By Gabrielle Allen of Strawberricurls.com

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 Strawberricurls.com. 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, 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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Luz

What a great arti­cle! My mom suf­fers from the same issue but I think her med­ica­tion is a major fac­tor. I use Jamaican cas­tor oil and I’m going to tell her too. Thanks so much.

Kat

I loved this sto­ry. What did you rec­om­mend to her to use to mois­tur­ize while her hair was in the twists?

Leo
I don’t mean to be neg­a­tive, but the two pics do not appear to be the same wom­an. The ears are dis­tinc­tive­ly dif­fer­ent. She has no prob­lem show­ing her face in the hair loss pic, but the face is hid­den in the “results”. I have no rea­son to hate I would love for this to be true and though some say there is no rea­son to lie, ppl do it all the time for atten­tion. (Cat­fish). All she has to do is show a clear­er pic­ture. PPl are not hat­ing, they just don’t want to get their hopes up from… Read more »
icta travel

i am in Cameroon how do i get this Jamaica cas­tor oil,we don’t have it here

Janell

You can get it from Amazon.com

Lerato Lato Kortjass-Robinho
Lerato Lato Kortjass-Robinho

you’re amaz­ing

Tori Gandy

Actu­al­ly the ears are exact­ly the same. They bul­ge out in the top cor­ner. Can’t believe I even enter­tained this lol but I hope this helps.

Michelle Freeman
I think what you did was a good thing. We (my sis­ter and I) con­vinced our mom to final­ly grow out her nat­u­ral hair and now after a year and a half it’s shoul­der length. She ini­tial­ly used to use the excuse that she couldn’t main­tain it due to work but she’s been retired for a while now so … work excuse gone. At first the med­ica­tion she was on for dia­betes made the process slow­er but changes to her diet and incor­po­ra­tion of exer­cise main­tains her sug­ar lev­els bet­ter than meds so now her hair is grow­ing, it no… Read more »
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