Supermodel Naomi Campbell
Thinning edges is a common issue among black women. Between weaves and tight hair extensions, our edges really take a beating! BGLHer Tanaka is struggling with this issue…

“To start with, I love your blog and I follow it religiously. Thank you for being such an inspiration. I am having an issue with my hairline I do not know if other naturals have experienced this. I am in my third year of being natural and my hairline is always thin regardless of what I do. I used to think it was due to excessive pulling from the micros but I rarely braid my hair or tie my hair but I usually wear natural twists for protective styling. My mother (who just did her big chop) also suffers from a weak hairline and traction alopecia, but she used to relax her hair and blowdry everyday. I do not even own a blowdryer. I tried taking a break from twisting or putting tension on my hair but realised my hairline was breaking even more. There is some hair present but thin strands, I need advice please on how to protect my hairline or things I could do to prevent further damage.”

Have any of you had similar experiences? What is your advice to Tanaka?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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38 Comments on "Hairline Help"

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try strongly brewed coffee as a final rinse after washing. style hair as normal but try not to put tension on your edges. i have the same issue and am currently using this method.


Hi ! My hair has always been thin, I put in braids when I was pregnant with my son and my edges thinned a lot and I had fungus around my edges.. I cut all my hair off to about 1 inch and now it’s grown back to my neck, but my edges are still thin and the fungus is stil there.. It gets really dry and white and sort of resembles a ringworm.. Any ideas would be helpful, I am thinking about maybe going to a skin doctor,,,


Yes you need to see a doctor. I am a hairdresser and have dealt with clients with various scalp aliments. I can’t say you have ringworm, but I am hoping by now you have seen a dermatologist for this.


chescaleigh on youtube has a really effective demonstration of how jamaican black castor oil has help to fill in her edges, before and after shots included. that may be helpful to you.


Thank you for the extra advise I will try and get a picture posted somewhere to give a clearer view my hair is not on Naomis level yet,hopefully never lol

I agree with some things and disagree with others. If your hairline is like Naomi’s, yes…DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS promising to grow it back. It’s too advanced. The hair follicles are damaged and can not be repaired. However, I don’t agree with just leaving it alone either – if you want improvement (If you don’t want improvement and you’re okay with it like it is fine. Leave it alone.) But to grow, the only thing that will do this is a HAIR TRANSPLANT. I am a medial professional. I have natural hair. I’ve used every product on the market. There… Read more »
I don’t agree with the assertion that Naomi’s follicles are damaged. I don’t believe what you are saying about hair coming back. It has been proven that hair can regrow. Your advice is very misleading. You might be in the medical profession but you definitely are not giving the right advice about hair. The best way to describe them is that they are just dormant and need stimulation. She needs something that stimulates them into producing hair. Hair transplants are expensive and do not really rejuvenate the scalp and its follicles. There are a lot of hair growth products out… Read more »
Wow. Both Tanaka’s question and all the responses were great and have helped answer a lot of my concerns. I have always had very thin sides too. I think I get it from my mother. I decided to go natural about 5 years ago but have done almost constant braiding since then, rarely giving my hair more than a couple of days break in between. I then dabbled with a weave 2 years ago. My hairline has still not recovered. Even more worryingly I have was seems to be a clean bald patch with enlarged pores (dead folicles???) which just… Read more »

Dr. Miracles temple & nape balm worked really well for me after I noticed my hairline thinning. It grew back in like a month or less! I hope this helps 🙂


I would check out beeminedotcome, afrovedadotcom, and butters-n-bars. They have some really good products, and the last two specialize in ayurvedic treatments which are supposed to stimulate growth. If you are at all using tight braids, or anything else I would hold off on that for a while. Definitely moisturization, and stimulation as many have stated above is in order. Be Blessed and goodluck! 🙂


pure coconut oil seems to help me

Ms. Haiti 1982!

castor oil honey1 it’s a Haitians secret weapon, it will save your hairline.


Try Nioxin Follicle Booster. Worked wonders for my hairline in just a few weeks.


