Can massage restore your edges?

Three experts give their advice on rejuvenating and maintaining healthy edges, talking massage, stress, diet and more.

Hair & Beauty

If you’ve been suffering from thinning edges and super keen to restore them back to their former glory, read on for our top expert tips.

In today’s world, having unprecedented access to different hairstyling choices is incredible. Styles like weaves, braided extensions and wigs are so much more accessible now in comparison to previous times. And while we rejoice at having so many options at our fingertips, one of the downsides of popular protective styles is they can lead to hair loss conditions like traction alopecia if worn too frequently or tightly. Thinning edges can also be a hereditary condition, but more often than not it occurs when the hair is constantly stretched causing it to slowly pull away from the scalp. Those with afro textured curly/coily hair types are more likely to experience traction alopecia, but the good news is that if caught early it can be minimised. Ready to get your edges thriving again?

Edge damage risk by hairstyle

Illustrations by Dorcas Magbadelo aka Dorcas Creates

High Risk

Styles that put tension on the hairline and scalp: locs, canerows, weaves and braids on relaxed hair.

Moderate Risk

For less manipulation and looser styles try buns, ponytails and braids on natural.

Low Risk

Hair worn freely like afros, curls and low hanging ponytails are considered the most healthy style option.

The power of massage

Monique Rodriguez
Monique Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Mielle Cosmetics

“One of the easiest and most transformative ways to regenerate the hair follicles is by massaging your scalp with your fingers. It’s such a simple and straightforward task that it’s often overlooked, but it should be your first port of call if you’ve noticed a bit of thinning around the hairline. Regularly massaging your scalp, especially your edges, stimulates blood flow to encourage growth in any thinning areas. Add an oil like the Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil to your fingertips and gently massage your edges before bed or whenever you wash and style your hair. You can further stimulate the scalp with powerful essential oils to give you just what you need to bring your edges back to life.”

Think: Less stress

Kameese Davis
Kameese Davis, CEO and Founder of Nylah’s Naturals

“Braids and extensions are rooted in African heritage, and it is commonplace for us to switch up our styles regularly, even from a very young age. Unfortunately, our styling choices make us more predisposed to traction alopecia. Protective styling is all well and good, but tight braids, constant weaves, and wigs rub against our edges, causing traction alopecia and follicular miniaturisation. When opting for braids and weaves, don’t be afraid to tell your stylist not to braid your hair too tightly and to omit plaiting your edges. This will reduce tension on your hairline. We have been slightly brainwashed to think that they always have to be ‘laid’, but don’t be fooled: your natural kinky curls are beautiful and should be celebrated too.”

You are what you eat

Dr Stefanie Seyda
Dr Stefanie Seyda, founder of Natucain

“Pay close attention to your diet and ensure you are getting the right nutrients and vitamins to support healthy hair growth. Opt for foods rich in protein and biotin to assist you in your growth journey, such as eggs, fatty fish rich in omega 3 like salmon and mackerel, sweet potato and avocado. Hair supplements can also provide a helping hand, particularly those created to thicken the hair which contain vitamins and minerals like biotin, collagen, and keratin – all renowned for their strengthening properties. The trick is to be consistent. Many of us are guilty of trying out supplements for a few weeks before quickly becoming disheartened when results don’t appear right away. But, my advice is stick with it, it’s definitely a process.”

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