7 Tips for Dealing with a Sensitive Hairline

By Chinwe of Hair and Health

Like some of you, I have a sensitive hairline. Do not be fooled by the thick edges. Lol. My hairline has had a couple weak moments over the years, so I consistently monitor the area and give it extra TLC to keep it healthy. Here are some tips that have helped me and may help you:

1. Minimize pulling the hair back too tight

Pulling the hair back tautly causes tension along the hairline and may result in broken hairs or hair loss over time. Styles in which the hair is pulled back should be worn minimally and/or loosely. Because of my sensitive hairline, I opt for loose, pinned updos that allow my hairline to breathe and stay away from tight buns. If the style hurts, then listen to your hairline.

2. Opt for a polyester/silk pillow case instead of a silk scarf

Polyester/silk scarves worn while you sleep can damage the hairline if tied tightly. Your edges will be happier if you sleep on a polyester/silk pillow case or wrap the scarf (if it’s large enough) around your pillow. Another option is to sleep in a polyester/silk bonnet, but beware of the ones that expose the elastic. Whichever method you choose, you can wrap a scarf around your edges for a few minutes in the morning to lay them down, undo the scarf, and you’re good to go. It’s healthier than sleeping with a scarf around your edges all night long. (NOTE: Polyester and silk come in satin, charmeuse, chiffon, and other weaves. Opt for satin or charmeuse, which are smooth weaves.)

3. Apply natural butters/oils and then massage 2-5x a week

This is particularly important for a recovering hairline. Natural butters (e.g., mango, shea) and oils (e.g., coconut, olive, castor) contain substances that can soothe and nourish the scalp along the edges. For example, shea butter and mango butter contain Vitamin A, which plays an important part in the growth and maintenance of the follicles. Additionally, massaging the hairline may stimulate growth.

4. Don’t sleep in a ponytail, bun, or updo

If your hairline is sensitive, this is the worst thing you can do it. Trust me; I’ve been there. As you toss and turn at night, pulling can occur and your hairline can suffer. Some women can get away with this, but if you have a sensitive hairline, it is best to just sleep with your hair wrapped (in a bonnet) or in several loose and big plaits/twists.

5. Avoid wearing elastic headbands, bandanas, tight scarves too frequently

Once in a while is fine, but daily is probably not. Opt for loose scarves instead elastic headbands when you can.

6. Redo the braids/twists along the edges weekly/biweekly

Extensions or not, this is essential for a sensitive hairline.

7. Don’t make the braids/twists too small and tight along the hairline

Ladies, do you have a sensitive hairline? How do you deal?

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  • LBell

    I’d been wearing a lot of pulled-back styles over the last few months and while I knew not to pull back my front too tightly, I neglected to pay attention to the hairline near my ears where the headband often rested. So I started seeing a bit of thinning there, which I’m remedying mainly by not wearing pulled-back styles.

    Can I add another bit of advice for those of us with sensitive hairlines? Let go of the need to have perfectly smooth and neat edges. I’ve said for years that it’s better to have nappy edges than NO edges…if you must have them lay down then apply a light gel with your fingers to damp edges and then tie a flat smooth scarf around them for about 10 minutes. Leave the toothbrush on the sink where it belongs! lol

  • KAN

    Yes!! this seems to be a big issue I’m seeing lately with naturals and black women in general. It seems that although we claim to be proud of the fact that we are now embracing our God-given kinks and curls, we still have a need for the edges to be plastered down! I just watched a youtube video of one of my fav natural vloggers to see that she now has barely there edges from all the slicking down and tight updos…Not only that but in this video she once again proceeded to plaster them down with gel, stating that it was a MUST for this style! ummmm….really?? I think we HAVE to get over having a few frizzes and realize that most of us can not have healthy edges that lie flat…

    • Nancy


  • I just created my very own revitalizing hair balm. Great for thin spots! Shea butter, rose mary oil, emu oil, jamaican black castor, jojoba oil. All mixed into a creamy balm.

    Massage into bald/thin spots twice daily (morning/night) WITH CLEAN HANDS!

    • I have a very bad sensitive hairline,can anyone help me with a good cream can I used,please this hairline it makes me worried everyday I think about it.

  • Yes Yes Yes! This is so true in every form!

    • Ha! My daughter would LOVE this!! She (6yrs old) makes a make-shift fteehar in her hair with her boa fteehars and a gator clip. She figured this out all on her own (I was very impressed) but now I know the correct way. She will flip. This woul be a great gift for her for Christmas. Thanks so much. Also, thanks so much for linking up to Strictly Homemade Tuesday!

  • katherine

    Great tips ….. Can you post something for going natural from processed hair?

  • Steppa

    OT, but I wonder what that model (Tomika Fraser) uses on her hair?? We have the same texture, but her hair always looks so soft and pliable. No fair…

    • Indeed, they would be appalled! What ever hanepepd to threading and puff puff? @ MsLuffa: Tell me about it. Actuallt started researching placed that could out teh hair on a weft! muhaha@ Big Brother: Why pay more eh?!

