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Tonkabelle: How to Save Your Receding Edges & Sparse Hairline



dreamstime_l_54286876Our hairline is one of the most fragile part of our entire hair and that is why it is most prone to breakage. One of the most important parts on our entire head of hair would have to be our hairline/edges. No matter how long your hair is, when you have sparse or receding edges your hair style would not look good. You may then be forced to cover it up or to wear certain hair styles which would cover your hairline. This, however, does not need to be the case; we should be able to wear any hair style we desire and also to flaunt our hairline.

Before we consider how to get our edges to grow back we need to know what we can do to prevent it from falling out in the first place. Also, if you are someone who has never experienced breakage in your hairline you might want to make sure that you also do the following as a preventive measure:

Cultivate good hair care practices
The key to preventing your edges from breaking is to ensure that you practice good hair care. When washing your hair it is important to follow up with a deep conditioner or at the very least a rinse out conditioner. Try to avoid using heat in the form of blow dryers, flat irons, curling wands, etc, on your hair all the time and if you must use heat apply a heat protectant. Moisturise and seal your hair regularly. If your hair is relaxed/texlaxed practice good relaxer hair habits such as ensuring you wait at least 8 weeks between relaxer applications.

Avoid wearing hairstyles that are tight
Tight hairstyles such as braids, ghana weaving, tight buns, tight corn rows, tight ponytails, tight plaits should be avoided at all costs. Some hair stylists would braid the hair so tight that the wearer would experience bumps, little scabs (in more severe cases) and so on around their forehead. When this happens, especially when the tightness occurs at your edges the result is breakage in that area.

Detangle hair gently
It is important to detangle your hair properly to prevent breakage. Never detangle hair with a small comb, hard bristle brush, etc, always use a wide tooth comb or better still you can use your fingers first and then follow up with a wide tooth comb. Never comb your hair without any product, apply some moisturiser/oil before detangling your hair. Also pay particular attention to your hairline when detangling your hair. Detangling it roughly would only result to breakage in that area.

Do not use glue on your hair
This is one of the easiest ways to have breakage at your hairline. This occurs where you use bonding glue around your hairline when wearing a weave or lace front wigs. What happens is that, when the hair extension is being removed, there can be hair breakage at the hairline; also the chemicals in the glue also cause breakage.

Speak up when you are at the hair salon
Another reason why people may experience breakage in their edges is because of something done by the hair stylist. You should always speak up when your hair stylist is doing something that would adversely affect your hair. This could even mean holding the base of the braid when your edges are being braided or advising the hair stylist to pay particular attention in ensuring that your edges are not braided too tightly.

Avoid putting relaxers on previously relaxed hair (overlapping)
It is important to ensure that you do not relax hair that is already relaxed. If this is done, breakage would usually occur. Relaxers are meant to be applied on new growth (i.e. natural hair) so that it can be processed by the chemical. If your hair stylist is applying relaxers to your entire head of hair, you may very well be suffering from a receding hairline. The only time relaxers may be applied to the entire hair is where you are applying it to natural hair which is being relaxed for the very first time or when you are doing a corrective relaxer.
Relax the hairline last: The hairline as the most fragile part of our hair should be relaxed last so as to prevent breakage. Over processing of the hairline will usually result in breakage.

However, I must sound a note of warning at this point. You can do all the following and your edges may still fall out. This could be due to hormonal imbalance, illness, post partum shedding (I had to deal with this and lost most of my edges at one point), stress, age and so on.

The following will help your edges grow back:

Apply and massage a growth aid to your hairline
When your hairline has broken off it is important to use something that will boost hair growth in that particular area. There are various growth aids in the market which are said to boost hair growth, there are also temple balms. You can also use natural oils as growth aids for your edges, such as castor oil. It is important to massage your scalp for at least 5 minutes when you are applying the growth aid so as to stimulate the hair follicles and increase blood flow to the scalp to make the hair grow faster.

Deep Condition your hair regularly
Deep conditioning treatments are very important for hair health. It ensures that the hair is strengthened, moisturised and properly hydrated which will in turn lead to less shedding and breakage throughout the hair including the hairline. When applying the deep conditioner it is important to concentrate your efforts on your edges. Also use heat for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the deep conditioner penetrate the hair shaft more effectively.

Moisturise and seal hair regularly
It is important to moisturise your hair making sure to concentrate particularly on the hairline (do not neglect this area) which is more prone to dryness and then seal the entire hair with oil. Moisturising and sealing regularly makes the hair less dry and less prone to breakage.

Do a pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment prior to washing your hair
A pre-shampoo treatment is one where you apply a treatment to dry hair prior to washing it, so that the hair can withstand the effects of shampooing. A pre-poo will prevent your hair from experiencing tangles which will in turn lead to less breakage which would also translate to your edges.

Protect your hair with a satin/silk scarf/bonnet
It is important to make sure your hair is protected at night before you sleep this will ensure that your hair stays moisturised and will prevent breakage that can occur as a result of tossing and turning at night or your hair rubbing on your cotton pillow cases. You can use a satin/silk scarf or bonnet, it is all about finding out which works best for you. You can also use a satin pillow case as an extra step, should your scarf fall off at night or if you do not want to wear a scarf/bonnet to sleep.

Practice air drying your hair
Air drying is an effective way to grow out your edges. This is because air drying is a healthier alternative to using heat. When heat is used to dry the hair it often happens that the hair is combed or brushed as it is blow dried. When you air dry however, there is less combing/brushing involved; the hair is left to air dry on its own, which reduces manipulation and consequently breakage.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Tonkabelle is a lawyer by training and a hair blogger who passionately believes that all hair types can grow long and healthy hair. She is a keen writer and has written several published articles on hair care. She blogs at Instagram: @wurassecrethair [email protected]


  1. Drknite

    April 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    “Tight hairstyles such as braids, ghana weaving, buns, corn rows, ponytails, plaits should be avoided at all costs!” What styling options are left after the those?

    • Queen Bee

      April 19, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      loool cut your hair

  2. teesha

    April 19, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    She didn’t say hairstyles such as braids, ghana weaving … She said TIGHT hair styles.

    • Duh

      April 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      I suggest you go scroll back up, read and try to COMPREHEND.


    April 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks Tonkabelle, very helpful. My hair is still benefitting the hair care tips you gave me over two years ago. Hugsss!

    • Tonkabelle

      April 20, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Caphie

    April 19, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    All that for my hair in this busy lagos life

  5. swagg1

    April 19, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Air drying will be a challenge for me cuz my hair is very long .It will take a long time to dry. I will however ensure not to sporadically mosturize my edges .

    • Lola

      April 20, 2016 at 1:59 am

      My hair is very long too and I air dry after squeezing my hair with a soft towel. You don’t have to air dry all the time, just as you don’t have to use the hair dryer all the time. The main aim of air drying is to reduce the way you use heat; dryers, straighteners, etc.

    • Tonkabelle

      April 20, 2016 at 8:04 am

      There are techniques to air drying for even very long hair, you have to try various methods to discover one works for you. You can air dry in plaits or in about 4 -6 ponytails which is what I typically do.

  6. klutz

    April 20, 2016 at 5:42 am

    how about those who were born with little or no hairlines?

    • Tonkabelle

      April 20, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Even for those born with hairlines which are not very full, the tips I gave should help improve the situation.

  7. iamsue

    April 20, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    No Hairlines? No problem Try JBCO Jamaican Black Castor Oil.. that thing works wonders.

  8. Melissa

    April 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    The hair system by karmin is my favorite, makes my hair look so healthy.

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