Causes of Thinning Edges and How to Grow Them Back

Noticeably thinning edges can be an uncomfortable time for anyone. But, in a lot of cases this issue is reversible and preventable. The fragile hairs along the hairline and edges are susceptible to breakage with daily manipulation. However, genetics and other health related concerns can also play a role. If you have noticed thinning along your edges, here is a closer look at what may be causing it as well as how to grow your edges back and keep them strong:

causes of thinning edges Images

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1. Postpartum shedding

For women who have just given birth, it is not uncommon to notice a change in the appearance and thickness of one’s edges and hair altogether. Hormonal changes are a big contributing factor to postpartum shedding and hair loss. It is best to discuss with your doctor in more detail about treatment for postpartum shedding.

2. Wigs and weaves

Wigs and weaves are a convenient way to change up your look and can also serve as a protective style. However, the tight braiding, glue, and wig caps can cause thinning along the hairline and edges. Sometimes, the glue may latch onto the hairs along the perimeter of your hairline and break off come time to remove the style. If your wig caps or braiding pattern are too tight this can also cause stress on the fragile hairs along the edges and hairline, causing them to thin out.

3. Wearing too tight of styles

We all love a quick go-to bun or puff. However, these pulled back styles cause tension on the hairline, nape area, and even the crown area from being pulled in various directions. Additionally, the weight of certain braided protective styles can be causing further tension on your scalp and edges, causing thinning. If you are wearing these styles close to every day, this could be a reason why your edges are thinning out.

4. Underlying medical condition or deficiency thinning edges

Trichotillomania is a condition where someone has an impulse to pull their hair out and results in hair loss, bald patches, etc. This is a medical condition that requires professional treatment. Alopecia Areata, stress, and dietary deficiencies, are just a few other health conditions that can cause hair loss and thinning edges. If you are noticing a drastic change in the amount of hair you are losing, it is best to contact your medical professional to see what may be causing it.

5. Using drying edge controls too often

A lot of our favorite edge controls may contain certain drying ingredients in order to preserve that lasting hold and sleeked look. Frequently laying your edges combined with the manipulation required to lay your edges, may be a contributing factor as to why your edges are thinning.

6. Heat and/or chemical damage

Heat and chemical use (relaxers, hair dyes, etc.) can cause irreversible damage to the structure of our hair. A damaged and weakened hair shaft is prone to breakage. If you aren’t maintaining healthy hair care habits even with the use of heat, hair dyes, etc., this can further increase the amount of breakage you are experiencing and lead to the appearance of thinning hair and edges.    


causes of thinning edges natural hair1) Massage your edges with an oil nightly/every other night

One way to promote hair growth is to massage the scalp. To grow back thinning edges in a timely manner, it is essential that you are massaging the thinning areas with a stimulating oil nightly or every other night until they start to fill back in. Jamaican black castor oil is a popular and beneficial oil to do so with. It contains various vitamins and fatty acids that provide different conditioning properties for the hair.

Simply apply the oil to your fingertips and gently, yet firmly massage the thinning areas for at least at least two minutes. You can also use an applicator bottle to apply the oil directly to the scalp and ensure it is not just sitting on top of the hair. Even once your edges have filled back in, it is still good practice to upkeep regular scalp massages  on your edges with an oil to help keep them stimulated and strong!

2) Leave your edges out with some of your styles

As you are waiting for your edges to fill back in, or even to help keep them in tact and strong, try leaving your edges out with some of your styles. Meaning, if you want to wear a pulled-back style like a bun or puff, try a style where you twist or braid the front part of your hair – leave them loose hanging. This will help to lessen tension and stress on the hairline and edges when wearing pulled-back styles.

3) Lay off the strong-hold edge controls sometimes

While there is nothing wrong with a nice sleeked style, many of our favorite edge controls consist of drying ingredients that may be drying out the fragile hairs along the hairline and edges. This factor combined with daily brushing can cause breakage. If you like to lay your edges with an edge control, try to lessen the frequency of doing so. Also, make sure to apply water and/or conditioner to your edges before applying the edge control so they aren’t completely dried out. This will aid in keeping your edges in-tact.

4) Avoid wearing too tight of styles too frequently

If your favorite go-to style is a bun or puff, try switching it up from time to time. Try wash and go’s, mini twists, etc. on occasion to give your edges a break and loosen tension.

5) Concentrate the application of your moisturizing products on your edges

Daily manipulation on the fragile hairs along the hairline and edges makes them susceptible to breakage. So, it is important to make sure that you are applying a good amount of your moisturizing products to your edges. When deep conditioning, don’t forget to apply a concentrated amount to your edges. Small changes like this will help provide these fragile areas essential nourishment to keep them strong and in-tact.

how to grow back thinning edges

6) Don’t get your protective styles braided too tightly

Next time you are getting a braided protective style or wig/weave installed, speak up to let the stylist know if they are braiding too tightly. Or, let someone you really trust do the job. Also, give you hair breaks in between styles like these to lessen tension and stress on the scalp and edges. This will help to prevent thinning edges.

Thinning edges can be an uncomfortable time for anyone. Try to keep your stress levels low during the time you are growing them back and know that most of the time this issue is treatable and reversible! Once they are filled back in, you can continue healthy hair care habits to keep them strong and prevent them from thinning again.


¹“Postpartum Hair Loss: The 4 Best Treatments.” Healthline. N.p., 2018. Web. 20 Nov. 2018.

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