Thinning edges are a recurring issue for many black women but it can be hard to pinpoint a culprit. Here are 8 possible reasons why your edges are thinning.

1. You style your hair too much and you don’t let your edges rest enough

Edges are among the most fragile parts of your hair, and the pulling and grabbing naturally involved in styling can put strain on them. If you notice that your edges are beginning to stress, try keeping your hair in a protective style for a few weeks and spritzing your edges daily with an oil & water based moisturizer. If you start to see small, soft hairs poking through, then your edges are making a comeback.

2. Your hair is very fine

Fine haired naturals have a harder time with certain things — and edges are one of them. If your strands are fragile and prone to breakage, then you need a gentle hair styling and maintenance routine. Err on the side of LESS when it comes to manipulating your hair and edges.

3. You cornrow, flat twist and pull your ponytails too tight

Yes, we all want our edges to look ‘sharp’ and ‘sleek’, but we also have to be realistic. If your hair is very kinky or coily, then the likelihood is that your edges will also have a bit of texture and fuzz to them. If you want laid down edges, try applying shea butter then wrapping your edges with a scarf at night. This should lay them down and smooth them without the use of excessive pulling.

4. Your headband and/or bonnet are doing damage

Any hair accessory of tool with tension or elastic can do possible damage to your edges. If the elastic of your satin bonnet is creating bald spots, try pulling it down further on your head, or even over your ears. Headbands can also do damage if they’re too tight or used excessively. Figure out how much your hair edges can take, and adjust your usage accordingly.

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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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46 Comments on "8 Reasons You Have Thinning Edges"

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[…] delicately? If your baby hairs suddenly seem like they have gotten longer umm boo your edges are falling out! Now I don’t mean to alarm you. It’s a very good chance that your baby hairs can be […]


Great suggestions. With my satin bonnet, I wear it inside out so the elastic band is on outside and not rubbing up against my edges. On a side note, I’ve never understood the urge to ‘sleek down edges/baby hair’. It doesn’t make a bit of difference in the “success” of a style one way or another – except in the minds of people who are doing it.


[…] understand what might be causing your edges to thin. Here’s a list of common culprits from Black Girl Long Hair and other hair […]


Yes, took me a while to figure out that the band on my satin night caps might be a problem. Also, I never braid my edges.


Help ! Im transitioning from relaxed to natural but all of my edges came out while i was relaxed because I permed my hair then braided it…I’ve been transitioning for 6 months but my edges will not not grow…I really hate this! What should I do ??


Is there a solution or regimine for postpartum thinning edges?

My edges have always been wispy and thin. My hair is average/thick. I have locs and I don’t wear it up too much. In fact, my edges are on their own. I don’t bother to twist them into my locs. I’m not sure why, but this has never been an issue for me. It’s just how my hair grows. Having said that, I do very little moisturizing because my scalp gets quite oily on it’s own. I will sometimes use jojoba or coconut oil. I will try to pay attention to see if any changes – additions such as rosemary… Read more »

I have really thick hair, but my edges are THIN (and yes I’m natural)! I’ve always had thin edges before I could remember (possibly due to wearing pig tails for a really long time). Is it possible for my edges to grow back? I just started using JBCO and I’m hoping it will work. And I don’t wrap my hair up with a scarf… should I??? Please help!

VeeVee Brown

It’s highly recommended that you wrap your hair at night with a silk scarf or satin cap. Alternatively you could sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase like Oprah:)

I’m using JCB mixed with Rosemary oil on my edges. IT worked for my nape. I’m now using the oils on my temples since I@ve been really neglectful of my edges this year. I’m paying the price now. I hope this helps.


For those of us with naturally thinner strands, smoothing edges down with hands, then slipping a scarf on top for about 15-20 mins does the trick.


I have 4b type hair with fine strands, and my edges can be a problem area for me sometimes. What I found that helps regrow the hair is Shea butter (raw), I just put some on my fingers and rub it on the scalp where the hair is thinning and in a couple of weeks….HAIR! 🙂 . hope this is of some help , it may not work for everyone but you can still try it.


And relaxers! Don’t forget about that. I am natural now but I deal with ythe effects that relaxers had on my edges.


I use an edge control gel on my natural hair but I try to limit use of it to times when I really need a sleek “well groomed look. On weekends and other free time I make sure to use a scalp oil to moisturize my entire scalp.


