By Audrey Siva­sothy, author of The Sci­ence of Black Hair: A Com­pre­hen­sive Guide to Tex­tured Hair Care

Crown area hair break­age can be very dis­tress­ing, espe­cial­ly when the rest of your hair is flour­ish­ing. It can also be frus­trat­ing when your hair’s hem­line is shaped like a W rather than a healthy U or V because of crown area and mid­dle area break­age issues. Don’t be dis­cour­aged! If your crown area break­age is not the result of a med­ical issue, there is hope for restor­ing your crown area to its nor­mal full­ness and length. The key is to iso­late the crown area and pam­per it to life. This arti­cle will give you 7 quick tips for encour­ag­ing hair growth in your crown area again.

1. Investigate. Is your crown area breakage caused by physical trauma?

It is help­ful to deter­mine the exact cause of your break­age, espe­cial­ly if it is caused by han­dling and phys­i­cal trau­ma. Often times, mechan­i­cal dam­age is some­thing you are ful­ly aware of— how have you han­dled your crown air hair in the past? Is your sew-in done too tight­ly? Have you been rough comb­ing your crown area? Wrap­ping? Have you been neglect­ing to ful­ly mois­tur­ize the area? Apply­ing too much heat? Did you over­lap a relax­er? Have you been roller­set­ting too tight­ly? Has repet­i­tive col­or­ing affect­ed your crown? Once you deter­mine a phys­i­cal cause for your crown area break­age, sim­ply dis­con­tin­u­ing the prac­tice will turn your crown around in sev­er­al weeks.

2. Diagnose. Is it a protein/moisture balancing issue?

Next, you will need to deter­mine if the break­age can be fixed with either pro­tein or mois­ture deep con­di­tion­ing. You’ll need to read my arti­cle: The Fine Art of Pro­tein and Mois­ture Bal­anc­ing for help with deter­min­ing your required pro­duct solu­tion for your crown area break­age. More than like­ly, restor­ing the mois­ture bal­ance will be your focus. Once you know whether your pro­duct focus should be pro­tein or mois­ture, you’ll need to deep con­di­tion week­ly with heat to restore your crown area. When you con­di­tion your hair, make sure that you sec­tion the hair in incre­ments so that each and every sec­tion of hair, espe­cial­ly the crown, is treat­ed. You’d be sur­prised the num­ber of peo­ple who sim­ply coat the edges, bare­ly scrunch through the mid­dle, and slather the ends with con­di­tion­er pro­duct. You have to get in there good and make sure the crown area gets some love!

You also want to be sure to mois­tur­ize (either pro­tein or mois­ture-based) the crown area dai­ly. Part through and real­ly iso­late the crown. Real­ly focus your dai­ly mois­tur­iz­ing efforts in the mid­dle. Very few peo­ple treat the mid­dle sec­tions of hair to mois­tur­iz­er on a reg­u­lar basis.

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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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47 Comments on "7 Tips for Repairing Crown Area Thinning & Breakage"

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Samantha Harper

I recent­ly took down my dreads (3 week process), and I was expect­ing some hair loss. How­ev­er I still had length to my hair. Before the dread­loc take down, I have ALWAYS has issues with my crown, itch­ing, some­times hurt­ing, ten­der to the touch and A LOT of break­age. I will con­tin­ue to remain nat­u­ral, but I want my hair at its great­est and health­i­est lev­el.


Had this prob­lem a while back and found, in addi­tion to mak­ing the crown a5th sec­tion when deep conditioning/adding my leave in it helped to stop wear­ing my puff. I noticed at the end of the day the cen­ter of my head would be real­ly itchy–finally real­ized I was cut­ting off cir­cu­la­tion to that spot.


Hav­ing trou­ble open­ing your link above for fig­ur­ing out a bal­ance I have break­age in the mid­dle of my head I have start­ed deep con­di­tion­ing with cho­les­terol and haven’t seen much dif­fer­ence yet it has bin about three weeks how long should I keep this up before I should switch or see results


*advice! Sor­ry typo! =)


I’m hav­ing seri­ous issues with crown break­age and sore­ness of my scalp! Any advise!? I’ve used Doo Gro strength­en­ing oils, coconut oils (organ­ic), Ker­at­in conditioners…you name it, and NOTHING seems to work! Hel­l­llp Please!

patricia jenkins


marsena sellers

i am hav­ing the same prob­lem. Have you found any­thing that works for you?


