- The affected areas aren't getting enough oxygen
- Hair is being pulled too tightly on a regular basis
- Hair around the edges (forefront, sides and nape) isn't being moisturised adequately
1. Don't wear anything too tightly around your head.
Hair growth and health requires the delivery of nutrients and oxygen through the blood stream to the scalp. This delivery will not be obstructed if:
- Scarves and hats are worn loosely especially head wraps/scarves that you tie around yourself; of course you don't want a head wrap falling off but you shouldn't overdo the tightness either.
- If you cycle or ride a motorbike (I know there are some black girls represented on the roads including myself, I cycle a lot) - don't tie your helmet too tightly. My helmet is tighter when I have an afro but when I have cornrows or twists it fits more easily.
- Don't wear a satin night cap that is too tight. Personally, I wear my satin cap just beyond my hairline so it's not even touching my hair.
- No one wants to be a difficult client but if the edges hurt tell the stylist to plait more loosely; hold the edge/braid down to ease the pressure of pulling as each line or braid is put in
- When you get home oil between the lines daily with a good quality, thin oil.
3. Don't tie your hair up too tightly
- If you pull your hair up into a style or in corn rows or braids make sure the edges aren't pulled in too much because this will definitely lead to thinning or traction alopecia in the long run
- Don't tie up hair that's very wet! Wet hair is quite elastic and as it dries it constricts, pulling the edges even tighter. This causes breakage around the sides and where the hear band is tied
- Use a gel to help flatten hair without pulling it too tightly
Envirionmental factors, such as wind, dry hair around the outside more than hair that is more centrally located. You need to compensate for this by giving peripheral hair more moisture, e.g. using a shea butter based cream or butter and locking that in with an oil.
5. Massage the edges regularly...
...to stimulate the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the affected areas. A good oil, e.g. Neno Natural's Hair Growth Stimulator will make this massaging more effective. Put a shower cap over your head for 15 minutes to maximise absorption of the essential oils.
6. Take care with the face scrubs, face creams and foundations!
Finally, when you're having a bath/shower or putting on makeup protect the hair from those chemicals; don't rub the forefront more than is necessary with these cosmetics.
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