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The no edges struggle is real, ladies. In high school, my beautician told me tight ponytails were going to be the death of my hair but it took one too many trims that actually looked like cuts for me to get it. Now that I’ve finally managed to stop my hair from breaking off under the pressure of elastic bands I’m noticing there’s just a little something missing around the front of my head—edges.

I’m nowhere near the Naomi Campbell hairline struggle, but just like thinning ends are a sign you need a trim, when you’re edges become see-through you know it’s time to re-evaluate your hair care regimen and make sure you don’t get to the point that you’re rivaling the supermodel.

It’s much easier on your time (and your peace of mind) to get a hold on thinning edges, professionally known as traction alopecia (TA), before things get to the point that the problem can only be hidden with equally-damaging styles. A study last year found that roughly 59% of women suffer from some form of TA, which is any hair loss that comes from constant pulling or tension on the hair—therefore, I repeat: the struggle is real. If you’re serious about maintaining the life of your edges, here are a few things you need to stop doing now.

Lay off the Lacefronts
If you really want to stop thinning edges in their tracks, you’re going to have to lay off the tracks, as in weave. Lacefronts have the potential to be the least damaging of the weave catalogue if the hair is bonded past the hairline, but that’s a big if. The purpose of a lacefront is to make the hair look as real as possible which means women often put them as close to their real hairlines as possible, sometimes even shaving down the hair to achieve the natural look. That process can cause serious damage to your edges, not to mention the chemicals that are in the glue—which means it goes without saying that gluing tracks to your hair does your perimeter no favors either. Sew-ins are less damaging, only if the braids put in your real hair aren’t too tight. A half sew-in where more of the front of your hair is left out is better than doing a full weave.

Solution: Wigs
If you take care of your real hair, wearing a wig can be a hair healthy alternative to weaving it up. No tension is put on the edges when you wear a wig and by taking it off at night you allow your real hair to breathe.

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  • Blair

    Solution: go natural. End of story

  • Bronze

    Dang. No wonder we a bunch of angry women. I had no idea all this breakage was going on. I’ve been in wigs for 10 years. my hair is natural and I keep it in cornrows. $ 40 a month on my hair…that’s it.

  • Chelsea

    Angry women? Anyways that was happening to me, but I went natural and like the first poster…the problem was solved = )

  • http://themahoganymafia.wordpress.com/ Mahogany Mafia

    I agree. Going natural (or at least stretching relaxers) can make a huge difference.

  • Kate

    I don’t think going natural is the solution to the thinning-edges problem. For example, if you go natural and scrape your hair back into too-tight ponytails, or any hairstyle that puts excessive tension on your hairline–natural or not–your hairline is going to be stressed. I think the approach to take is one of taking the time to educate yourself and work with your hair: pamper it, nourish it (from the inside-out) by eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle in general. Also, about the last phrase in the article about “allowing your hair to breathe,” that’s a myth. Your hair is nourished by blood under the scalp that feeds the roots. Head coverings, whether it’s a wig or a wearing a satin/silk scarf to bed at night, don’t stop the hair from “breathing. What usually creates problems for people who wear wigs is not properly caring for their natural hair underneath. If the hair “breathing” was an issue, then covering the hair with satin/silk scarves at night would also not be a good idea.

  • Pingback: BEWARE OF THE EDGE! | missgo2girl.com()

  • twan

    i love the pun! “stop it in its tracks” ahaha

  • twan

    actually going natural isn’t a solution for everybody. when i wear my hair unstraightened and not in a weave, no matter how much i baby and take extra delicate care of my hair it breaks off like CRAZY. i’ve been learning about my afro textured hair for about 4 years now and the only result i have is extreme breakage to the point where i wake up and it looks like somebody cut my hair. SMH

  • JessicaMercedes

    I am natural. Going natural isn’t the solution to loosing your edges. Women with natural hair can have the same bad habits as those with perms. They can pull their hair too tight into ponytails, weaves, braids. They can use drying products to make their “baby hairs” look smoother that can make their edges more susceptible to breakage. They can dye their hair to the point of breakage as well. Going natural is not the answer to every hair problem. However, the tips in the article are a great start.

  • Babe

    I am natural and Iove it, but it is not the solution to all hair problems!!! Stop creating tension on the hairline as much as possible (with weaves, tight braids,tight ponytails etc.) and your edges should be fine.Also remember to moisturize those fragile hairs often!!!

  • Cha Cha

    I am natural, but I cannot agree. Plenty of natural women often struggle with edges breaking and follicle problems around the edges. Wearing tight puffs, ponytails, head wraps, scarves, braids, plaiting every night, or even brushing, can be a problem, and for some natural women with thin hair or hair that is prone to breakage, even looser braids can cause a problem.

  • Cherise

    Twan-Change your diet Fruits and veggies.Drink more water. Exercise.Take multivitamins.