Remov­ing sebum from the scalp. Brag­gs apple cider vine­gar + organ­ic sham­poo. Check hor­mone and thy­roid levels,take vit­a­m­in B com­plex. Use a hair spritzer aloe gel+water+hempseed oil.drink gal­lon of water per day. Itch­ing scalp with or with­out peel­ing or inflam­ma­tion: 1).peel onion skins and gar­lic skins.2)Put skins in a mason glass jar with min­er­al water. Let the oils extract 24 to 48 hours. Wash with organ­ic sham­poo then rin­se with onion and gar­lic extract. Do not apply any com­mer­cial con­di­tion­ers. Oil the scalp with hemp oil then spritz hair with the aloe recipe above.


How often do you rec­om­mend for this? Thx:)


Hair Fin­i­ty, plus lots of mois­ture and water


I was wear­ing that weave in the front like a bang a glue in over time my hair start­ed to thin out so now no more weave for me I detox my scalp of all that glue and any thing else that was in my scalp my hair was on a stand still for a while had to fig­ure it out im pro­tein sen­si­tive also its grow­ing now .I stopped wash­ing it for a while now .


My crown is 4c that’s why it’s the dri­est and short­est -.-


thanks! my teen has TONS of break­age in her crown. this will help us address the prob­lem. I had no idea what to do!


Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It tru­ly use­ful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give some­thing back and help oth­ers like you aid­ed me.


I get plea­sure from, cause I found exact­ly what I used to be look­ing for. You have end­ed my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye


I like the help­ful infor­ma­tion you provide in your arti­cles. I will book­mark your weblog and check again here fre­quent­ly. I am quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

Fredrick Claessens
Some of the­se drugs may decrease your body’s sup­ply of the min­er­al potas­si­um. Symp­toms such as weak­ness, leg cramps or being tired may result. Eat­ing foods con­tain­ing potas­si­um may help pre­vent sig­nif­i­cant potas­si­um loss. If your doc­tor rec­om­mends it, you could pre­vent potas­si­um loss by tak­ing a liq­uid or tablet that has potas­si­um along with the diuret­ic. Diuret­ics such as amiloride (Midamar)*, spirono­lac­tone (Aldac­tone)* or tri­amterene (Dyre­ni­um)* are called “potas­si­um spar­ing” agents. They don’t cause the body to lose potas­si­um. They might be pre­scribed alone, but are usu­al­ly used with anoth­er diuret­ic.^:’. Check out the most cur­rent post on our… Read more »

what if its from chem­i­cal dam­age from using a pro­duct that actu­al­ly did more dam­age than good fol­li­cure used it some years ago the thick­en my hair it dam­aged my hair in the spots where I applied the pro­duct it changed the tex­ture I think from the bulb .


[…] of the irreg­u­lar lengths are result­ing in more tan­gling. I read this post on recent­ly, 7 Tips for Repair­ing Crown Area Thin­ning & Break­age, that indi­cat­ed that it’s impor­tant to keep the crown area trimmed and as neat on the ends as […]

I think this is my fav arti­cle by far! I have had this prob­lem for years too. It grows… but it comes in very fine. I have a twa,so in some areas you can see the thin spots.(it don’t both­er me too much but it would be nice to be cov­ered) My hub­by want­ed me to try hair growth prod­ucts like re-grow and those oth­er chemi­clas with medox­il in it… but i real­ly don’t want to use that stuff. Plus my scalp is sen­si­tive. But this arti­cle made me think back to my relax­er and styl­ists days when I would… Read more »
Ronnie 62

Watch out for blood pres­sure med­ica­tions too. Beta block­ers can take you crown and tem­ple hair out.


Hair­scapades, thanks for the pics. Your crown looks great now! I was start­ing to feel like I was just stuck with a bad patch of hair. Your pics are proof that that’s not the case.


