By Gabrielle Allen of

Black women seem to suffer from a common problem which are thinning edges. I am not saying that its exclusive to our race but we do wear weaves and braids more than any race of people I know in this day and age.

Take my mother for example. She told me that since she was a kid , her edges have been in horrible condition and to make matters worse, she wore weaves, tight weaves for a while. I spent my summer at her house and over the summer and learned just how damaged her edges were.

She said she didn’t want to go natural and honestly, I wasn’t trying to convince her to do so. I told her all I cared about was her hair being healthy and I wasn’t trying to pressure her into transitioning. Well…. she asked me to put a perm on her head and I told her no, especially after I saw her edges! I told her hair was not ready to handle a chemical service and it need some serious TLC. Again, let me reiterate that I was not trying to get her to transition, I simply wanted her to have healthy hair.

Fast forward…. I started thinking of ways that I knew to grow out thinning hair and from what I could tell just by looking, her edges were suffering from traction alopecia.

Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair. This commonly results from the sufferer frequently wearing his/her hair in a particularly tight ponytail, pigtails, or braids. It is also seen occasionally in long-haired toy dogs whose owners use barrettes to keep hair out of the dogs’ faces.

Traction alopecia is a substantial risk in hair weaves, which can be worn either to conceal hair loss, or purely for cosmetic purposes. The former involves creating a braid around the head below the existing hairline, to which an extended-wear hairpiece, or wig, is attached. Since the hair of the braid is still growing, it requires frequent maintenance, which involves the hairpiece being removed, the natural hair braided again, and the piece snugly reattached. The tight braiding and snug hairpiece cause tension on the hair that is already at risk for falling out. Traction Alopecia is one of the most common causes of hair loss in African American women. Although the aforementioned style is one of the culprits, hairstyles such as dreadlocks and single (extension) braids can also have the same effect. Men and women who have suffered from Traction Alopecia have found that the hair loss occurs most at the hair line – primarily around the temples and the sides of their heads. (SOURCE)

Now don’t get it twisted. Weaves are a great protective style when done RIGHT and not put in too tight. But if you do it wrong, it a can backfire on you and, well, the above happens.

This is what mama dukes hairline looked like when we started

So I felt like ….

Originally my plan was to take her out her weaves and treat it but umm she wasn’t having that. So I told her that she could have the weaves as long as I did them and as long as she still applied the Jamaican Black Castor Oil EVERY night. She agreed.

So the plan in short was JBCO (Jamaican black castor oil) every night and moisturize and seal the rest of her hair while it was in the tracks. And when we took it down, we did a full day of hair treatments. Shampoo, protein treatment, deep condition, moisturize and seal and style.

She came to the conclusion that she didn’t want another weave in and she just wanted to wear her hair. She saw me twisting mine and looked at me…… I looked back at her…… and she looked at me some more and proceeded to say …… “I want my hair like that”

-______- ……. yea i saw that coming.

She still had permed ends so I did my best to blend that end with the rest of it. I did cut some of the permed ends off but not all. She wore the twists for WEEKS but she did moisturize and seal her hair really well during that time (although she hated wash day).

I left for school in August, after having cared for her hair since June. Before I left I showed her what to do and handed over the reigns. She still applied JBCO nightly and as far as I know, kept up her wash days up.. lol.

Well the proof is in the pudding because she sent me a picture of her edges 5 MONTHS LATER and this what they looked like:

“Damn I’m Good!”

LOL! But no all jokes aside, I was kind of afraid she wouldn’t keep it up because I know she doesn’t like to do her hair. I’m proud of her and as much as she was like “Oh im not going natural” ….guess what… She had the remainder of her permed ends cut off and now she is completely and 100% percent natural.

~hits my dougie~

Gabrielle Allen is the founder and creator of Be sure to check out her site for more awesome hair tips and tales.

Ladies, have you brought your edges back from the brink? Or have you helped a family member do so?

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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217 Comments on "How I Helped My Mom Regrow Her Edges in 5 Months"

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What an encouraging story. I am happy for your mom. Thank you for sharing.


Ok loved the story and how the outcome was outstanding ….. but at times we have women who are at home hairdressers and cause hairloss to themselves and others … Ladies if you think about all the times doing your hair or letting someone else just because you liked the way it looked …. Using GLUE …. Is THE SURE WAY LOTS OF OUR BLACK WOMEN HAVE LOST THEIR EDGES OR HAD SOME REACTION TO THE GLUE …. I AM A LICENSED COSMETOLOGIST AND HAVE DEALT WITH WOMEN WHO CONTINUE TO CAUSE THEIR OWN DAMAGE .

