How to Win Those Thinning Edges Back: Tips for Braids and Natural Hairstyles

I was recently talking to a woman this week and I have to say she’s my inspiration for this post. The woman had beautiful curls, but I couldn’t help but notice that the edges of her hair, so carefully pinned back by braids, were almost non-existent. I won’t fib and say that I’ve experienced maximum thinning with my edges, but for some reason, I have this spot on my hair line that I swear to this day was caused by a bad accident with Hot 6 Oil.   I’ve also participated in my fair share of natural hairstyles, namely braids, that have tugged on my natural tresses.  Braids and natural hairstyles that slick, tighten, or hurt are one of the leading and controllable reasons for thinning edges and hair loss. However, it’s not impossible to win those tresses back by ditching certain hairstyles.

Quit the Braids, Pony Tails and Harsh Hairstyles in Order to Grow Those Thinning Edges

In my previous post, the natural hairstyles that I’m all about are afros, curls and big hair.  But there have been times when I’ve wanted to use extensions as a great protective natural hairstyle.  I do, however, remember a time when I’ve tried other natural hairstyles in my youth.  My mother-in-law remembers when I wanted to try weave for the first time at 19 (Yes, she was my Mother-in-Law back then!).  We went to a hair salon in Detroit and my mother-in-law, being the weave expert, asked the hairstylist to create a “quick weave”.  I was then asked if I wanted to use “glue” to hold the quick weave.  I politely declined, although at the time I had no idea what hair glue could potentially do to my edges (I was just thinking I was too lazy to try to wash it out).Thinning Edges a Common Problem

I’m not too sure we can call “quick weaves” or wigs, combined with glue, a protective and natural hairstyle, especially if you are trying to keep your edges.  Glues tend to pull and tug at the follicles, and can lead to traction alopecia.
If you just cannot let go of the weave, opt for half wigs or U-part wigs.  These types of wigs give naturalistas free reign when it comes to length retention and saving those edges.  These natural hairstyles often allow for you to leave a little bit of hair out in the front.  This will reduce the stress placed on the hairline.
Thinning Edges due to braids

Braids can also tug and pull on the hairline.  Instead of opting to tame those edges, leave them a bit loose.  Loose braids are a much more preferred option than having to deal with hair loss.

The moral of this natural hairstyle story?  News flash ladies: any natural hairstyles such as braids and weaves that are done tightly can put stress on your edges.   
I always say that the first step to recovery is to stop what you were doing that caused the problem in the first place.  Ditch the ridiculously tight braids and hair glue and give your tresses a break.  This is when we can begin to make a full, natural hair care recovery.

When it’s time to rock a fashionable protective hairstyle like braids or wigs, what tips do you have to keep your hair healthy and strong?