The edges and nape of a woman’s hair can be the most troublesome, they are often much shorter than the overall length of the person’s hair. Let’s say you’ve developed a regimen that seems to be working beautifully, your hair is growing nice and strong, thick and healthy and you’ve been able to retain length. But when you comb your hair up into a ponytail, the hair in the back never quite reaches the holder and falls down or sticks out. You decide to wear a sleek chignon but your edges appear thin or even to be receding. What gives?! Why isn’t your regimen causing those areas of hair to be flourishing as well? Well the fact is that the halo of your hair requires special attention and careful technique in order for it to grow long and strong. Here are a few tips to help protect your edges and nape and allow them to grow just as well as the other areas of your hair:
- Ease up on the tension. Most ladies utilize protective styling to retain the most amount of growth; however these styles place the most amount of tension on the edges and nape of the hair. Ponytails, buns, wraps, cornrow braids and wigs – they are beautiful and do help the hair to flourish but if you are having an issue with your halo, do not do these styles continuously. Be sure you do not pull to tightly when wearing a ponytail or bun. Definitely avoid sleeping with the hair pulled taught. If you are wearing a wrap style, switch up the direction every few days so that one side doesn’t always receive the highest amount of tension.
- Treat the area as you do the ends of your hair. Most healthy hair journeyers are diligent about moisturizing and sealing the ends of the hair first and being extremely careful with them also. But a lot of times, the edges and nape area are neglected when applying moisturizer and conditioner – especially the area behind the helix of the ear. Be sure you fold your ear down if necessary and care for that area. The edges and nape require just as much attention as the ends do, so treat them the same.
- Check your sleep head gear. A lot of bonnets have exposed elastic on the interior which can wreak havoc on your edges! If you own one of these either turn it inside out or replace it with one of the bonnet styles that has fabric covered edges. If you wear a scarf, pay attention when you tie it! Be sure you don’t catch any hair in the knot. Also check to be sure that the nape is completely covered by the bonnet or scarf, sometimes we place the head gear above our ears which means that the nape of our hair is exposed. I also sleep on a satin pillowcase because I realize a lot of scarves tend to fold or move up while I am sleeping.
- It is okay if they are not “perfect”! We all like our hairstyles to look neat, and few of us want bushy, unlaid down edges. So we apply gels and glazes, then brush our edges and nape into place. This is so counterproductive to having the healthiest edges possible. The gels are drying and cause buildup and brushing causes breakage and thinning. Smooth them into place with a moisturizing hold product (such as Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter) and use either a very soft brush or better yet a comb to style.
- Invest in a silk or satin cap to wear beneath your wig(s). If you are a diehard wig wearer, do not use the nylon wig caps on a daily or regular basis. They pull at your halo hair and zap the moisture from your strands leading to breakage and even damage. If you can’t find one in stores, try the Beauty Town Luxury Unisex Satin Dome cap available at online beauty supply retailers.
- Try massaging those areas with castor oil. I have witnessed several women, including my mother, who use castor oil to help the edges of their hair to fill in. The proof is in the pudding with this one. I love a good ol’ tried and true method!
I hope these tips motivated you to protect your edges and nape – these areas of hair can be just as strong as the rest of your hair. Happy Hair Growing!