Hope Morgan

what about rosemary oil? I read a blog that suggested this oil and to massage it every night.


amen…i’ve been using a mixture of castor oil and raw avocado oil to fill in my edges and I saw new hairs sprouting in a week….I use avocado oil to grow in my eyebrows and I see new hairs where there’s no hair in a week also if I apply it everyday…I don’t know how but the evidence does not lie. I think avocado oil is even better than castor oil for making hair grow…


I just thinking about doing this very thing this morning for my eyebrows. I will definitely add in some avocado oil. Thanks for the tip!


It’s so amazing! I literally focus on putting the avocado oil where I want the hair to grow so it can be a certain shape and it grows in closely to it. I just tweeze any hair that is not part of the shape I’m aiming for every couple of weeks!

Hope Morgan

where did you purchase your raw avocado oil?

I guess the correct term is unrefined…They have a 8oz size too but it’s back-ordered right now…

I’ve also read that you can find it in the oil section at health food stores. I’ve not had a chance to check but I’d try there first. Just make sure the oil is sort of dark green.

You can also get refined avocado oil at Whole Foods. It’s a golden color like Jojoba Oil and works well too. I’ve used both for hair growth but unrefined avocado oil (which is dark green) is like no other.

Dawn also sells avocado oil.
I put it in my DC


Is there any real proof that castor oil (any type) helps the hair to grow? I’m thinking that it could just be changing the hair care practices (i.e. no tension on hair line, moisturizing, sealing, protein, washing, etc…). Just the scalp stimulation alone from washing more frequently could be the reason for the growth and then the other methods are the reason for the retention.

The Natural Haven

Tee – I am seriously looking for some evidence about castor oil because I am asked this question all the time, but so far no luck.

However you are definitely spot on about scalp stimulation. I have seen studies where hair regrows in the case of alopecia is stimulated by

1. plain massage with no products
2. massage with water
3. onion and garlic juice

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that castor oil may help but a small tiny massage every so often may just do the trick.



Candice Hall

Yep, I massage my hubby too, with coconut oil tho. Working working works!!!

I lost my edges twice because of too-tight braiding and all I did to grow them back was LEAVE THEM ALONE. I didn’t use or buy any special oils, products, etc. I washed, conditioned, moisturized, etc. along with the rest of my hair, but beyond that I did not touch them. In my opinion, nappy edges were a great deal less unsightly than NO edges. Oils in general are great, but they will not grow hair by themselves. Otherwise more of us would have long hair. Right? Much more focus needs to be on hair care practices…the products focus is… Read more »

Castor oil is one of the most powerful healing oils on the planet. Growing and thickening the hair is only one of the benefit of using castor oil. It is also an anti-inflammatory, a very powerful laxative, known to break up fat deposits in the abdomen, anti-aging when used as a facial moisturizer, chelator..the list goes on and on. Always make sure you buy the organic, cold-pressed castor oil. Castor oil was one of the remedies most often given by the famed psychic and healer Edgar Cayce in his health readings.


very inspiring story!


Awesome story!! Mothers can be hard headed when it comes to taking advice from their daughters so I know that the author’s hair is fierce! I love the part where she says that her mom looked and said “I want that!” Beautiful!


jbco grew my nape back too so i know this is legit


Great story, and fantastic work and results! Your mom is so fortunate to have had you around to motivate her. You both will always treasure that, for sure. My mom has very thin hair (bald in some spots) from a lifetime of relaxers. She told me about castor oil, but she’s a bit challenged in the area of consistency. I wish I could be with her to make sure she sticks to a growth regimen.


Great job, love the humor, sometimes hair talk can be too serious.


It’s so funny to me that a lot of people were saying this story wasn’t true on facebook yet not one person has said anything here. sociology theories at play,, it’s quite fascinating. Oh I do believe the story !


I think many of the readers here has seen what black hair can accomplish with a little knowhow and some TLC. If people can grow type 4 hair to waist length in 3+ years, why can’t we regrow some edges?!


WOW! That’s awesome!…and I’m LOL @ her wit and humor. 😀


LOL, awesome story.

I liked the way your approached the situation, you didn’t pressure your mom to go natural. You just helped her out and she ended up making the decision to go natural in the end!

+1 for the natural team!!! LOL
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That is a wonderful story. I know your mom is glad to have you. And in 5 months time…AWESOME!!!!


I thank you for this, and congrats on doing such a wonderful job helping your mother restore her beautiful hair, and hoo and ray that she’s gone natural! I was wondering about JBCO and how it’s different from regular white CO; is one really ‘better’ than the other?


The biggest difference i have found between the 2 is that the JBCO is thicker and has a stronger smell than regular castor oil. Other than that, i really dont know.


someone needs to fwd this to naomi campbell


LMAO. But that’s not such a bad idea.


Very inspirational story. Job well done.



