Regrowing Thin Edges And Bald Spots Caused By Alopecia With Essential Oils

Regrowing Thin Edges And Bald Spots Caused By Alopecia With Essential Oils

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

These oils were mixed in a carrier oil mixture which was a combination of Jojoba oil approx 1/2 teaspoon, and Grapeseed oil approx 4 teaspoons.

Supreme Aromatherapy Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential OilsOils 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.



15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair


About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


  1. 1

    I have very thin (nearly bald) edges and I noticed a lot of women on YouTube vouching for a mix of castor oil, emu oil and sulfur powder. I’ve been applying the my mix nightly for about a week (with the exception of sulfur becuz I can’t find it anywhere) and I haven’t noticed anything yet but I’ll stick to it. My problem is I’m transitioning to the natural world but I can’t wear a lot of the styles without exposing my edges which are harsh on the eyes. I would bc but again, no edges so I’d jus look crazy

    • 2

      Hi Tish, a week isn’t nearly long enough to regrow hair. Give it a couple of months and they will fill in nicely. There is plenty of time to think about a BC so don’t worry about that yet. I’ve also heard the vouches for castor oil on it’s own too. You could add a few essential oils to your mix to make it more potent if you wish but don’t expect hair in a week, it will take a while! Either way good decision on going natural, avoiding relaxer when your have thinning is very therapeutic anyway.

  2. 3

    Using an essential oils to put on your hair is good but you need to use it in a proper way because this turn some hair damage on your hair if it not properly used.

  3. 4

    Hey, I’m a teenager and I received a small bald spot from small Senegalese twists. To cover it, my mom suggests getting more small braids and it is hard to convince her to not do it. The spot is around my edges and is not noticeable. Overall, how can I treat this fast and what can I do to cover it until it grows back? Side note- I received the bald spot from the lady braiding my hair who was pulling way too tight and pulled my hair and the braid out even though I told her it was too tight. Now I’m stuck with this bald spot and I want to grow it out and not make it worse by doing more braids. What hairstyles can I do? Please help!!!

    • 5

      Hi Kaela, the last thing I would recommend when you have a bald spot due to braiding tightly is . . . more braiding. No way. Convince, beg or bribe your mum not to have your hair braided. Even offter to care for it yourself for some time or point her in the direction of this page. Go for loose ponytails, buns or other hairstyles that don’t put tension on your edges until the hair has grown back in.

  4. 7
    Audrey Nhakaniso says:

    I can testify that the grapeseed, lavender and rosemary mixture works really well for bald spots and thinning edges. I have had thinning edges and a bald spot for over 2 years now due to over braiding, weaving and stress. It was sometime last year that i decided to do some research on how to make hair grow fast in those areas and that research led me to start using castor oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed, lavendar and rosemary amongst other oils. Of all these the grapeseed, lavendar and rosemary are really working for me. My hair on my edges is now growing and even on the bald spots it is also now growing and its been 6 months of continual use of these oils and I havent been in braids or weaves for about a year now.
    Two weeks ago i also discovered that mixing these oils with shea butter will work for me.

    • 8

      That’s great to hear! I’m sure that you already know this but you are probably best off avoiding braids permanently from now on to avoid undoing all your hard work. Good luck.

      • 9

        I have had a bald spot in the crown of my head for about 6 months now. I have been having loose braids done around that area but have left that area untouched so my dermatologist can access for the shots I’m receiving. In addition to the shots he prescribed a spray with 3 diff agents. I use that along with JBCO and have now added peppermint to the mix. It is growing but it is a SLOW grow. I did a semi-permanent color thinking it was a rinse and that’s when I noticed the breakage. I know the crown is my weak point. I’m not sure if it was the color, use of birth control (which I’ve stopped for about 2m) or family history of alopecia. Like I said it is growing but I’m a bit impatient. Would you suggest that I add more than the peppermint oil to my JBCO? If so, what essential oils would you suggest??

        • 10
          Shaniqua says:

          You are going to have to be really patient because you are trying to stimulate follicles which were inactive to regrow hair. Also why don’t you try the actual recipe that they used in the study that showed good results?

  5. 11

    I can testify that the grapeseed, lavender and rosemary mixture works really well for bald spots and thinning edges. I have had thinning edges and a bald spot for over 2 years now due to over braiding, weaving and stress. It was sometime last year that i decided to do some research on how to make hair grow fast in those areas and that research led me to start using castor oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed, lavendar and rosemary amongst other oils. Of all these the grapeseed, lavendar and rosemary are really working for me. My hair on my edges is now growing and even on the bald spots it is also now growing and its been 6 months of continual use of these oils and I havent been in braids or weaves for about a year now.

