The no edges struggle is real, ladies. In high school, my beautician told me tight ponytails were going to be the death of my hair but it took one too many trims that actually looked like cuts for me to get it. Now that I’ve finally managed to stop my hair from breaking off under the pressure of elastic bands I’m noticing there’s just a little something missing around the front of my head—edges.
I’m nowhere near the Naomi Campbell hairline struggle, but just like thinning ends are a sign you need a trim, when you’re edges become see-through you know it’s time to re-evaluate your hair care regimen and make sure you don’t get to the point that you’re rivaling the supermodel.
It’s much easier on your time (and your peace of mind) to get a hold on thinning edges, professionally known as traction alopecia (TA), before things get to the point that the problem can only be hidden with equally-damaging styles. A study last year found that roughly 59% of women suffer from some form of TA, which is any hair loss that comes from constant pulling or tension on the hair—therefore, I repeat: the struggle is real. If you’re serious about maintaining the life of your edges, here are a few things you need to stop doing now.
Lay off the Lacefronts
If you really want to stop thinning edges in their tracks, you’re going to have to lay off the tracks, as in weave. Lacefronts have the potential to be the least damaging of the weave catalogue if the hair is bonded past the hairline, but that’s a big if. The purpose of a lacefront is to make the hair look as real as possible which means women often put them as close to their real hairlines as possible, sometimes even shaving down the hair to achieve the natural look. That process can cause serious damage to your edges, not to mention the chemicals that are in the glue—which means it goes without saying that gluing tracks to your hair does your perimeter no favors either. Sew-ins are less damaging, only if the braids put in your real hair aren’t too tight. A half sew-in where more of the front of your hair is left out is better than doing a full weave.
If you take care of your real hair, wearing a wig can be a hair healthy alternative to weaving it up. No tension is put on the edges when you wear a wig and by taking it off at night you allow your real hair to breathe.