Protecting the hairline from stress and damage is an important part of hair care. Too-tight braids, ‘laid’ ponytails, brushing, weaves, and other harmful practices can contribute to a damaged hairline. Traction alopecia is a term for hairline damage caused by overstressing the hair with tight, pulling styles.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for protecting your hairline from damage.
– DON’T brush your hairline too roughly. Brush bristles typically get caught in curlier hair types and can cause the hair to snap. Since the hairline has shorter and more fragile hairs, constant brushing of the hairline can cause the front hairs to slowly disappear. If you want to smooth down your hairline, try using your hand to flatten and use a pomade or gel to smooth down the edges, or use the soft side of a boar bristle brush.
– DON’T tie your hair into tight ponytails. This causes major stress on your hairline. Try to make your ponytails loose. If you feel a lot of tension squeezing your eyes shut or widening your eyes, your ponytail is too tight.
– DON’T braid the front of your hair too tightly. Tight braids can pull out the weak front hairs. If you feel a lot of tension squeezing your eyes shut or widening your eyes after braiding, they are too tight. NaturallyChelsea recommends that you “try to use larger sections when braiding the front to distribute some of the tension throughout more hair strands. Also, avoid braiding the very front of the hair. Try leaving out the very front and simply applying a pomade and a scarf for ten minutes to smooth it down.” (more HERE)
– DON’T overuse wigs and weaves. They tend to pull on the hairline and, overtime, can cause breakage in the front of your hair.
– AVOID using harsh chemicals. The front hairs are very fragile and even more susceptible to breakage when they are chemically treated. Keeping your hair far away from strong, harmful chemicals like perms and relaxers will ensure its health.
– DO braid or twist the front of your hair. Though tight braiding can cause damage to your hairline, loose braiding or twisting along the hairline can give the hairline a rest from ponytails and other styles that pull the hair back. When styling the front of the hair, try to push the baby hairs out of the style. Baby hairs are the short hairs in front, and they are fine and very fragile. It is best to leave them out of front hair styles so that they don’t break.
– DO use styles that do not at all use manipulation on the front of your hair. Try using styles that do not manipulate the hair closest to the hairline. Curly bangs are an example. Let that hair be!
– DO moisturize! Moisture is important to ALL parts of your hair!