Thank you Pinkpan­da! As I men­tioned above, hav­ing pho­tos of the area real­ly helped me rec­og­nize that things were improv­ing!!

Here is the link to that post for any­one inter­est­ed!


I did a post on this top­ic a while ago as well. My crown (espe­cial­ly the left side) is def­i­nite­ly more coarse, wiry and curly than the rest of my hair. So, I try to fin­ger detan­gle gen­tly (I very rarely use a comb at all), real­ly pile on the mois­ture (Vatika oil when pre-poo­ing, con­di­tion­er to detan­gle, deep con­di­tion­er, leave-in, water-based mois­tur­iz­ing styler and JBCO to seal). I also pro­tec­tive style 5–6 days a week and have seen my crown grow a lot as you can see from the pics below (I had a com­bo of new hair and… Read more »

two dif­fer­ent hands


that’s phe­nom­i­nal growth for 6 months! i also like this pic com­par­ison. i think i’ll take some to see how my hair grows/looks after 6 months. with locs things should thrive just fine but still it’s imper­a­tive to baby the area in the ways you described. thanks!!!

Thank you!! You know, I actu­al­ly use the­se pics in a post on my blog about keep­ing a pho­to jour­nal. Because my first reac­tion look­ing at the area in Jan­u­ary was to think that I had NEW break­age!! Then, I remem­bered that I had tak­en a shot of the same area the pri­or sum­mer. So, when I com­pared, I real­ized that I actu­al­ly had expe­ri­enced a lot of growth and not new dam­age! If I hadn’t done that, I might have had my hair cut! So, just goes to show how help­ful pho­tos track­ing progress/setbacks can be!! Thank you! Shel­li
i have locs again now so it’s a none issue for me. when my hair was loose nat­u­ral though this area was more wirey and didn’t grow and thrive like the rest. it was a total­ly dif­fer­ent tex­ture. it wasn’t from weaves, wigs or braid­ing because i didn’t do any of those. i was told that i just had to baby that area, may­be even use dif­fer­ent richer prod­ucts on that part of my hair. using a comb (even a wide tooth) could rips the hairs (i would hear pop­ping) so i most­ly fin­ger combed that area. it was real­ly… Read more »

Hi Audrey,
2 quick ques­tions. 1. in point 4 you said “Keep­ing pony­tails and buns damp under­neath can also weak­en the hair…” How is that so? shouldn’t you try to keep ends as moist as pos­si­ble to pre­vent break­age?
2. See­ing as how the protein/moisture bal­ance is SO del­i­cate and too much pro­tein can result in sev­ere break­age, is DAILY use of a pro­tein-based MOISTURISER advis­able?


I had to cut my hair right back to a TWA because my crown area had bro­ken from 4 Inc to 1 ½. I am just nurs­ing my hair back to health and find the week­ly deep con­di­tion­ing treat­ments with mois­ture help. My crown is a slow grow­er, but I am hop­ing, by pay­ing extra atten­tion to this area by mas­sag­ing there should be some dif­fer­ence.

Thanks for the tips BGLH!


My prob­lem is break­age in the back back of my head. I have biot­in but I’m afraid to take it because I’m bat­tling my acne right now and they say biot­in can cause you to break out.

Hi Brit­tany! You are absolute­ly cor­rect, I’m a liv­ing exam­ple that Biot­in can break you out (and for a 40 year old…that ain’t cute!). I used it the entire mon­th of April and noticed about a pim­ple or two every week. I stopped using it in May…NOT ONE pim­ple. Try this recipe I start­ed using last mon­th as I noticed my crown not being as moist/healthy as the rest of my hair. The home­made recipe which deep con­di­tions TERRIFICALLY is by Nap­tural85 (my FAVORITE YouTube vlog­ger), all I did was add 1/2 of an Avo­cado and add Greek plain yogurt… Read more »

Make sure you are drink­ing enough water. If you don’t drink enough water when tak­ing biot­in, you can break out


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i recent­ly reclaimed my crown by reg­u­lar deep con­di­tion­ing with mois­ture and pro­tein.

i don’t get why peo­ple say deep con­di­tion­ing is point­less. it has helped turn my hair around in the last year.

this sec­tion is no longer rough like it use to be and it is grow­ing.

but, i don’t under­stand how a pony­tail is bad for the crown area since it seems like it would have the least amount of tension/pulling in this style. seems like your edges would suf­fer the most in a pony­tail.


