caring for thinning edges

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African Hair Care for Thinning Edges

There are a number of factors that can influence how full a persons hair is. In this article, we'll be discussing the density of hair, not the thickness* of each strand.

What Causes Thinning Hair?

Thinning hair is characterized by hair that has fallen out and does not regrow. Many women will experience thinning hair or thinning patches, particularly around the edges, at one point or another in their lives. Here's why:
Hormonal Changes

If you are pregnant, have recently given birth or are experiencing menopause, the hormonal changes your body experiences may be having a negative effect on your hairline. Many women experience a normal amount of hair loss post-pregnancy, but these changes can appear more dramatic given the hair gains made during the nine months prior.

Why do women who are pregnant grow more hair? Pregnant women produce more estrogen, which causes hair to be thicker, stronger and more lustrous. When estrogen production decreases and all of that extra hair begins to fall out, it can cause your mane to feel drastically bare. The good news is that post-partum shedding generally only lasts a few months at worst after which your hair should begin to feel normal again. To encourage growth and keep your hair from shedding more than it needs to, we recommend following the healthy hair tips below.

Traction Alopecia

This type of hair loss is the most common cause of hair thinning among black women. It is caused by tight ponypuffs, headbands, braids, wigs and extensions, when too much tension is put on the delicate hairline and the hair follicle becomes inflamed. For many women, this type of thinning tends to set in motion an unhealthy cycle of using wigs and extensions to cover up thinning hair and subsequent additional thinning due to the hair's mistreatment. Over time, traction alopecia can actually evolve into scarring, which seals the hair follicle permanently and irreversibly. Because of this, it's critical that women who experience thinning around the hairline due to tight hairstyles change their hair care routine before it's too late. We know this can be difficult when you're experiencing thinning hair, particularly if the products you're using are low quality. Now is the time to permanently switch to products that add vital moisture, smooth and seal the hair shaft and contain healthy ingredients that support hair growth without including artificial ingredients that can ultimately harm hair even more, such as mineral oil, SLS, protein and silicones.

Using the L.O.C. method to achieve maximum hydration and restore your hair to its naturally beautiful state will go a long way towards restoring your hair's health. Thinning edges can be addressed with an all natural, petroleum-free product like our Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade, which is formulated to heal the scalp, nourish follicles and support growth. Brittle ends can be addressed by coating each strand with moisturizing agents like castor and olive oils, found in our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream, that improve lubricity and pliability.

Using hair care products that add moisture without weighing down the hair will allow you to style your mane in a variety of natural ways that are easy on your edges. Allow your hair to recover from traction alopecia by wearing gentle styles and forgoing tight braids, ponypuffs, wigs and extensions. You'll be amazed at just how quickly your hair recovers with the right restorative products.

Chemical Treatments & Heat

If you were initially in love with your newly straightened do but then noticed your edges becoming thinner and your hair becoming drier and brittle, you are not alone. Applying relaxers to your hair, particularly if your hair was already strained and damaged, can exhaust your hairs last defenses and slow its natural recovery process. Similarly, heat is a major culprit in hair thinning. Heat damages the hair shaft and leaves it brittle and dry, whether you are using a blow dryer or a flat iron frequently. While the best thing you can do for your hair is ditch the harsh chemicals and curling iron for good, we know that these can be difficult to completely abandon. To give your relaxed mane its best advantage, be sure to check out our product recommendations for chemically treated hair.

The Wrong Products

A common factor at the root of most cases of damaged hair are low quality products. When the wrong products are used, it may not matter how much care you take not to pull your hair too tightly or apply too much heat. Using products that keep your hair in a constant state of good health will allow you to take some liberties with your hair without having to pay a steep price.

The Right Products

Natural hair is beautiful and even more so when you're using premium, plant based ingredients to support it. Qhemet products look to the tried and true remedies used by our forebears to nourish their scalps and maintain a full head of lush, healthy hair.

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* If you have fine hair, you may in fact have a lot of it, but it may look stringy or sparse. Fine hair requires extra care too because it tends to respond differently to moisture than a thick strand of hair. If your hair doesn't hold curls well, breaks easily and is prone to fly-aways, you might have fine hair. People with fine hair should use the lightweight yet moisturizing products in our Low Porosity Collection which includes a gentle cleansing shampoo to help encourage growth and smooth follicles, a rich conditioner to add strength and flexibility to hair and olive oil based leave-in moisturizers and stylers. Getting regular trims to stay on top of split ends will help your fine hair grow longer and stronger too.