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

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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.



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 just… 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. :-D


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 I… 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.