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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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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45 Comments on "8 Reasons You Have Thinning Edges"

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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 and so… 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