Also check to see if there is protein in your gel (most likely there is) you could have proein over load on just your edges


No wonder Lebron James’ hairline is so far back. He wears that headband like no tomorrow lol!


[…] understand what might be causing your edges to thin. Here’s a list of common culprits from Black Girl Long Hair and other hair […]

The edges on my left side suddenly disappeared after a relaxer. I had also been sleeping in my head bonnet. I have tried for four months to get them to to grow back. No avail. I have tried black jamaican castor oil and my edges and my hair line itches so much I ended up scratching the skin off. I noticed when I woke up the next morning. Not sure what to do. Looks like the only thing left is sleeping on a satin pillow without any bonnet at all. I don’t wear pony tails or have my hair pulled… Read more »
Despite steadfast efforts to save my thinning hair (no relaxing, no heat, no harsh styling) for 2 months, my hair is still fragile, especially at the edges. I have always had fine hair, but its not getting better. Just got a blood test done, and I’m iron-deficient and severely Vitamin D deficient. My doctor told me that many dark skinned women are naturally vitamin D deficient. Just a note to keep in mind. We dont absorb Vitamin D as effectively. I live in the north west (Canada) lots of cloud cover here in Vancouver, so extra vitamin D is important.… Read more »

My hair shed and broke off so bad I had to get the big chop.I have bald spots on both of my sides and the back of head.I also notice thinning on my receded line.can someone tell me what to do.n yea I’m natural.


I definitely have hair in my head syndrome. My mom and friends are always yelling at me to get my hands out of my head. It’s such a bad, nervous habit!

I’ve been wearing a wig as a protective style and I find I need to wear a cap under my wig to protect my hair and my edges, especially since they just started growing bck from me using my Women’s Rogaine. The wig has 3 combs in the front and I just secure them under the cap, but when I come home from work I take my wig off, spray a leave in conditioner on my hair and also massage my edges with jojoba oil,pepper mint oil, almond oil, and tea tree oil. They are making a comeback but they… Read more »
@ Blythe..i have the same problem..alopecia runs in my family..i’ve tried various products,from herbal,rubbing in temple restoration balms(Dr. miracle),hair products made with indian hemp,amla oil..etc.i havent seen much improvements because when i style my hair i still notice the bald spot on the sides of my hair..i hterefore cannot leave my hair on always in weaves which eventually cover the sides..when people happen to see me with my hair on they laugh and ask what happened to my hair bt i tell them thats how it is and they dont believe me.they think my hair is falling off..or i’m… Read more »
@Zara, I bought them from my gyn but you can purchase the vitamins @ I used Vitamin D3 10,000 IU for thirty days, its best to go to healthcare provider to get some lab work to see if you are vitamin d deficient. A lot of healthcare practicioners don’t believe vitamins are helpful and I was pretty skeptical myself but I took it for thirty days along with Isotonix opc-3 beauty blend which is also a vitamin but it is a powder you take with water, and it worked beautifully, my skin has a glow and the hyperpigmentation is… Read more »

Yes, I have AA and I go to the Derm to get shots. The thyroid issue doesn’t help, but the JBCO is a Godsend– my edges are thicker since using it.


I had hairloss/breakage in the back (kitchen area) from the elastic on my satin bonnet, and I now turn it inside out so that it doesn’t come in contact with my hair/scalp. My hair grew back completely, thankfully.


I can vouch for the headbands breaking off the hair. I discovered I have fine hair…because of this, I try to use elastic headbands to smooth down the edges in the front. I guess I was doing it too much. I discovered that my hair had broken off in some areas where I would lay the elastic headband…when they get really old, worn and stretched out, I will no longer use them as headbands, but will only use them to push up my hair into a high bun.


Many African American women wears scarves/head-wraps to bed at night, to protect their hairstyle,if those items are made from polyester, rayon,nylon or cotton, they will cut and rip hair at the hairline. The same can be said about hats.

Pillow cases made with those elements will also do damage.
It is best to wrap one’s hair with a scarf made from 100% silk at bedtime.