Certain medications or birth control can thin hair too. For some women it could be all over thinning, but maybe just the hairline. I noticed it at one point that my hair thinned only around the hairline when I started the pill. Then I switched to a different brand and the thinning stopped….but maybe that’s more along the lines of shedding? I don’t know, but I thought I’d attempt to add that factor in.


Thank you guy’s for your suggestions and support, I will definatley go to see a doctor and to save you the worry it is not as bad as Naomi(relief).I will try the natural products like aloe vera and castor oil as well, I have it sitting around hate the smell. I would love to try the store bought products but I have terrible sensitive skin they usually lead to rashes,the worst scenario was a shampoo lightening my scalp and forehead. I will keep you updated on the progress (fingers crossed).


Thank GOD JC and others said what I was going to say. People will sit up here and have you spending $$$$ on all these specialized products when really you just need to leave. your. edges. ALONE. Aside from basic washing and conditioning and MAYBE a little bit of oil…don’t touch them. Let them be as frizzy, beady, etc. as they wanna be! If someone says something ignorant tell them if they don’t like them they don’t have to look at them.

I experienced a couple of periods where my edges were thinning. I left them alone and they grew back.

I’ve been having the same problems for a while now, have been natural all my life though and never wear weaves or other ‘do’s with added hair. I treat my hair like a princess, bi-weekly washes with amla and shikakai, ACV rinses, DC, proein treatments, the works. My hair is way thinner than it used to be and the weird thing is the front keeps breaking off while the back grows longer. Looks jacked up I tell ya… What I did was massaging my scalp before bed, but it didn’t help. I think I might have rubbed to hard, now… Read more »
The Natural Haven

Jaded I definitely agree, leaving the hair alone can do a lot to stop damage to the hairline. I think it has to be the first step. Perhaps a visit to the dermatologist might be worth it for you Tanaka


My mom had honestly no hair after years of braiding. Now she’s starting to flourish and all she did was stop perming and left it alone.*she still colors it blonde but has no ill effects from it* No smoothing the edges or anything she stopped touching it. I had a small episode with a patch up and disappearing on me after a bad sew-in, but I to left it alone. Maybe every so often I massaged shea butter in it but after a few months of no touch, no smoothing it came in like it never left.


there is a product called t444z it is a really really good product it helps with all different kinds of hair problems. You mention that you have some thin strands, t444z will definitely help. Check out and you will see pictures of women who were experiencing the same problems but after using the product their hair started improving. This product really works wonders. I have used it myself and it has done the job. Check out the website and email me on would really love to hear what you think.


A thin hairline may also be hereditary! My mother’s hairline is thinner on one side and so is my sister’s, and so is mine! I haven’t worn tight braids or anything relatively tight along my hairline in over 5months but it’s just so thin regardless of what I do. Check your parents, see if it’s a hereditary condition & proceed from there by completely stopping all activities along the hairline.


DEAD @ that picture of Naomi. LOL LMAO


Scalp messages with castor oil has made my edges do a 360. I hesitated to try it but I am so glad that I did. It took a month of consistent use b4 I saw a difference but they are thicker than they have ever been although they are naturally thinner than the rest of my hair.


My mom had really weak thinning edges, she used Dr Miracles Temple and Nape balm every day and every night and after a couple of weeks her hair started to grow in. And once she was done with the jar they it was much fuller. I would also recommend scalp massages to stimulate the area.


Tanaka, I hope you find a positive solution to your hairline problems. My personal suggestions (see a doc, steer clear of headbands and tying your hair back often) have been mentioned. The thyroid suggestion is REAL.

And for BGLH…DANG! @ the Naomi picture. I hope she gets whatever help SHE needs for her hair too. Whoa. Makes me wonder how many other celebs are walking around like that under all the weaves and falls.