Molly B

LOL @ the Kronk gif!
But anyways I love this. Very inspirational. I might have to do the same for my sister since her edges are in a similar state atm….

my hair has thinned in the same places as your moms. not completely to the hair line but just behind it. this is the reason I decided to go natural. I started growing it last September 2010 and cut it in March so now its about 4 inches long although those spots never came back in. I think it was traction alopecia from pulling my hair into a pony tail. As on now I cant wear my hair in two strand twists just as protective styles because its so bad, but im happy because I no longer have to worry… Read more »

I’m glad that you were able to grow out your mother’s edges, and (somewhat lol) convince her to go natural. However, I tried the JBCO route, and to be honest, it didn’t really do anything different for my hair that regual CO did. So I left the overly-expensive JBCO alone, and just decided to stick with regular, white CO.

Do you think I was doing something wrong, because I’m also trying to grow out my edges.


It depends. How long did you do it and how often did you do it? Did you add other things to your regimen as well?


I added peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus oil to the JBCO because of all the videos/blogs that rave about those essential oils being prominent to hair growth. Needless to say, nothing changed. My edges didn’t disappear out, but my edges didn’t grow, either.

Looking back on it, more than likely it was all of the essential oils that probably stunt the growth.

Now I’m simply using Now Solutions Castor Oil to moisturize my scalp with nothing else added.
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@Nesha, I doubt the essential oils would stunt your hair growth. Hair grows from the inside out. My guess is that maybe your edges are just a little more fragile than the rest of your hair. You don’t mention what caused the thinning in the first place but if it is weaves or relaxers, it could be they are just taking longer to bounce back. I don’t think you should give up, keep massaging with the Castor Oil. Maintain a healthy diet and make sure you are getting enough protein, hair is made up of keratin-a protein. You might also… Read more »

Well it’s strange. I don’t really know what caused the thinning of edges. If I were to think back, I believe it was back in 2005 when I bleach my hair blonde and got microbraids. I still massage my hair with castor oil, just not everyday. But after seeing Strawberriculs results that will obviously have to change.

After reading so many naturalists rave about biotin, I’ve decided to take them along with prenatal vitamins. Hopefully I see some positive results by the end of this year.


good job at growing you moms edges back!!


bahahaha @ the challenge accepted picture. Are you a tumblr’er?


~gasp~ how did you know! of course i am! …. you must be one too..


Yes yes, I am lol


D: I think you ethier follow my personal or my beauty blog on tumblah!

whichever, your post had me cracking up. I read it in the most comical way.


No shade or anything but, wouldn’t the hair just grow back no matter what once the unhealthy practices (tight weaves) stop?

It depends on whether the hair follicles have been killed off. In those instances, the hair won’t grow back (you may have other options such as a hair transplant, but we don’t want to get to that point anyway). My understanding is that sometimes the traction causes an auto-immune response/inflammation in the hair follicles which results in sluggish growth. The thing with traction alopecia is that it can be very gradual. Basically, I have thin edges, not to the extent as shown in the pictures, but enough to trouble me. Last year, I had braided extensions in my hair. I… Read more »
noire reine

Can you provide the information for your trichologist? Thank you


What did you do to help regrow yours?

I also have thin edges from years of frequent weaves and braids. I’ve stopped getting any extensions done almost a year ago, I no longer brush my edges, and I now use a satin bonnet instead of a scarf, but I’ve seen just a little length, but not much thickness. I accepted months ago that I may always have thin edges and I was fine with it, but after reading this post and comments, I don’t know…maybe I’m getting a little faith again 🙂

I too had a case of the fried edges. I used to perm my hair, wash it out, then go and get a Jamaican blow on out top of it! Oh AND I wore my hair in a ponytail because I was a waitress. After a good year of doing this, I moved to DC, to live closer to my sister. One day we were talking while I was doing my hair and as soon as I pulled my hair back, her eyes sunk into her face. I looked in the mirror and someone done did stoldid m’edges! HOW DID… Read more »

LMAO @ “I looked in the mirror and someone done did stoldid m’edges!”


Thanks for the info, good to know 🙂
This is even more of a reason why I hesitate to go for a fab Solange type weave :/


no, that type of breakage needs extra TLC like she said.


wow awesome job!


also I love my occasional weave and in the past with the wrong folks doing it suffered some light lose (no where near what the writer mother did at all) I don’t get why folks keep getting them or any style that is taking out their hair to that point BUT I’m glad to see it can be reversed.


great story I need some of that oil just because!


I will give this a try!


Where can I find the products that she used ?


You can buy it from Amazon


Wow is all that I’m going to say just no more chemicals or weaves for her edges. This looks as bad as Naomi Campbell, whoever her hairstylists were throughout her life that kept doing her hair n taking her money should be ashamed of themselves. They do look alot better and with time hopefully they will continue to thrive.


I agree!!


I agree. I have seen were a stylist would put weave in a lady head time after time and she had to know the lady had gotten a fungus from the weave, but yet and still put it in her head just to get paid. I am a hairstylist and my main concern is always the person hair well being.