For me, it was constant re-braiding. The funny thing is that I never noticed until I went to college and saw other girls with the same style and I noticed that they didn’t have gaps between their braids. I’ve been trying to combat it with an oil mixture (coconut oil, castor oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, jojoba oil) that I apply twice a day on my edges (and also throughout my scalp) and I massage the area for 30 seconds to a minute. My mum has thinning edges too, so I doubt sincerely that I will ever have thick edges.

My edges have even finer hair than the rest of my head and they grow pretty low along my forehead compared to others. What I’ve started doing in the last frew weeks is to separate my edges out from the rest of my hair whiile styling and doing mini twists so they are not being pulled into the braids/twists that I usually put in and so that I am not putting too much stress on them. I make sure that they benefit from water and whatever product I am using to style for that night (kimmaytube’s leave in using JBCO,… Read more »
Jo Somebody

For me it’s sleeping. Even with a satin pillowcase, my edges get rubbed a lot more than the top of my head.


It took me a while to figure out that my styling techniques were actually undermining my efforts to grow my hair, especially my edges. I’ve started leaving my edges alone as much as possible, and I am seeing new growth — it’s very encouraging.


I favor one side while sleeping, mostly to avoid sleeping on tendonitis/carpal tunnel arm. The edges of one side of my hair are thinned as a result.

I wish it was as simple for me. Alopecia runs in my family from my mum’s side; my grandma died completely bald and my mum is getting there. My hair has become much stronger after going natural and getting locs five years ago, but my sides are still thin. Having type 4 hair doesn’t help either. Other people don’t notice my sides but if you look close enough you’d be able to see the bald spot on the right side, so I always wear my hair down in a curtain. I started using JBCO two weeks ago so I’m hoping… Read more »

Yeah. Reason number 10. genetics.

My mother is pretty bald in front from traction alopecia but my grandmother has thinness on the left and right sides because her hair grows in a widow’s peak formation. I’m trying to get my edges to come back un after years of harsh brushing when I had locs.


@ Blythe, you should try clinical strength Vitamin D, I am currently on 10,000 IU’s of Vitamin D for 30 days. You can also pierce open the caplets warm the oil a little and rub it on the areas, I also use another supplement called OPC-3 beauty blend, its a powder you mix with water, its really helpng me, if you want more info on it comment and I will in box you the info.


9. You have damage from chemical hair services (hair relaxers, hair dye, etc).




I recently had some lab work up for my thyroid and some other issues, from my gyn, I had low iron and majorly Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficency can cause hair loss, skin rashes, exczema flair ups, and dark spots on skin… I was shocked, ladies hair loss is not just that we are styling are hair improperly a lot of times it means there is something internal going on….


Yep–Vitamin D s a biggie. I was so deficient, my edges were thinning pretty heavily. Thank God my doctor did a blood work up. I supplement with D daily now. Edges are growing back.


Yes, please check your Iron and Vitamin D!!!! This may be the cause especially if you have excellent hair care regimens and your hair is still thinning or breaking.


Nice to know, but what can be done to repair it. I have bald spot from the clip in my wigs and it wont grow back, help.


There is a product you can use to regrow your edges back, it’s called Women’s Rogaine and it is a miracle product… I used this after having my son when all my edges just disappeared out of nowhere. It has helped me to grow them back


Oh my, this article and your comment just made me undo the wig combs from my hair and use some hair pins to secure it instead. I don’t wear a wig often (maybe 1-4 times each month), but I want to make sure I’m doing the right thing to keep my edges from coming out.

The wigs did damage to my edges as well. You have to give it some TLC and keep it moisturized. I spray my hair with aloe vera juice and I use coconut oil or shea butter to seal in the moisture. Jamaican black castor is the truth. I’ve been using it on my edges twice a day for the pass two months and it is already starting to thicken. I LOVE this stuff. Also stay away from brushes, if possible. If you’re braiding your hair, make sure it’s not too tight around the edges. This is what I’ve been doing… Read more »
Earth Angel

I have the same issues! Two balding spots on my front hairline from wigs! I’ve started not brushing and not applying any type of pressure on my edges and have been sure to keep them moisturized with whatever I am oiling my scalp & hair with (coconut oil). My edges are starting to make a come back! I’ve also just started using (3 days ago)Jamaican Black Castor oil and oiling the baling spots with it at night. I’ve heard good things about it growing hair back so I figured it couldn’t hurt! Good luck to you! <3