Edge Maintenance: Three Tips to Avoid Receding Hairlines
Oh, you thought receding hairlines were only a problem for men? While it is true that male pattern baldness disproportionately affects the frontal hairline in the majority of males, women are not exempt from this malady. In fact, some women might find that they are more prone to thin edges or hairline recession due to certain hairstyles and skincare routines that often call on exfoliants and retinoids-which are notorious for disrupting healthy hair growth patterns.
Have you ever noticed that the hair surrounding your face tends to have a different texture? That’s not just your imagination. The unit of measurement by which a hair follicle’s density is measured is often referred to as denier. Most human hair has a denier of 20. To put that in reference, the web of a spider has silk that measures a denier of 3. The hair follicles along the edge of your face land somewhere in between those numbers. Your edges are often called baby hairs due to the finer texture. They have a finer density follicle which means there is less protective cuticle shaft.
The special hair on the edge of your hairline is not to confused with vellus hair, though you will likely find vellus hair interspersed throughout your hairline. Vellus hair is oftentimes called peach fuzz and often lacks pigment. Vellus hair is found all over the body. The baby hair along your hairline edges will have a bit more character than vellus hair. Baby hair is pigmented and can have a curly or straight texture. In some cases, where the hair is thinning or in the balding process, the hair becomes dry, frizzy and unmanageable.
Here are three tips to maintaining healthy edges which will help you spare your hairline.
1. Keeping edges moisturized.
Your hairline is exposed to more damage than the rest of your other hair. It is the first to be brushed, the first hair that gets hit with product or heat tools, the first hair that is exposed to the oxidizing damage from the sun. This leaves these baby hairs vulnerable to dryness. Extra care is required to maintain healthy edges. If you need to use products, prioritize alcohol-free products and mix them with a scalp-stimulating, hair growth oil like castor oil or rosemary oil. These oils will help nourish the delicate follicles and give mild style control.
2. Avoid hairstyles that cause stress or traction to the front hairline edges.
Tight braids and updos wreak havoc on your edges. That might be obvious but did you know that you risk hairline recession if you don’t changeup your hairstyle? The consistent pattern of wearing your hair up in a ponytail or a bun can be enough to disrupt the hairline growth pattern, even if you using a friendly fabric like a satin scrunchie for your favorite updo! Traction Alopecia is a term that is used when the edges start to fade due to styles that irritate the hairline and cause breakage and hair loss. Edges are particularly vulnerable since the hair tends to be drier and more porous than the rest of the hair. The root on these baby hairs needs to be encouraged to grow and one way to do that is to avoid hairstyles that cause stress and to avoid daily updo hairstyles. That can be a hard pill to swallow for us ponytail and messy bun wearing people. We all love a snatched look but not at the expense of a receding hairline.
3. A tip for those already experiencing a receding hairline is to consider a root-stimulating medication like minoxidil.
While minoxidil does not help all types of hair loss, it typically performs better with the type of hair loss that affects the hairline. Those with thinning hair that is attributed to male and female pattern baldness–also called Androgenic Alopecia–are the best candidates for regrowth. This is different from the hairline recession that can happen due to tight hairstyles. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the cause of hairline recession. One clue is if you see shorter strands that are a similar length it is likely due to breakage. Breakage tends to accompany tight hairstyles or might suggest an adverse reaction to a chemical treatment such as coloring or a perm. In this case, reducing follicle stress is the remedy and minoxidil is likely not going to help with regrowth.
Appearing youthful has to do with your hair growth pattern.
Nothing seems to accelerate the appearance of aging as a receding hairline. The old saying that someone is getting along in years or “long in the tooth” is in reference to teeth as the gums recede. The same visual depiction is true with hair growth. As the hairline and edges recede, the forehead is longer and gives the illusion of an aged face. Fortunately, a few simple tips for hairline maintenance can help keep your hairline in tact and avoid recession. For more information on edge maintenance check out the article here. If you would like to schedule a consult with our team of hair practitioners, click on the link.
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