This post was originally published on May 4, 2016.
Looking to regrow thinning edges? You're not alone. You, your momma, and most likely your cousin too, are all trying to find the hair regrowth elixir of life. But let's be real, there is no elixir. There's just lonely canisters of edge control waiting for their time to help you shine.
Whether you constantly rock braids that are too tight, pull your hair back into ponytails regularly, or just happened to randomly wake up edgeless after Beyoncé's magnum opus "Lemonade" dropped (but, we survived), hair loss around the perimeter, otherwise known as traction alopecia, is one of the most common hair issues for women with type 4 hair.
Although YouTuber Meshanda Lopez would say otherwise, there is no shortcut solution to regrowing your thinning edges. The two most important things you'll need to reach the lush edges promised land are good ol' fashioned patience and a big helping of TLC. Time and care fixes all wounds, and that goes double for your edges.
You ready to get in formation? Ok, ladies--find a mirror, get comfortable, and get up close and personal with your scalp. Once you figure out what stage of hair loss you're in, you'll be able to decide what's best for you.
Stage 1: Complete Hair Loss At The Follicle
Call a dermatologist in your area and ask for a scalp consultation. If your hair has been pulled out from the root, your best bet is professional edge inspection. Give them a call! They don't bite, and will have solutions for your hair.
Stage 2: Thinning Hair At Scalp, But Still Visible
If you're still holding on to a little peach fuzz at your hairline, this means your follicles aren't completely damaged. With some tried-and-true DIY remedies, they can be completely brought back to their former glory. Let's get into how you can regrow your thinning edges at home.
We all know about the benefits of Jamaican Black Castor Oil for growing out our hair. It could probably revive your childhood puppy from the dead if it really wanted to. But if you aren't up on the JBCO game, according to Dr.'s Cayce & McGarey, it has been scientifically proven to help relieve a ton of conditions such as keratosis, dermatosis, scarring, and, of course, hair loss. Due to Riconeleic acid, a special fatty acid found in the oil, and the presence of Vitamin E, absorption of this tag-team can increase your white blood cell count (aka lymphocytes) and speed up the toxin removal process to promote healing. Add a little JBCO, and it's like the fertilizer you put in soil to make it rich enough to grow a beautiful garden...overflowing with fresh edges.
** **To make JBCO even more powerful, try mixing several lighter oils with JBCO to help in regrowing your thinning edges. Finding a mix of oils that works best for your hair will take a bit of experimentation, but mixing one teaspoon of the tried-and-true oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil is a good place to start.
Restrictive styling restricts your life goals. If you're stressing to get your hair in a bun then it's time to let the Goody band go. If you're a braid aficionado, make sure to take a two week break between styles to give your natural hair a rest. At your next appointment, make sure to ask your braider to create larger parts so that the heavy plait isn't putting too much weight on your strands. Your edges will thank you kindly.
Putting too much tension on your roots cuts off blood circulation to your scalp. Your goal is to increase blood flow so that you stimulate your follicles and gently coax them back into those early stages of growth. This is an easy fix--give yourself head massages (or make your boo do it) a few times per week to help your circulation. Nothing says "me time" more than a massage!
Listen, we all know Mexican food is everything and pizza is life. But, contrary to popular belief, broken ends, thin edges, and a bad diet don't mix. If your hair is generally struggling to grow or appear healthy, take a closer look at what you're eating. Obviously, we all don't have the means to go all-organic everything, but cutting out sugars, high-glycemic foods, and increasing your protein, iron, and zinc intake will not only do wonders for your overall health, but your hair as well.
Speaking of iron and zinc, vitamins can be a holy grail for your hair growth journey. Men are investing in Rogaine--why not invest in Biotin and Vitamin D? Keep in mind, it's like the wild west out there and there are a lot of sketchy vitamin brands on the market. Make sure to thoroughly read reviews for any vitamin brand you're considering. With proper research, you can find a vitamin brand that works for you and your hair.
Regrowing thinning edges is a commitment, so only begin this process when you're ready. Unfortunately, it's not going to work if you're being religious about taking your vitamins, but ice-cream is your middle name. We know it's difficult to break old bad habits, but nothing will change if nothing changes!