11 Causes of Nape Area Breakage

For some people the nape hair grows just fine. For others, the nape area suffers constant breakage, stunted growth, and is the most fragile section of the scalp.

Before 2007, my nape hair never surpassed two to three inches (except for during my childhood years). It was severely damaged from overprocessing and dryness and would seem to break the instant it was touched.


In 2007, I began to seriously address my nape breakage by stretching the period between chemical relaxers and paying extra attention to the area as I conditioned and moisturized (i.e., extra TLC). With these changes and more, my nape hair was gradually restored to good health. Nowadays, it has reached a length I never imagined it could. (In 2008, I officially went natural, but that isn’t to say that one needs to do so to have a healthy growing nape.)

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Do you have nape growth issues? If so, any of the following could be the source of the problem. Eliminate that source and your nape hair will be restored to good health and growth.

Causes of stunted/slow growth of nape hair:
1. Poor internal health
2. Dryness
3. Under conditioned
4. Breakage from tight headbands, scarves, etc.
5. Over-brushing
6. Over-processing (raise your hand if you relax that section first)
7. Friction from shirt, scarf, coat, couch
8. Too much tension (e.g., braiding nape hair too tightly)
9. Inadequate neutralization after relaxing
10. Heat damage from trying to get that nape hair straight
11. Sleeping on the back of head

Ladies have you struggled with nape breakage? What was the reason for it and how did you remedy it?



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34 thoughts on “11 Causes of Nape Area Breakage

  1. I use to have issues with the growth of the nape of my hair back when I relaxed my hair. I had been getting relaxers since I was 3, but I went natural in 2011. Ever since then my hair has reached lengths that I imagined that it could, but doubted that it would. While most of my hair is super thick and kinky, I find it interesting that the nape of my hair is composed of fine, loose curls.

  2. I became natural a little over a month ago. I don’t do relaxers, but I did flat iron my hair every 2 weeks before I transitioned. Since then I have noticed a lot of thinning around my edges and today when I left in a conditioner it was really thinning in my nape area. I have never ever had this happen before, it is pretty upsetting. Every night I do twist my hair and take it down in the morning and wear an updo. I think I may be pulling the hair too much or else it is something internal. I do have lupus, so I’m wondering if it is that. But I have had lupus for 5+ years and have never had an issue with my hair.

  3. My hair is 4C, however my nape hair is totally different. It is very fine and straight and won’t stay put. Gel helps keep the nape hair in place only for a couple of hours but then the hair works it’s way loose. Any suggestions?

  4. I found that once I stopped relaxing the nape it stopped breaking. So only when I’m wearing it up do I use flat irons to straighten the area. Also, Shapelys MTG mad the breakage stop as well…it also grew with that too.

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