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Your edges—those small, wispy baby hairs that grow along the perimeter of the forehead—are the most fragile hairs on your head. Meaning, it doesn’t take much force to break or pull them out. And for many with natural hair textures, edges are the number one way to accent some of the most popular protective hairstyles including braids, weaves, and wigs. And while the term “snatched edges”, is supposed to be a compliment (meaning your edges are styled well), you actually don’t want your edges to be snatched off your hairline in any way. Unfortunately, this can happen if you don’t care for them properly, resulting in frustration, stress, and an endless search in solutions to grow them back. To prevent this from happening, check out our four tips below to help you protect and maintain your edges.
If you already know how to swirl, swoop and create waves with your edges, that’s great, but you should also know how to properly care for them so that they don’t thin or break off. Learn how to protect your edges by checking out our four tips below.
Protective hairstyles are great for those with natural hair, as they take away the stress of having to style your hair daily and help protect your mane from external aggressors like the sun. However, some protective hairstyles can put tension on your edges, which end up doing more harm than good. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), tightly pulled hairstyles like ponytails, cornrows, and other updos can lead to hair loss, medically referred to as traction alopecia. So it’s essential to make sure that your protective styles are not installed tightly near the hairline. You can ask your stylist to leave your edges out completely or opt for a style that won’t put too much tension on your hair.
Editor’s Note: The AAD also states that the first sign of hair loss may be broken hairs around your hairline or thinning hair where your hairstyle pulls tightly. If you notice these signs, it’s time to loosen up your style asap.
Those with natural hair may already be aware of how important it is to use oil to ensure that their spirals are getting the moisture they need. But your strands are not the only hairs that can benefit from oil, your edges can too. So look for options formulated with good-for-your-hair ingredients like castor oil and coconut oil and give yourself a hot oil treatment. The AAD suggests using a hot oil treatment twice a month to add additional moisture and elasticity to your hair. Be sure to apply a small amount of oil to your fingertips and massage it into your edges gently. Doing so can help moisturize your edges and stimulate blood circulation, which can promote hair growth.
Editor’s Tip: Looking for an oil option? Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment, infused with camellia, coconut, and sunflower oils. This lightweight offering works to provide long-lasting hydration, perfect for those with dry strands.
Wrapping your hair at night is vital to keeping your mane and edges intact. Failure to do so can lead to numerous hair problems, like frizz, flyaways, and damage. Use a silk scarf or a satin-lined bonnet to protect your hair especially if you sleep on a cotton pillowcase, which can be rough on your strands and cause breakage. Or you can add a luxurious element to your nightly hair care ritual routine with a silk or satin pillowcase. If you’re using a scarf, tie it back or across your forehead instead of directly on your edges to avoid tension and friction.
Just like your skin, your hair needs proper hydration and moisture in order to be its healthiest and strongest. And how you care for your hair should also be applied to your edges. Swap out your regular conditioner once a week for a hair mask like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Power Restore Multi Use Treatment. Formulated with repair concentrate and proteins, this rich, ultra-nourishing treatment works to deeply condition all hair types (including those delicate baby hairs) while repairing weak, brittle, and damaged strands. It has a lightweight, creamy texture that won’t weigh down your hair, and it can be used as a rinse-out mask in the shower or as a leave-in to repair current issues and protect against future damage.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Next: How To Lay Edges and Perfect Your Baby Hairs
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