- What’s Going On?
- Avoid Braiding
- Avoid Tight Ponytails Or Tight Updos
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals
- Using Essential Oils To Regrow Your Hair
- Final Considerations
Thin edges caused by traction alopecia used to be a rare condition in black women up until the early 90’s but with the large scale popularization of weaves*, it is now more common than ever, particularly among younger women.
It’s a shame that most of these women don’t know that by slightly adjusting their regimens they could turn the act of wearing weave into a means by which to achieve long healthy hair of their own. Sadly, even now some are ignorant of this fact.
The truth is unless you are like the Chadian women who don’t mind too much that the rest of their hair has galloped past their hairlines – thin edges in stark comparison to the rest of their flowing mane – then you want to have a thick hairline to match the rest of your crown. The women from Chad tend to go for the sparse hairline look for a certain aesthetic appeal because it gives the illusion of a protruding forehead which in their culture, means they are beautiful.
Thankfully most of us have come to realize the potential pitfalls of tight braiding (micro-braiding & cornrows included) which gives us a better chance at arresting any issues with thinning edges before they begin; but, for those who have already been struck with traction alopecia, all there is to do is to try to find a way to regrow those edges.
Alopecia Areata, on the other hand, causes round patches of hair loss currently thought to be an autoimmune condition. With this type of alopecia, if the hair loss is not comprehensive (all over the body), the hair will regrow in a few months with or without treatment but it can’t hurt to speed things along.
In the case of traction alopecia, before even embarking on a treatment plan, you absolutely MUST stop what it is that you were doing to cause the thinning in the first place.
It is best to avoid any type of braiding: micros, weaves* & cornrows, while treating traction alopecia. Normally, we would advise you to give them up altogether for the duration of your treatment since they tend to weaken the hairline by placing tension on the follicles beneath the scalp; however, if you are the type of person who finds braiding to be your best option for a protective style then this is what we suggest:
- Limit the duration that you would usually keep your hair in a braided style If you are used to going four weeks with your braids it may be to your benefit to reduce that time drastically to just one week but no more than two weeks. This way you lessen the amount of time your follicles endure the pull of the braided style.
- You can get the braided look for special occasions only to give your hairline time to breath without tension.
- You can install crochet braids for the braided look. There are various methods that you can employ to rock the style without actually braiding your own hair underneath. With regards to limiting the tension on individual strands at the hairline, you can opt for installing reasonably sized individual twists or braids with your own hair before adding the crochet extensions* on top.
- Make crown braids a staple hairstyle. Create the crown braid using extensions* to form a braid long enough to wrap around the affected area and then pin it in place to hide the hairline. At night you can apply your treatment to the hairline easily without messing with the hairdo too much.
These hairstyles put stress on the hair follicles around your hairline, which is where most thinning occurs. The hairstyles also leave your edges exposed which will tempt you to try to slick down or sculpt the few strands left in an attempt to achieve artistic looking baby hairs. All that stress appled to try to “slay them edges” is just not worth it. Pick a style that hides your edges instead and leave the fuzz alone so it can have a fighting chance at growing back strong.
This should be self explanatory but I will mention it anyway. Avoid any harsh chemicals coming into contact with your scalp, these include relaxers and hair dye too. Keep your hair products as natural as possible.