    Two weeks ago i also discovered that mixing these oils with shea butter will work for me.

  6. 12
    BlueCornMoon says:

    I’ve been having trouble growing my nape since going natural 4 years ago.It had thinned & the hair kept breaking. I have fine 4a/b hair with a tiny 3c patch & the nape hair is the most fragile, plus I sleep on my back. Last year I saw a dermatologist & used a steroid cream & got steroid shots. It gradually started growing in but not dramatically. This past winter I was under a lot of stress, & that plus a dry cold spell in January caused the new hair to thin & break. After trying extra moisturizers without results I discovered Super Potent Black Castor oil on Amazon. After my first bottle I noticed a bit of regrowth & by second bottle there was a lot of improvement. Then I found this essential oil mix on another site in April & added it to my regimen, using JBCO in morning & EO mix at night. That’s when the hair really started to grow in & thicken even more than when I used the steroids, with hair growing where there hadn’t been any for a long time. My nape no longer looks thin & balding. I even use these products on my stress thinned temple areas where I’d never used the steroids & they are improving,too. I find the best way to use the oils is to quadruple the recipe, put it in one of those 2-3 oz spray bottles & spray it on the affected areas & then massage it in. I really recommend this oil mix

    • 13

      Glad to hear your success! I’m not surprised to hear that natural oils can be more potent than the pharmaceutical stuff.

    • 14
      BlueCornMoon says:

      UPDATE DECEMBER 10,2013
      Still using the oil formula, but since the weather’s gotten colder I started seeing some breakage in the nape area behind my ears so I’ve adopted a new strategy : mix the oil formula into Jamaican Black castor oil since it’s a thicker, heavier oil than grape seed & jojoba. I’m also using Qhemet Biologics, hot oil treatments, & Megatek a few times a week to strengthen the hair & moisturizing with an S Curl & aloe vera juice mix. I’ve also decided to wear my Fingercomber wig for the next few months for protection. A few days ago I took the twists out & had it trimmed down to a very nice 70s style big afro like the one I had in the 70s. I even took a photo of it to the salon so the stylist could see what I wanted. My hair is soft & fine 4a/b anyway & the nape & temples are fine enough to belong to an infant. Gotta envy those coarse haired 4b/c chicks !

  7. 15

    Hi! I need help. A few days ago I made a very tough decision and decided to get a buzz cut due to thin edges and balding spots. Before the BC, my scalp was super itchy and it’s gotten worse since. I have been using tea tree oil and olive oil 2 times a day and it does not really seem to be working. Any suggestions??? My goal is to regrow my hair; it was just so damage that I didn’t see the point in holding on to it.

    • 16

      You’ve only been using the oils for a few days love. Really you have to give hair growth a few months to see a difference. The increased itching could be caused by clogged pores due to the added oil to your scalp, I get this way too when oil touches my scalp. Since your hair is pretty short at the moment I would suggest that you cleanse your scalp daily before reapplying your oils. Hopefully that should fix the itching issue.

      • 17
        BlueCornMoon says:

        I heard somewhere that apple cider vinegar rinses are good for itching. Anyone know if this is true??

        • 18

          Oh yes it should help. ACV is a cleanser so if the itching is caused by clogged pores then it will clean those pores right out correcting the issue. Also ACV is anti-fungal so again if the itching is caused by a fungus it will help alleviate the problem.

  8. 19

    Hi im maysa..26 yrs old female n have 1 child…I have extreme thinning of my hair along with diffuse balding, unfortunately I also get this in my genes…although I dont have significant hair loss but im balding too fast…plz suggest me a remedy..I have to look beautiful for myself n my husband
    Ive also tried minoxidil 5% for four month n I dont think really worked…plz help thanx

  9. 20

    I am 24 years old and have thin edges and bald spots in my nape area. My hair is thick except in those areas. Balding and thinning hair runs in my family. I have been dealing with this problem since I was about 17. I don’t know what to do its so so embarrassing. I used to wear alot of tight braids, get perms and put alot of gel in my hair but im trying to avoid those things now Help! Please!

  10. 21

    Castor oil to the rescue

  11. 22

    Looks like she even permed the damaged edges look. You can’t relax damage hair. It will never grow back now!

  12. 23


  13. 24

    Essential Oils way to go Naturally

  14. 25

    I seen a little girl with this problem she was so adorable hope this can get rectify for anyone with this condition

  15. 26

    Looks like she wore too many weaves and didn’t let her hair breathe in between

  16. 30

    Before someone comments negatively or makes fun of the woman in the picture, please understand that regular alopecia happens at no fault of the person & cannot be prevented by the person who has it. TENSION Alopecia is caused by the hair being pulled too tight by different hairstyles and can be prevented.