I’m also expe­ri­enc­ing this for years, in fact. I’m final­ly tired of cov­er­ing up with my wigs. I went to see a der­ma­tol­o­gist who instruct­ed me to take 5000mg of Biot­in and gave me a pre­scrip­tion of Hol­nate (a pro­tein cream)

She didn’t make me any false promis­es and told me since I’ve wait­ed YEARS to seek med­ical atten­tion, it may take awhile but I’m glad I’m on the right track.

She also told me to use hair prod­ucts that include Aar­gan Oil (list­ed ear­ly in the ingre­di­ents — at least 3rd in the list) Cre­me of Nature has a pro­duct line that sat­is­fies that.


Hey all! I have noticed that my hair around my crown breaks eas­i­ly, is thin­ner and does not curl like the rest of my hair. I’ve read that dan­druff (which I have a bad case of) can cause scalp dam­age and lead to break­age, So I’ve start­ed gen­tly cleans­ing and oil­ing my scalp more often, and I’ve quit try­ing to “smooth my edges” and so far I have seen a big improve­ment! :-)


I have has this issue for a num­ber of years and don’t know what to do although I oil this area with emu or cas­tor oil twice a day. I think it start­ed because of stress. There is a very slight improve­ment since I start­ed oil­ing this area but I am still frus­trat­ed by this area. It is much much short­er than the rest of my hair.


Me, I start­ed tak­ing Biot­in 5000 mcg since Dec. and at the time my crown area was thin­ning out like a cir­cle of some sort, but as of today 5/16/12 by hair in the crown sec­tion has filled in so much it’s unbe­lie­ve­able how full my hair has got­ton. I think all I lack was Vit­a­m­in B and plen­ty of water help a lot.


I agree with you Car­la. I’ve basi­cal­ly been mois­tur­iz­ing my crown every­day. You know how most peo­ple say their “kitchen” is in the nape of their head…mine is in the crown…lol


This arti­cle lit­er­al­ly came at the per­fect time. I’ve been expe­ri­enc­ing break­age at the crown for a while now…even before I start­ed tran­si­tion­ing. I just walked out of the salon and my hair styl­ist told me that there’s noth­ing that I can do. The crown area is just the weakest and most coarse area of my head, smh. I think I need to work more on the protein/moisture bal­anc­ing.

Thank you for this arti­cle.


Tinea capi­tis can destroy the crown area of the scalp and cause hair in that area to be coarser than the rest.


I’m going through this process as we speak! In April 2011 I got a sew-in that was waaaay too tight in the crown area. When I took the sew0in out, all I felt was my bald scalp. Its now been over a year and I have 5″ in my crown area. Didn’t know about massage…gonna try it!


Hi Eliz­a­beth, what did you do to improve the crown area? I’m cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enc­ing this as I’m tran­si­tion­ing as well (7 months). My sty­ist says that there is noth­ing I can do…it’s just the weakest and most coarse area of my head.

Step 1: Find a new styl­ist (this may hurt, because you 2 may have a beau­ti­ful rela­tion­ship or she has done the hair of your cousins, aun­ties and mama and ‘nem). But the same styl­ist that worked as your relaxed hair styl­ist may not be the best for your nat­u­ral hair. I know from expe­ri­ence that break­ing up is hard to do. And if this is not the case your styl­ist may very well be aware of self hair­care is far less cost­ly than a sew-in and may just be prey­ing on the unfor­tu­nate. Either way, it may be time… Read more »

i’m sor­ry but your styl­ist is not cor­rect.

you should fol­low the steps out­lined in the arti­cle — esp. deep con­di­tion­ing, gen­tle detan­gling, no heat, and avoid­ing (too tight) weaves.

Joan B. in S. C.

+1 to mer­ry, also treat your crown more del­i­cate­ly than the rest of your hair.