How I Helped My Mom Regrow Her Edges in 5 Months

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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?

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast. When I'm not here, I'm moderating a Facebook group for black mothers called Black Moms Connect.

  • folarin tolu

    Hi!Pls where can I get jamaican black castor oil in Lagos or Ibadan?

    • missLynnder

      Hi,I am not in nigeria at the moment,but when I was, my sister and I used to order online from a nigerian website.can’t remember the website,but I will contact you as soon as I get the the meantime, you can buy from amazon,but I am not so sure if they ship to lagos. Goodluck

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  • mj

    two different people.. look at the ears.. liar!

    • Look Closer

      Look closer. The lighting may be confusing you. The ears are the same.

  • Jazzy

    The ears look the same to me :/

  • Jazzy

    nevermind I see what u sayin….hmmmmm

  • Shera

    Awesome results!

  • Lisa

    I also had edge issues and I use Just 4 Kinks over the edge hair growth serum. I saw results in 1 month. It contains castor oil and other great ingredients.

  • Elle

    @MJ…i said the same thing…that’s not the same person. Plus why would she expose at least have of her ‘Mom’s’ face for the issue, but not expose her ‘Mom’s’ face at all with the results…i’m calling it #Lies!

    • Reanna

      Well to be fair she took the “before” pics but her mom took the “after” pics. Different people will take pics at different angles.

  • Reanna

    The results are quite impressive. This is motivation to use my JBCO more consistently.

  • http://Facebook Bunnywoowoo

    Not the same person, completely different ears.

  • Cheriecoco

    Two different people. I can see an elephant’s ear and a rat’s ear.

  • nylima

    I said it once i’ll say it again. Every time i see one of these post there is a butt load of hater’s, im just about done even looking at the comments, y’all make me sick.

    • Jan

      I’m sorry you can’t see the difference! I’m not a “HATER” and see not only the ear difference, but the hair texture is different. If you don’t like the comments, don’t read them. Everyone can not agree with everything ;~<

      • Hair texture

        Of course the hair texture is different it said she went all natural and cut off what was left of the perm.

  • Sandy

    These are two different people. Liar!!! The ears are different

  • Jasmine

    These comments are ridiculous. Why would this woman lie? She’s not trying to sell anyone anything, just sharing an experience. Five months of consistently using the correct shampoos, conditioners, protein treatments, and the correct oils will produce results. ALL FACTS!!!

    Anyway, thank you for writing this article.

  • clasique

    I just did a consultation for a new client today. Her hair is 100 X worse. Poor lady. Due to years of improper weaving. Do I have to use jbco or will any do?

  • Sade

    How can i use amla oil and coconut oil to make my hair grow

  • Yas

    Lol. I can’t believe there is actually a debate about the authenticity of the poster’s results. If you look closely you will see that the top portion of the lady’s ear is CLEARLY hidden under her afro in the ‘after’ photo. Geez. Why would the poster lie? There’s no incentive to do so.

  • Sister

    I’m looking at the hair line where the hair loss was and it looks like all the pieces fit if you follow where it has filled in.

  • Tee

    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.

    • LBell

      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 another example of people wanting quick and easy…

    • Jc

      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.

      • Rciyah


    • Starla

      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.