Edges: Get Some
Edges are great accessories.
Want to impress your date? Show up with some edges. Need to give your puff that extra oomph? Add edges. Want a hairline tighter than Mr. Hightower‘s? Edges.
Unfortunately, after years of relaxers, chemical processing, and bad hair practices many of us have all but destroyed our precious hairlines. We’ve sacrificed our bountiful edges for beauty and style.
What a shame.
But don’t worry. I’m here to help you reclaim your right to a full, healthy hairline. Here are the main offenders preventing you from having the hair you deserve.
Even I’m not immune to The Ponytail Pitfall. They’re quick, easy,…and can wreck havoc on your hairline. Ponytails and puffs in themselves aren’t bad. It’s trying to snatch up every hair that causes damage. And wearing one in the same place day after day can cause breakage.
Keep your ponytail or puff loose and comfortable. You should be able to touch your head down in every direction without feeling anything pull. If you do, loosen that piece of hair. If you’re worried about your edges looking unkempt, use the gel-and-scarf method to lay them down. And don’t wear your pony in the same spot every day.
If your braids cause pain when they’re moved, bumps around your hairline, or changes in your eye shape, they’re too tight. Some years ago I lost a braid and the hair it was attached to. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty. (A moment of silence for my fallen soldier.) Learn from my mistake or risk looking like Coolio. You’ve been warned.
Be kind to your hairline and leave those fragile hairs out. If you can’t bear to give them their freedom, make the braids in those areas bigger than the rest to minimize tension. Also try to give your hair time to “relax” between braid styles, at least two weeks if possible.
Heat tools like flat irons, blow dryers, and hot combs rob your hair of moisture, especially when they’re used on a regular basis. Heat abuse can spell disaster for fragile edges. Hair that is already coated with product becomes dangerously weak when coupled with heat as sometimes the product can actually increase the temperature of the tool being used. Yikes!
Limit your heat usage and always use some type of thermal protectant or barrier. When using heat appliances, try the lowest temperature needed to achieve the look you want. But remember, every time you use heat you risk permanent damage, no matter how cautious you are.
Be careful what you put in your hair. Many of the products we use to “lay down” our edges are laden with petroleum and mineral oil (which block moisture) and certain alcohols (which dry hair out). Using these products every day to achieve a certain look can lead to dry hair and, eventually, breakage. Goodbye, edges. Hello, Naomi Campbell.
Moisturize your situation. Look for products that provide control without using damaging ingredients. (SD alcohol and propyl alcohol are at the top of the list to avoid.) As I Am Smoothing Gel and Eco Styler are popular choices. If you prefer more natural options, aloe vera and flasxseed gel are good alternatives.
What did I miss, fam? Let me know your secrets to healthy edges in the comments.
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