After years of weaves, wigs and chemicals, Naomi Campbell’s hairline has all but disappeared. She, like many Black women suffer from Traction Alopecia - hair loss caused by constant pulling, tension and/or chemical damage. This condition is preventable and reversable, if caught early. Your hairline is considered the weakest part of your hair and it’s imperative you protect it. Here are seven threats to your hairline…
Relaxers, Texturizers, Other Chemicals: It’s no secret, we know the damage chemicals can cause. We choose to “relax” our hair because it’s easier to manage or “looks better”. Whatever the reason, many of us are willing to take the risk. If left on too long, chemicals can and will cause permanent damage to your hair and scalp. Don’t be fooled, “kiddie” and “no lye” relaxers are no less dangerous. If you chemically treat your hair, please follow instructions carefully! This picture below shows what relaxers can do, if left on too long.
Tight Braids & Cornrows: While braids and cornrows can be protective, they can also be counterproductive to hair growth, if too tight. If your hairline is visibly stressed, like the picture below and/or if you see uprooted follicles (those little white things) around the stressed site, your hairline is in danger.
Sewn-In Hair Extensions: The best-looking sew-ins are flat. In order to achieve this, the weft is sewn on to small, tight cornrows. Make sure your edges are not stressed in the process. If you relax your hairline for a sew-in, do not cornrow and sew extensions onto freshly relaxed hair, especially around your hairline. This will cause too much stress on your hair.
Glued-In Hair Extensions: Improperly applied and/or removed “quick weaves”,” 27-piece weaves” and individually glued-in weave tracks can destroy your hairline. Make sure your hair is completely saturated with hair glue remover or oil before removing extensions or glue.
Improperly Applied Lace Wig: Applying glue to your delicate edges, then attaching a wig can destroy your hairline. Avoid putting glue on your hair at all costs. Once again, make sure your hairline is completely saturated with hair glue remover or oil, before removing the wig.
Wigs: Many wigs are tight, with unbreathable fabric and the friction of it rubbing against your hair will damage your hairline. A wig cap can serve as a buffer, however they can roll up and leave your hairline susceptible to damage. Make sure your own hair is clean and moisturized underneath. Allow your head to breathe and don’t wear a wig for an excessive period time, without removing it.
Tight Ponytails: Constant pulling and stress will damage your hair shaft and follicle. Use fabric-covered ponytail holders and avoid pulling the ponytail tightly inside the holder. Use bobby pins, clips or barrettes and try wearing looser styles, like buns or chignons.
You only have one hairline. Make sure you protect it or you may suffer a lifetime of thinning and baldness.