Thinning edges caused by traction alopecia used to be a rare condition in black women up to 20 years ago but with the large scale popularization of weaves it is more common than ever particularly among younger women.
It’s a shame that most of these women don’t know that by slightly adjusting their regimens they can turn the act of wearing weave into a means by which to achieve long healthy hair of their own.
Thankfully most of us realize the potential pitfalls of tight braiding (micro-braiding & cornrows included) before our edges begin to thin. But for those who have already been struck with traction alopecia all there is to do is to try to find a way to regrow those edges.
Alopecia Areata on the other hand causes round patches of hair loss currently thought to be an autoimmune condition. With this type of alopecia, if the hair loss is not universal (all over body), the hair will regrow in a few months with or without treatment but it can’t hurt to speed things along.
Things To Avoid
Before even embarking on a treatment plan, you must stop what it is that you were doing to cause the thinning in the first place in the case of traction alopecia.
1. Avoid any type of braiding, micros, weaves & cornrows, you should give them up altogether for the duration of your treatment.
2. Avoid ponytails, these also put stress on the hair follicles around your hairline which is where most thinning occurs.
3. Avoid harsh chemicals coming in contact with your scalp, these include relaxers and chemical hair colors. Keep your products as natural as possible.
Using Essential Oils
Many essential oils are linked with stimulating hair follicles to either regrow hair or to increase hair growth rate. A lot of the evidence in some of these oils is anecdotal so if it’s your first experience with hair loss, it would be better to stick with the essential oils that have some scientific backing in regards to hair regrowth.
Isabelle C Hay showed an improvement in 44% of cases of alopecia areata in a randomized double blind controlled trial. In this study she used:
3 drops of Lavender oil
2 drops of Thyme oil
3 drops of Rosemary oil
2 drops of Cedarwood oil
Oils should be massaged into the affected area for at least 2 minutes every night. Of course the same recipe will work in cases of traction alopecia too.
I’ve seen some people have success by omitting one or two of the essential oils or even with the addition of peppermint oil but results may vary depending on your recipe and dedication to applying the oils nightly.
I can’t stress the importance of stopping what you are doing that’s harming your hairline before it becomes really bad e.g Naomi Campbell’s. Thinning edges and a small bald spot can be regrown with dedicated treatment but not all traction alopecia or alopecia areata can be reversed.