*This article was updated on July 9, 2013 to improve accuracy.*
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.