Sometimes, despite the best care efforts, we face challenges in the quest to maintain healthy hair. This is particularly true when it comes to our edges. From what I've learned, our hair is the most fragile hair on earth and many things, from the way you wear your hair to chemical processes and, of course, woolen caps and scarves can compromise one's hairline health. If you're experiencing breakage here's what the pros want you to know:
- Moisturize and condition immediately! Ronald Williams at the Phyto Universe in NYC recommends applying conditioners made with natural ingredients to the hairline. To try: Phyto's Phytocyane Revatilzing Serum, a botanical thinning hair treatment, $50, sephora.com. Shirley Gordon of Strands Hair Studio in D.C., goes further and puts her clients on a regimen that incorporates the use of a hydrating hair mask every other week Â especially during the winter season -- and a monthly protein conditioner to strengthen the hair. She also loves such nurturers as Herbal Complex 4 by Design Essentials, $9, designessentials.com, and MoroccanOil, $30, moroccanoil.com. You can also massage A, D & E oil around the hairline as well.
- Ease the tension. Every expert cautioned against tight styling that places particular stress on the hairline such as ponytails, topknots and braids as it can lead to traction alopecia.
- Cut the heat. Repeated use of blow dryers, hot combs and curling irons all weaken the hair and lead to breakage. It's best to look to restful styles that will allow you to take a break from heat-styling; try roller-setting or pin curling your hair instead. If this is unrealistic, it's best to limit the use of heat appliances to no more than once a week after shampooing and conditioning your hair.
- Rethink relaxing. Gordon advises changing the strength of the relaxer you use Â in other words, taking it down a notch to the next strength level. Rodney Barnett, a Dallas-based trichologist recommends applying your relaxer to the hairline area last to avoid over processing.
- Cut the alcohol. Refrain from using styling aids that contain alcohol as it will dry the hair out and cause breakage.
- Consult an expert. Don't go it alone. Make sure to partner with a pro and avail yourself to the latest treatments to stop breakage and repair your hairline. These days Barnett incorporates electro-therapy to stimulate the follicles and promote growth in treating his clients. At home, he recommends stimulating products such as Decca Scalp Therapy and Satin Pomade available at rodneybarnett.com.