I highly recommend castor oil! I started using it shortly after my BC because I did 80% of my transition in braids. I didn’t have a noticeable problems with thinning edges but spending that much time in a braid shop, you start to worry when you see others with the problem. I started massaging a little bit onto my edges every other night. Since I joined a castor oil challenge a month or so ago, it’s pretty much a nightly routine & sometimes I think it works too well!! Also, I would recommend staying away from pulling your hair back… Read more »
Hey Tanaka, In Diana Da Costa’s book, Textured Tresses, she recommended massaging a little bit of Shea butter into the scalp every day for four weeks. If the hair follicle is not irreversibly damaged, then you should start noticing a difference in the hair looking a little bit fuller and thicker. If it were me, I would suggest seeing a dermatologist, since it may very well be a scalp/skin issue. Maybe you can look at the products you use around your hairline to see if there is something that may be “roughing it up.” I hope you find a solution… Read more »

I just discussed this with my sis and our advice to you is this:
1. It might be that the hair at your hairline is (super) extra fragile. Try using henna. It will strengthen your hair and give it a chance to grow.
2. My sis also suggests that you research Biotin.
I hope you find a solution quickly.

I had this problem when I was relaxing…it runs in my family because my mom has thin edges. My edges have gotten a lot thicker since I’ve been natural (five years), but I realize they will never be as thick as the rest of my hair. What has helped me a lot is minimal to no manipulation. I generally keep the front of my hair in (loose) flat twists and style the back as normal. I make sure not to wear any tight headbands or scarfs. I also apply oils with rosemary essential oil added, which helps to stimulate growth.… Read more »
kay babyy
hayyy tanaka! dnt worry u r not alone i have the exact same problem ive been looking at pics of me pre perm and my hairline looked thick and healthy. perming really damaged my hairline, which is one of the reasons y im goin back to natural. but ye i looked up the problem online and i came across Doo Gro total hair care , not sure if uve heard of it,but ye, my mum bought the Doo Gro Mega Thick Growth oil and ive been applying small drops to my hairline since september 2009 now and im telling u… Read more »
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Scalp massages are good… but be gentle. Do not wear tight scarves or pull your hair back. Vatika oil is good or peppermint oil mixed with olive oil. Do not apply hair products to your scalp. Use a mild shampoo without sulfates and or as less chemicals as possible. Do not apply conditioner to your scalp (only your hair). Shampoo more often if you can. Check with your dr and consider a vitamin regimen. Do you have any metal fillings in your teeth? If so have them removed. I am suffering from hairline damage on the side where I have… Read more »

One natural thing that has helped me is Aloe Vera. I have several aloe plants and you can actually cut a piece, remove the prickly sides, open it up and place on the edges. You can scoop out the insides and mix with your favorite conditioner as well; a little at a time. You may not like the smell but you get used to it. It’s natural and has amazing curative properties. You can rinse it out if you don’t like the smell or just wear it like that. Hope that helps 🙂

It might be hereditary exacerbated by relaxing/pulling etc. Do you wear headbands/alice bands – they can be a culprit. When sleeping use a bonnet not a scarf, or just a silk pillow case. Essential oil recipes: –Cedarwood (2 drops) –Lavender (3 drops) –Rosemary (3 drops) –Thyme (2 drops) –Placed in carrier oil mix of jojoba (3 mL) and grapeseed (20 mL) ( this was a scientific study for alopecia, it may help, google Isabella C. Hay and the berdeen royal infirmary for the actual paper) A lot of people swear by castor oil as well. Although a lot of peopleadvise… Read more »
You definitely need to seek medical help..go visit your Doctor and/or dermatologist! I have had the same issue and never could understand why. My dreads are going on 11 years and ever since I came out of denial I stopped twisting often. I even stopped washing often because it got thinner every time I washed my hair. Part of the reason I went natural is because my temples (that were already thin since my childhood) seemed to be thinning out even more, so I couldn’t understand why my hairline slowly started receding. I cut the front of my hair shorter… Read more »
The Natural Haven

If you leave it alone it will thrive. In addition to the things she has already mentioned (relaxing, braids, twists, weave etc), I would add one more – the smooth edges obsession that many naturals seem to have. Drying gels and constant brushing are not good for hair. Perhaps try a more natural approach like misting with a glycerin type leave in, wrap with a scarf for about half an hour et voila no flyaways.