June 12, 2014

This is Why Your Edges are Breaking

Breaking edges is nothing new to curlies. Unfortunately, this is an affliction that many of us have experienced with relaxed hair, excessive straightening, and even with natural hair, so it’s a problem that needs attention. No one wants breakage, and experiencing this along your hairline can be hard to hide and even harder to not be self-conscious about. Many women are self-conscious of the thinning or breaking edges, but instead on fixing the problem they continue with the bad routines to hide them and the problem worsens.

The biggest culprit of breaking edges is our styling routines or hairstyles. It would seem that going natural would have eradicated the issue, but it’s not just relaxers that may be the problem.

Wearing tight styles
This has got to be the biggest contributor to thinning edges. Our hair is versatile and there are tons of styles we like to wear, but unfortunately many of these beautiful styles are created at the mercy to our hair, and especially our edges.

Braid extensions are at the top of the list because they can be too tight. Although they may be ok for the rest of your hair, the hair along the edges is shorter and more fragile than the rest of our hair. Yes, we want the style to last but when we ask for the braider to make them tight, we are doing more harm than saving money.

Micro braids have the potential to cause the most damage, as each braid is tiny and is expected to hold onto a long braid. Even if you somehow manage to keep all of those micro braids in until you remove them, the removal process is traumatizing to the hair and challenging to do without causing any breakage.

Lace front wigs
This is becoming big news especially since Countess, the star of the sitcom The Parkers, publicly shared her disastrous experience of using glue with lace front wigs. She had an allergic reaction to the glue and her hair began falling out at the edges. The attraction to lace front wigs in the illusion of a natural looking hairline that make it appear as though the wig is growing from the scalp.

There is a price for beauty but as more women are finding out, lace front wigs are costing women their edges and their health. Some are becoming allergic to the glue or not allowing ample time in between applications. There is added tension to the hairline to create the illusion and many women have experienced bald or thinning edges as a result.

Leaving chemical treatments on too long
There is a reason products have directions and warning on the labels. They are preventing the consumer heartache and pain but despite the warnings, many women are not taking heed and use products incorrectly with devastating results.

If you want your hair dye to give you a stronger, richer color, then try a bolder color or a higher quality brand instead of leaving the chemicals on longer. We’ve all done it, whether we choose to admit it or not, but keeping a chemical on our tresses longer than the instructed time is not safe even if we don’t see the damaging effects immediately. Since our edges are the most fragile, they are the hairs that most often suffer the consequences of straightening and leaving the color on longer. It’s not worth it.

Satin bonnets
Surprised to see this on the list? Well, I was too until I thought about it and it truly made sense. Some of us are using bonnets with cotton around the edge and the cap can be too tight or rubbing against our hairline. There are satin bonnets with satin edges that are better.

Too much styling product
Yes, back in the day many of us loved slicking down our baby hairs. Oh, I know it ain’t just me! I’ve seen some exaggerated baby hairlines that were the most, but all that gel day in and day out being slapped on your edges is not always healthy. Put down that brush, back away from the slicked down edges, and give your hair a break! The smooth look is not for everyday and your edges need to breathe, so remember you are no longer a baby and neither are your edges.

How are your edges doing? What do you do to help them thrive? 

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