  17. 31

    Wow tht is severe..and I’m complaining abt my edges–it hers can fixed then there’s hope for me.

  18. 32

    Jamaican Black Castor Oil JBCO, some hair vitamins, drink lots of water, and eat lots of veggies.

  19. 33

    What’s the difference between tension alopecia and traction alopecia ??

    • 34

      Both terms seems to be interchangeable. However, traction alopecia appears to be the more widely used term.

    • 35

      tension alopecia is caused by contact tension on the hair and follicles, causing the hair to come out. Some ppl are born w/ alopecia and don’t have any body hair, none on their head, no eyebrows, etc. That type of alopecia is a medical condition that just occurs, whereas “traction alopecia’ occurs because the hair was pulled too tight and too often.

  20. 36

    this is not regular alopecia, tension on her hair cause this. i would go to the barber and shear the sides to style it in a mohawk. it already looks like that

  21. 37

    She could have just mald pattern baldness, cancer treatments, Trichtotelomania or how ever you spell it. Why would the 1st thing that jump out of som1s mouth is must be wearin too many weaves huh huh. Now that youv gotten your FB attention…. pick up a book & keep reading. Plus there are different types of alopesia. There is a type that if you are under alot of stress, it causes your edges to fall completely out & it is well known in white people but they are not gonna down each other about having to get expensive hair pieces. I know for a FACT.

  22. 38

    Is there any doctors on this post, so Alopecia can look this way. I have Lupus and finally after they realized after test being ran that I had not had a perm this is how my hair looked it just started coming out so because you don’t use chemicals don’t try and judge the next person a lot of you went natural for a different reason that’s all I’m going to say about that. Don’t pretend it’s just been all of your life.

  23. 39

    I’m not sure what to use

  24. 40

    I don’t agree that this only became a problem 20 years ago. I am 39 and I can clearly recall seeing girls with edges like this as far back as elementary school.

  25. 41

    You can buy hairfinity go on to grow hair out

  26. 42

    God bless you talk to the people to see if you can use Hair infinity they are great for growing hair back

  27. 43

    It look like it hurt bad bAd!

  28. 44

    I have CCCA and JBCO has help my edges a lot. But my Dr wants me to stop bc it also causes inflammation for people who have alopecia. Ladies lets be nice to one another….. We are here to help one another not hurt each other.

  29. 46

    Awwww poor baby. I hope it grows back for her.

  30. 47

    Antonia Williams sorry to say I can’t recommend any product for thinning/bald edges. The best thing I ever did was simply going natural not pulling my hair back, wrapping up @ night & I’ve used Jamaician black castor oil keep it oiled.

  31. 48

    I pull mine back everyday (in a puff). I think I may have yanked out a gray hair as a result…

  32. 50

    Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA)

  33. 51

    You can google it

  34. 52

    I have a 30year old son and I have been doing braids before he was born I also have had many of my customers with the problem and I always tell them to when you wash your hair be sure to do a hot oil treatment and it seems to work just fine

  35. 53


  36. 54

    I’ve heard eating lots of raw garlic (sorry your friends may flee) and lots of onions. You never know hon it may work.

  37. 55

    Mines Is not quite that bad but it thin I’ve tried every thing …. Now I have more things on my list to try…

  38. 56

    These people braiding hair to tight Iam 61 I don’t play that I got a head of thick hair my hair been every color grow like crazy all this glue sewin if not done right yes you will be bald

  39. 57

    I use Jamaican black castor oil %100 and I use wild growth. I believe Its Ors has a product that I know works Great as well

  40. 58

    Omg, I’m so sorry baby girl, you can do it.All the best!!

  41. 59


  42. 60

    JOB is the bomb! Been using it for almost a year now. Hair is so thick and healthy!

  43. 61

    Opps JBC I MEANT

  44. 62

    tea tree conditioner …rub n daily!!!!

  45. 63

    So my question is does this product help with thinning of due to pulling hair back? Please & thank u

  46. 64

    I had it as a child… Swimming and perms at a young age… Brushing and no tension and patience it has grown back…

  47. 65

    Wow, Jamaican black castor oil will help this geeeshh: (

  48. 66

    Try hairfinity

  49. 67

    I know this glue from weaves and Hair dye…vitamin deficient will cause this..remedy sewn in weave done right to fall over area for long period of time…rub in coconut castor olive oil do Not wash with sulfate shampoo …take Folic acid eat lots fish and garlic…smile often

  50. 68

    This is an extreme case of traction alopecia. I think that she should completely stop relaxing her hair for good. First treat the edges with JBCO and essential oils that stimulate hair growth. No protective styling just washing, conditioning and daily moisturizing…no pulling hair back at least for now

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