Damage Control: 15 Things Every Black Woman Should Know About Her Edges

October 29, 2015  |  
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Finicky edges can be a nightmare. But you don’t have to fight them for the rest of your life. Take the time to get to know your edges, and you’ll have no trouble giving them life.

They Love Fatty Oils

Vitamin E oil, pumpkin seed oil, Argan oil, or anything else that’s pure and contains lots of fatty acids.

Save other oils for your stronger strands. But be sure to avoid anything containing mineral oil or petroleum. These ingredients repel the moisture your edges need.

…And A Good Massage

Your edges won’t just thank you. A 10 to 15-second daily massage with fatty oil will stimulate growth by increasing blood flow to your follicles.

They Don’t Like Tension

The bottom line? Tight styles are rough on your edges. Don’t be afraid to tell your stylist to give you a break when it comes to tight braids under a full sew-in. And if your edges are already noticeably thin, it might be time to retire tension-creating hairstyles until you can encourage them to grow back.

They Hate Cotton

Cotton pillowcases, cotton headbands, the fabric under hats: they all absorb breakage-fighting moisture from your hair. Satin pillowcases, headbands and night caps are much better.

They Don’t Like To Relax

Edges are delicate. When it’s time to relax your hair, save your edges for last, so they spend the least amount of time under chemical strain. And avoid the impulse to touch them up with a little bit of chemical between treatments. They can’t really take the stress.

They Don’t Like It Hot

It’s tempting to give those edges a flat iron every morning, but it’s better not to use heat on your hair every day. And when you do straighten your edges, use plenty of moisture and keep the heat on low.

Edges Are Happiest When Your Hair Is On The Move

Signature hairstyles are hard on your edges. If you frequently rock a ponytail or bun, be sure to switch up the location on your head, so you don’t overly stress one section of your edges. The same goes for sew-ins. Move the part, leave the edges out, put them back in, use a closure. Just be sure to keep it moving and your edges will thank you.

Hiding Them Won’t Help

In fact, covering thinning edges is a great way to make things worse. Struggle edges can be frustrating, but try to remember that most of us have been there. The best thing to do is focus on repair.

Edges Are Night Owls

They do their best regenerating at night — but only if they can. Satin bonnets, scarves or pillowcases are a must, and don’t forget to take down any braids, twists or buns unless they’re very loose.

They’re Slow

Waiting on your edges to grow back can feel like you’re waiting forever. To see motivational progress, take weekly pictures and compare them at the end of each month.

They Need A Winter Break

Or at least one season without sew-ins or any other stress. Keep your hair moisturized, but otherwise, let it do its thing. Your edges will thank you when warm weather comes back around.

They Like Wig Variety

A wig can be a great way to keep it cute during a winter break. But rocking the same one every time will stress your edges in the same spot. Rock a variety of wigs to spread out the stress and to avoid more breakage.

They’re Sensitive

Almost everything irritates them, especially drying products like hair gels and the rubber on wig caps. When in doubt, keep them moisturized and uncovered.

They Are A Reflection of You

Feel like you’re doing everything right but your edges are still thinning? It may be time to see the doc. Lots of non-hair-related troubles — from chronic illness to dermatitis — can lead to thinning edges. Making sure there’s nothing more serious going on is important.

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