (usually Dax or Ultra Sheen) along my edges and twist that section into a small loose flat twist. After a few weeks my thinning sections began to fill in. When I began to wear my hair naturally, the challenges I faced with my edges didn’t disappear. However, I did learn better styling techniques and ways to care for my sensitive hair line. For example, massaging my edges with castor oil and a protein based conditioner yielded great results. Moreover, wearing styles that did not tug at my edges decreased the likelihood that I will suffer repeated breakage.
So, how did I style my hair when my hairline suffered breakage? First, I didn’t allow the breakage to get so severe that it required disguising the breakage or changing my styling routine. The wonderful thing about natural hair is that even with breakage the thickness of my hair made any breakage seem somewhat mild and only noticeable to those who knew me. Still, I generally refrained from tight ponytails that required sleek edges. The LAST thing you want to do when in the process of re-growing your edges is to use a brush or holding gel directly along the edges.
The best advice that I can give regarding restoring your edges is this: ACT FAST. If you continually ignore breakage you may eventually experience traction alopecia. Once your hair follicles have been severely damaged, usually after years of tight styles or chemical processes, no amount of care, tenderness or castor oil can restore your hair edges to their former glory.
Ladies have you dealt with thinning edges? How did you restore them?