Read This Before Trying An Edge Restoring Product

Solange is easy to love because she's so damn relatable. She opens up about her insecurities in a way that makes you feel like it's perfectly fine to be imperfect. While accepting an honor at the 70th Parsons Benefit in New York City, the artist opened her speech with a little self-depreciation: "My edges are damaged from bleach, but they are snatched!"

She could've been joking, but edges — or a lack thereof — are taken very seriously. Almost half of Black women have experienced hair loss, according to a 2016 study from the American Academy of Dermatology Association. And these days, you can find a remedy for your disappearing hairline everywhere, because the consumer market is extremely wide. A 2017 study from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery reports that over 84% of patients that seek treatment is due to genetic hair loss."Pregnancy, postpartum, drastic weight loss, and stress are also common causes," Michelle Breyer, co-founder of NaturallyCurly, tells us. Hypothyroidism, chronic illnesses, and hormonal imbalances as reasons, too.

The point is this: In many instances, you can't avoid hair loss, but some products can help reverse it. Breyer and Ron Robinson, cosmetic chemist and CEO of BeautyStat, answer some frequently asked questions about edges, ahead... and we provide a few of the best hairline saving treatments to shop.

illustrated by Abbie Winters.
First things first: Do products that promote hairline regrowth actually work?

"Yes and no," Breyer, who also wrote The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly Community, says. "If your receding hairline is due to genetic factors, hormonal fluctuations, or illness, there’s not much that even the best products can do. But if it's because of tight hairstyles or overuse of relaxers, then there are products that could work."
illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Which ingredients should consumers look for in these serums and treatments?

Robinson suggests searching for a blend of oils that help hydrate and repair. "You want to provide more nutrients to the hair for improved growth," he says. Breyer recommends the following ones: castor oil, to thicken the hair; coconut oil, to exfoliate dead skin; rosemary, to increase blood flow (which, in turn, promotes hair growth); and peppermint oil, to remove dandruff and purify the scalp. Any product with vitamin E and aloe vera, ingredients that stimulate hair reproduction and improve scalp circulation, are also a great help.
illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Which ingredients should people avoid?

"Because your edges are the most fragile parts of your hair, drying ingredients like sulfates and non-fatty alcohols (ethanol, isopropyl, propanol) should be avoided at all costs," Robinson says. "And, while not technically an ingredient, heat should be taken out of the styling equation altogether if your edges are thinning. Frequently relaxing and dyeing hair leaves your hairline weak as these products have strong chemicals that act on the internal structure of the hair to permanently change it."
illustrated by Anna Sudit.
How long should it take to regrow fragile hair around the hairline or nape of neck while using effective treatments?

"On average, hair grows back about a 1/2 inch per month," Robinson notes. Meaning that those drastic side-by-sides on Instagram aren't necessarily accurate. You should be able to spot a difference within a month, though, according to Breyer. And if not, "It might be time to change it up," she says. "Do take before-and-after pictures so you’re not second guessing, and keep a product and growth diary for yourself."

And in the meantime, both Robinson and Breyer recommend avoiding hairstyles that do damage on your edges (tight braids and high ponytails). What's more, you should limit the use of your heat stylers and chemical processing — and vitamins won't hurt either. "There is no supplement that will give you instant hair growth, but at the very least, a daily multivitamin will aid with it," Breyer says. "Many swear by taking biotin, too."
Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor bean plant. It's rich in a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid and regenerates a lipid called prostaglandin, Lois Hines, founder and CEO of Tropic Isle Living, explains. Translation: It helps hair growth. The oil is beneficial for anyone experiencing traction alopecia and thinning hair. Aside from that, castor oil also eases constipation, heals skin infections, and hydrates chapped lips.
Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento Hair Growth Oil, $10.99 Buy
"Castor oil has been shown to improve circulation, which helps hair growth," Robinson tells us. "It also adds shine and conditions the hair."
SheaMoisture SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Style & Smooth Edge Gel, $7.99 Buy
The rosemary oil in this edge control treatment stimulates those tiny strands around your hairline, while helping them lay down, too.
The Mane Choice LAID BACK EFFORTLESSLY - Growth Stimulating Edge Control, $9.99 Buy
Sure, you can take biotin to grow your hair... or you could apply this biotin and bamboo combo to your temple to lay your edges, too.
Taliah Waajid Hairline Help 2-in-1 Plus Bamboo And Biotin Edge Grow, $4.99 Buy
There's a reason why YouTubers swear by this Cantu pick — the shea butter in it fortifies your hair.
Cantu Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment, $3.99 Buy
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