We all experience certain setbacks throughout our natural hair journey. However, with these setbacks, you can learn from them and make the necessary changes to your hair care regimen to support stronger, healthier strands. Thinning edges are an issue many individuals experience at some point. This issue is often the result of daily wear and tear combined with the fragile nature of textured hair types. Thinning and breakage along the perimeter of your hair, including your edges, may be caused by a variety factors. In this article, we will go into detail on a few of those factors that can cause thinning and breakage along your edges, as well as how to prevent thinning edges.
Here are eight tips that can benefit you when seeking how to prevent thinning edges:
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1) Avoid wearing pulled back hairstyles too often
One of the primary causes of thinning edges are tight, pulled back hairstyles. These styles cause strain on your strands as they are being pulled and tugged in various directions. The strain from the pulling and tugging on your strands can cause them to snap and break off, leading to eventual thinning around your edges if not remedied.
So, in the effort to maintain strong edges and hair in general, it is best to wear tight, pulled back hairstyles such as buns, puffs, etc., in moderation. When and if you wear pulled back hairstyles like these on a regular basis, the stress on the fragile hairs along your hairline and edges can become too much. The possible results are not only thinning edges. A receding hairline, bald spots, and breakage in other parts of your hair are also probable.
2) Massage your edges with a natural oil
Regular scalp massages help to stimulate blood flow at the roots and encourage hair growth. They can also be highly beneficial for you when seeking how to prevent thinning edges. Massaging your edges with a natural oil can help to take things a step further by supplying your scalp with different nutrients.
This stimulating supply of nutrients can help to strengthen your strands and prevent breakage. A few strengthening oils that can help to prevent thinning edges include Jamaican black castor oil, peppermint oil (make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil first), and more.
3) Limit your use of strong hold edge controls
If you like to sleek down your edges with the use of an edge control on an almost daily basis, it can be another potential cause of thinning edges. Often times, these edge controls contain drying ingredients and can easily lead to product build-up. With the hairs along your edges already in a fragile state, these drying edge controls can make them even more prone to breaking off.
In addition, the constant manipulation from sleeking your edges can end up being too much for your strands and eventually lead to breakage and thinning. Provided that, it may be of benefit to save the edge control for certain occasions. Also, make sure that the products you are using have moisturizing properties.
4) Maintain a healthful diet
Hair loss is sometimes the result of a certain nutritional deficiency. For example, our hair is comprised of a protein called keratin. A lack of protein in your diet can construct weaker strands that are more susceptible to breakage.
In addition, a lack of iron, zinc, and certain vitamins in your diet have been linked to hair loss. All in all, in the effort to retain strong, healthy edges and hair in general, it is important that you are consuming primarily nutrient-dense foods and drinking plenty of water.
5) Wear wigs / weaves and other protective styles in moderation
Another tip for how to prevent thinning edges is to wear protective styles in moderation. Protective styles such as wigs, sew-ins, box braids, etc., can be beneficial for your hair but may also be harmful to your strands if not worn with care. Protective styles that involve braiding or twisting your hair may cause stress on your scalp and edges, especially if braided too tightly or worn too frequently.
Eventually, if you fall into the habit of wearing tightly braided or pulled back protective styles too often, it can lead to breakage, thinning, and even permanent damage. Traction alopecia is commonly caused by prolonged wear of tightly worn hairstyles like braids. Nonetheless, to prevent thin and weak edges, make sure that you are giving your hair breaks in between hairstyles.
6) Be aware of your hair accessories
Some of our favorite hair accessories including hats, headwraps, headbands, and even sleeping bonnets, can be a culprit of breakage and thinning in our hair. If you wear any one of these hair accessories on a regular basis, they are constantly rubbing against the hairline and perimeter of your hair. This friction can cause pulling and tugging on your strands and potentially lead to breakage.
Even the material on some of your hair accessories may have an effect on your strands. Cotton, commonly used on hats, is known to have a drying effect on hair and can possibly bring about breakage. This is why it is important that you are aware of the accessories you are putting on your hair. They should not be too tight or too abrasive.
7) Keep your hair moisturized
Keeping your hair moisturized is another effective tip for how to prevent thinning edges. Excessively dry and brittle hair is more prone to breaking off. When your hair is moisturized and nourished, it is in a healthier, stronger state. You can keep your hair and edges moisturized by using the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods. You can also try deep conditioning weekly to replenish your strands with intense hydration from root to tip.
8) Try monthly protein treatments
Protein treatments can be beneficial for the overall health of your hair. As mentioned earlier, our hair strands are made of a particular protein called kertain. Keratin helps to keep the structure of your hair strands strong and in tact. To prevent thin and brittle edges, it helps to complete a monthly protein treatment.
Protein treatments supply your hair with essential amino acids that help to restore your strands. With this delivery of strengthening ingredients, your strands will be in a healthier state, less prone to breakage.
With a few ways to prevent thinning edges in mind, click here to read in more detail the causes of thinning edges and how to get them healthy again:
1 Guo, Emily L, and Rajani Katta. “Diet and Hair Loss: Effects of Nutrient Deficiency and Supplement Use.” Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, Derm101.Com, 31 Jan. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/.