  • Thanks for this great post! My hairline is beyond destroyed and I am guilty of doing the following of your NO NO’s-

    1) Putting my hair up with an elastic band that does not feel exactly loose
    2) Not redoing my cornrows along my hairline frequently

    I really, really need to work on this as although I stopped the weaves, I did a cornrow style recently that took even more of my hairline- aaaaaAAAAAAAARGH…

  • mangomadness

    I have a sensitive hairline due to chemical damage from a hair relaxer I got in middle school. To care for my sensitive hairline I do the following:
    –apply a castor oil/peppermint essential oil blend to my hairline every couple of days
    –smooth my hair with my hands, DIY Flax Seed Gel and a satin scarf for buns or puffs

    These steps have not reversed the damage but have made living with it less worrisome.

    P.S. The fact that I do not wear fake hair (extensions/weaves/wigs/etc.), color my hair and (very rarely) use heat helps as well.

  • Jo Somebody

    My hairline at the front and sides are perfectly fine because they are resilient, my nape however is ridiculous! I never really know how to protect it. Even when I wear a scarf it rides up at the back. I know some people [say] cornrow or flat twist the nape and style the rest of their hair normally, but I can’t flat twist or cornrow yet! Boo!

    • Absolutely love the color. I was going to do a similar color berofe it all fell out, but it’s getting so thin now that I think I might just cut it all off. I don’t know how some of my other chemo friends have been dealing with their re-growth–my friend Priscilla’s grew back so nice and pretty that she didn’t have to do anything with it (lucky duck). Have fun with the new color!

  • LovelyNapps

    I have learn to not put pressure on my thinning hairline. I think putting a tiny bit of castor oil on your hairline will help to thicken it also.

  • BraidedGirl

    How do I keep my hairline healthy when I braid most of the time? What should I apply (natural)?

  • Elodie


    I have locs and I am looking for nice hairstyles but as my hair is very fine, my edges are damaged and I don t have locks on my tempers anymore…so I am looking for nice hairstyles that don’t involve braids or twists and that take in account my edges. Thanks in advance.

    • mogotsi m k

      Go for crotchet dread locks no chemicals are used or twist only crotchet

  • mrsrcola

    I am newly transitioning my short pixie cut to natural hair. My last relaxer was January 2013 and I touched up my edges in March 2013. I decided I was going to go natural after I realized that my edges were damaged, more on one side than the other. I got micro braids as a protective style, then let my hair rest a few weeks and got a sew in. I just took the sew in out and I am feeling some soreness at the temple and my edges on one side of my head. Never had this issue before and I didnt want to get my sew in redone until the soreness went away. Do you know what may be causing this?

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  • oluwaseun

    Hello.Thanks for this post.My hairline is really damaged,thin and scanty.I intend braiding my hair with extensions soon and I’ve. Been thinking of telling the stylist not to braid my hairline at all,but with your post,it seems I have to.Any suggestions on what you think I should do to my hairline while the stylist does the braids.

  • Shonya

    Very good read. I think i’ll try some of these tips. My hairline is going and I feel like the world in about to end. I have been natural my whole life (26 years), n it’s only since about 3 years ago i started paying attention to it because it was always good, no problems :-( Any good ideas as well on how I can soften my hair? anybody?, somebody….. think i am a 4b and c

    • Erin

      Take a look on YT look up baggy/greenhouse method there is lots of different examples of how to do this treatment. I have been doing it for 2 weeks its been good for keeping my hair moisturised especially over the cold months.

  • Pingback: Hairstyle For My TWA and Sensitive Hairline | My Fashion S/ash Life()

  • My hair line has given so much trouble i’ve been natural for three years and from early on started using Castor oil long story short i’ve tried every product that has hairline temple on the title but just have to come to terms with just having a extremely sensitive hairline that needs no manipulations. I have braids at the moment and am just asking God to let these days pass by fast so I can mark it as my last attempt in rocking single braids rather have my hair in chunky twists. Even my mother at some point told me to just give it up, when I say i’ve tried it all …. i have but the minute extensions touch my hair line the cycle begins again; it takes a lot to come to terms with moving away from certain hair practices for the benefit of your own but it has to be done.

    • Binta Jalloh

      Try taking biotin the 1,000mcg a day and use Jamaican black castor oil.

  • I learned a lot from your article, I used to sleep with my ponytail and didn’t notice that my hairline becomes thin, everything that you mentioned here hit me big time. But now I know what the real problem with my hairline and I can now avoid them using all of your tips.

  • Sandy Clarke-Rivera

    Can someone please tell me what is the best kind of scarf to use during the winter? After every winter I find that my hair is damaged at the back because I can hear And feel it being snapped by the scarf.

    • Charlotte

      They say using an old t-shirt will keep your hair from getting frizzy when drying it. I’m sure you could cut up an old t-shirt and it would work well.