Edges, Hairlines & Baby Hair
I say this with a bittersweet tone since edges can be the bane of any naturalista’s existence. Edges, for those who may not be aware, refer to the small ‘baby hairs’ that grow on the perimeter of our hairline. This tends to be an area of great disdain for many as edges add to the aesthetic beauty of any hairstyle. More importantly, healthy edges are a sign of a healthy head of hair.
Some women (and men) are lucky enough to be blessed with genetically resilient edges. No matter what they put those edges through, they never seem to thin or disappear. Like our hair, the issues we all face with edges fall on a wide spectrum.
CARING FOR YOUR EDGES
I have been fortunate enough not to suffer any major issues with my edges. I have managed to keep my hairline in tact; even through the constant braiding during my high school years. My hairline may have remained intact, but my precious little baby hairs only started reappearing in earnest, a year or so into my natural hair journey.
Think about it! Our baby hairs are the precious little darlings of our hair. They are the first sign that indicates I have a serious issue with the health of my hair that goes beyond dryness. When this happens, I pull out the emergency kit.
1. LEAVE THEM BABIES ALONE!
You heard me. Stop! Stop with the braids, stop with the weaves and avoid the full wigs. Stop everything that pulls your edges. Trust me on this. It may be embarrassing, uncomfortable and may even drive you into an existential crisis but believe me, leaving these hairstyles that pull on your delicate hairs alone for a while, will do wonders for you in the long run.
2. MASSAGE, MASSAGE, MASSAGE
Massaging your hair has been discussed many-a-time. That is because the benefits are insurmountable. When your edges are disappearing in front of your eyes, use your favourite oil or oil mix. When I am on red-alert, I use castor oil on my edges. It is not for everyone, but castor oil works for me.
Gently massage a small amount of the oil 2 to 3 times a week to avoid product buildup. Keeping your hairline clean is just as important as adding the necessary oils so ensure that you cleanse it regularly.
TIP: consider wrapping your edges with plastic after you have applied the oil, to help generate heat, allowing deeper penetration of the oil.
3. GIVE THAT HIGH PUFF A BREAK
There is no shame in being a lazy natural. That good old high puff, high bun and ponytail are my go to hair styles. They are easy, quick and convenient. However, overdoing these styles can have the same impact on your edges as frequent braiding.
Go ahead and let that lazy girl out. Just be aware that continuously tying your hair back tightly will damage your edges. Which brings me to my next point.
4. TO TAME OR NOT TO TAME
This point is a slightly contentious one. It took me some time to realise it, but it seems that along with learning to accept our natural hair, we have been convinced that this involves ‘taming our edges’ too. From the moment I could tie my hair back into a half-decent high puff, I tamed my edges too. I did not suffer much damage while doing so and I haven't come across any YouTubers or bloggers who have talked about this. I will say, however, that when I stopped 'taming' my edges every time I styled my hair, my edges thickened quite substantially. Plus the little curls are too cute.
As usual, the advice on this page is not a cure-all, neither will everything work for every single person. It is a journey of discovery; one that each of us must embark on, just us and our precious little baby hairs.
- Perspective by Pai