Friday, May 10, 2013

How To Avoid Hairline Breakage or Damage on Curly/Coily Hair

Loose Styles Help to Avoid Hairline Breakage. Flat Iron & Wash N Go!

Baby Girl & Curly Edges

 Natural hair and receding, damaged, broken edges. Recently my eyes keep honing in on severely pulled back puffs, ponytails and buns. They're at the mall, the beach, out on the streets. It's devastating. What quickly catches my eye is the hairline. I'm seeing lots of broken edges. Not even just the little girls, but young and old alike--so this post is for everyone.

SOME CAUSES ARE: Tension styling (buns, ponytails, weaves, heavy/long length dread locs, etc). At times, chemical treatments are to blame. My daughter lost her entire hairline after a professional relaxer application. Thankfully, it grew back in.

SOME SIGNS ARE: Broken edges have puffy hairline of hair sticking up. No, that's not your "baby hair".  I also see the receding hairline where the whole hairline is gone and it starts further back than the hairline is supposed to. That may mean that the hair may be permanently gone at times. The tension from pulled back hair styling will also cause tiny little bumps to show up at the area that is being pulled too hard. The hairline may also become itchy. These are all signs that the hair is being pulled back too taut.

I notice with my youngest daughter that she has lots of broken hairs along her hairline. I recently put her hair into two strand twists for almost 1 month in an effort to give her hairline a break.

The styles that cause her hairline damage are any styling that has be be pulled back with tension. That would include buns, ponytails, puffs, and anything else that gets pulled at all day. I make a consistent effort to remove her hair from those styles with tension for bedtime. My niece also has broken hair along the hairline. This is not a permanent situation, the hair can be restored to it's original length, it's just going to take some time and the proper care.

Weekly styling of Dimple's hair will include deep conditioning, moisturizing, and hair styling that does not rely on a tension "pull back".

Here are a few ways to avoid breakage at the hairline:
  • Pre plan the hair's texture. If it's not the plan to wear the hair out curly the next day, then the hair has to be stretched overnight (with braids, twists, bantu's rollers, whatever). This way, the next day the hair will be stretched and easily styled without forcefully being "pulled" into submission.
  • Understandably there are chaotic nights were nothing gets pre planned, so here's what can be done in the morning. Wet the hair with water (not soaking, just dampen the hairline and wherever else you're gonna want to be easily manipulated. Use your favorite hold styling gel and apply that to the hairline. Brush the hairline back with a soft bristle brush. Guide the hair into the direction that you want. All of this is being done without tension so far. Just water and a styling product is making the hair sleek. Finally, use your hands and smooth the hair into the direction that it's supposed to go for the styling. Without pulling hard, secure the hair into the chosen style of your choice (one ponytail, two ponytails, ideas are limitless), and then secure with a snag free hair clip. Make sure all the while not to pull too tight. Ask yourself (or your child) "is this too tight?" or "will I get a headache?" You want to eliminate tension, while making the hair appear sleek by use of products and water.
  • Wear loosely held styles or loose styles. I love two strand twists for the fact that they group the hair together, so that even if the hair is worn in a ponytail, it is not that easy to break off the hairline.
  •  Long Length, Heavy Locs may need to be styled in a way that avoids constant pulling at the hairline. Half up, half down styles are great. Positioning a high bun will also avoid the stress from the length. Always wearing long, heavy locs down (or loose) will damage the hairline. 
  • Short length hair should not use buns or ponytails as a styling option often. If there is not enough hair to leave some slack in the style, then it will only pull on the hairline and cause unsightly breakage.  

When I don't get a chance to properly care for her hair over the weekend so that she can wear it loose or loosely held, I pull it back into a ponytail or bun. Lets face it--buns and ponytails are a quick hair styling solution! And of course, it needs to be "neat", so it's pulled taut, and laid down with gel. This is a recipe for breakage.


 The photo above (left) shows a distressed hairline. Little bumps, broken hairs, weakened volume at hairline. To give the hairline a break, all sorts of tension styling was eliminated by working in the direction that the natural hairline rests upon. Cornbraids (not tight), drop braids, and loose hair styling (like braidouts without any pulling) will help restore the hairline.

--------------as always, stay beautiful                   -----------------Tia

Tension Free Hair Styling


  1. I might even take it a step further and suggest that people put the brush DOWN. I have found that for bun styles, the palm of the hand can really do a great job of smoothing down the hair, giving the edges a rest of the bristles of a brush. Those bristles can be rough on a hairline.

  2. ok you and baby girl look like sisters here!