Are You Destroying Your Hairline?

Posted on Mar 21 2011 - 6:58am by BSB

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.

Relaxer Damage


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.

Tight Cornrows


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.

Sewn-In Hair Extensions


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.

Glued-In Hair Extensions


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.

Improperly Applied Lace 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.

The Improper Use of Wigs Can Destroy Your Hairline


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.

Tight Ponytail

You only have one hairline.  Make sure you protect it or you may suffer a lifetime of thinning and baldness.

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About the Author

18 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. jag April 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Great article. I would like to know how to reverse this condition if your hairline is already receding. Are there any good products out there? I wear my hair pulled back a lot but I try to use my fingers instead of a brush. I also have a relaxer and have never colored my hair or worn a weave. I am seeing the most hair loss where I part my hair. I welcome any suggestions. I fear that my condition is only going to get worse and not better.

  2. BlackBeautyBrit May 29, 2011 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Excellent article backed up well with appropriate (if not scary enough) photos.

    Thank you

  3. Masha June 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Hi, thank you for the article,I have a question. I am white-skinned russian girl. So I knew nothing about the hair promlem of african american girls and was first surprised when I notised that Tyra Banks constantly wears wigs, also Naomi spends a lot of time in Russia now, and everybody is horrified that such a beautiful woman doesnt have hair and she has to wear wigs.
    My question is – are you sure this alopezia is smth not genetical? I mean, is there and evidence that african american women who dont use relaxers and dont make braids have their hair in place? Or such women dont exist? Thank you.

    • Amy January 31, 2012 at 7:40 am - Reply

      Hi Masha,

      In response to your queries there are black women with long hair. Including myself. Like with all people hair needs to be treated properly, whether you’re black, white, asian etc in order to get the most out of it. Weaves and braids merely protect the hair if done well and own hair is cared for whilst said styles are in.

      Tyra Banks has a beautiful head of hair (her own), just look on Youtube on Tyra Banks show. Naomi Campbell, however has worn too many weaves and put stress on her hairline, thus causing traction alopoecia. Could happen to anyone. The key thing is to treat hair like silk. Hydrate it and eat well.

      Hope this helps.

  4. ok September 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    My hair is naturally long and thick and I’ve been relaxing my hair for years at least 2-3 times a.year…I put ole fashion henna in my hair to restore what a relaxer may have taken out..I don’t do braids or weaves…I also deep condition and hot oil my hair every 3 months…so I just want to say it all depends on what ones doing…

  5. Need an adviced quickly May 20, 2012 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I’m a black girl from South Africa, I relaxed my hair then applied dye on my hair on the very same day nothing happened, so I tried that the second time and I noticed that my hairline was fading… I continued dyeing my hair everyday because I was looking for a colour that would suite my hair, but now it looks like my hairline is fading every single day, my mom suggested that I shave my hair off, I’m scared of how I would look, and how people will look at me, I have decided to put glued weave on my hair so that it woudln’t be visible that I’m losing my hair, my question is because it’s my first time loosing my hairline will it ever appear again or will I be like this for the rest of my life?

    Thank you:)

  6. Need an adviced quickly May 20, 2012 at 9:29 am - Reply

    I am a black South African girl, I relaxed and dyeid my hair immediately after relaxing it did nothing to my hair or scalp, I tried to do it the second time, but luck was not on my side my hairline started to fade but because I wanted a proper colour for my hair I the dyeid my hair continuasly to get the desired colour, my hair started falling off leaving me with thin hair and no hair line, my mom suggested that I shave my hair off but I’m scared how people will react and what they will say about me, as I am known as “the girl that does freaky awesome hairstyles”, I have decide to glue on a weave on my hair for a while, I don’t kniw if I’ll ever cut my hair, I wish to, my question is do you think my hairline will grow back as it was the first time it happened to me or is this a life time scar on my head?? I need an advice on what I should take to get my hairline back ASAP!!

    Thank you

  7. Nicolah March 17, 2013 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Hello and thank you for the helpful article, however I have a big problem with my hairline hair is falling off because of weaves I now have a few strandes left, been thinking of shaving my hairline will this make it grow back for only the hairline is falling off help me. Thank you

  8. Janice Williams May 8, 2013 at 12:27 am - Reply

    I want to know if there is a proper way to take out glue in the hair without taking out the hair and the hair edges ?

  9. Rebehair July 2, 2013 at 1:36 am - Reply

    This is awesome!
    Is it improper use lead to this result?I want to know if there is a proper way to take out glue in the hair without taking out the hair and the hair edges .

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  11. Chanel March 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this article. Learned a lot. I’m in the process of going 100% natural with my hair, had my last relaxer in October of 2013. My transition is going great. Thanks for the tip of the tight ponytail. I’ve been wearing my hair in a pony for the last three weeks or so. I guess I’ll give my hair a break and wear it down for now! Thanks Again!!!

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    I have been taking medication for lupus and the top of my hair had came out. But it is growing back , but it’s weak and need an strengthener any suggestions?

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