Hairstyles for Thin Edges

June 10, 2021 6 min read

American multiethnic female combing brown thick curly hair with wooden comb on green natural bathroom interior with plants on background

By Tiffany Walker

If you have been experiencing hair loss along your hairline and thinned edges and are looking for some solutions, you have come to the right place. You will learn all there is to know about thin edges, from learning how to do your edges, how you can protect them using natural hair products, and some of the best hairstyles for thin edges.

What are Thin Edges?

So, what are baby hairs, aka edges? These are the fine wispy hairs at the edge of your hairline. Thin edges are essentially a form of traction alopecia– a form of hair loss when the hair follicle becomes damaged due to repeated pulling or tension. Black women are especially prone to thin edges, with about 1 in 3 experiencing traction alopecia in their lifetime. 

What Causes Thinning Edges?

Before you learn how to get edges back, it is important to understand the underlying cause of thinning edges if you want to have healthy hair. There are many reasons why you may be experiencing this, but it’s most likely due to some unhealthy hairstyling practices. We’re here to get the root of what might be causing these issues, so we can get your edges back full and healthy. Here we break down 6 reasons your edges may be thinning:


When going through a period of stress, it can interrupt your hair cycle, cause your hair to stop get longer and can be the reason for a receding hairline. 

Heat or Chemical Damage

Those relaxers, curling irons or even color treatments for your hair might be your problem. Continuously applying heat or chemical treatments to your hair can cause it to weaken, leading to thinning hair and breakage. However, there is a silver lining, because if you cut back on or eliminate these practices, your edges will start to come back. 


If you often use alcohol-based or harsh ingredients and products on your hair to style it, and or slick down your edges, this can cause your hair to dry and break off. 

Tight Hairstyles 

This is the most common reason why people experience hair loss and thin edges. A hairstyle like tight ponytails, locs, braid-outs, and cornrows causes tension and, over time can lead to damage on the scalp and on your edges. Extensions, wigs, and weaves that are glued or sewn around your hairline can also cause traction alopecia due to the tension and pulling over time. 


When you aren’t getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients you need to stay healthy, it can affect all areas of our bodies, this includes our hair and scalp. For example, if you aren’t getting enough protein, this can slow down the process of hair follicle formation. 

Health Conditions 

Healthy complications like anemia, low levels of vitamin D, iron, and zinc, or abnormal thyroid hormones can affect the health of your hair. Consult your doctor to determine if you have health conditions that may be contributing to your hair loss. 

What are the Warning Signs? 

Are you unsure if your edges are starting to thin or become damaged? In the beginning stages, it might show up as bumps along the hairline and later can progress into missing and broken off hair. Thinning of edges can cause the following symptoms: 

  • Bumps 
  • Inflammation or redness of the scalp 
  • Itching or irritation
  • Scaling 
  • Blisters on your scalp 


It may be as simple as you reversing some unhealthy hair habits or stop wearing certain styles that are causing trauma to your hair follicles, and edges. To prevent a thinning hairline, there are some steps of care you’ll need to take to ensure your hair stays healthy.

Limit the tightness on the scalp

The edges of our hair are naturally more fragile and thinner than the rest of our hair, so they need some more tender care. This means you should not be wearing back-to-back tight or high tension hairstyles that are causing any stress on the edges. 

Switch up your style 

If you are experiencing or have experienced thinned edges, you should especially not wear any protective style for more than three months. Wearing styles with added extensions puts added weight and pressure on your scalp and edges. After you have worn one protective style, you should take a break in between, before switching to a new style. 

Request looser braids, cornrows, or locs

You may be used to taking some pain medication before your hair appointment, but it’s time to leave that pain in the past. When a stylist installs a protective style, make sure you ask them to create looser braids or locs, and to use natural curly hair styling productsThis will ensure there isn’t harsh tension or pulling that can thin your edges. If you experience any of the following from a style, then it is too tight: 

  • Pain
  • Bumps
  • Throbbing
  • Inflammation or Redness 

    Hairstyles for Thin Edges 

    So you have all the knowledge to tackle the damage that’s been done, let’s cover how to camouflage edges and what styles to wear in the meantime. You will want to wear low tension protective styles to get your edges back in shape. 

    Protective styles are meant to help your hair get longer and give it a break from the normal brushing and combing of natural hair that leads to breakage and damage. Choosing the right style is all about your specific hair type, proper pre-installation and installation technique, and maintenance throughout the duration of the style. 


    Make sure your hair is properly cleansed and conditioned before installing any protective hairstyle. If you have relaxed hair and have thin edges, it is advised that you stay away from extensions. 

    This is because your hair is prone to damage, and extensions can create more tension and weight on your edges. If you have type 4 hair, you must be mindful of the tension on your scalp and edges since your hair is more fragile and vulnerable to breakage. Make sure that you go to a stylist that will properly install your style. Request that your style be looser on the scalp and edges. 

    Top 5 styles for Thin Edges

    Giving your hair a rest can help restore your edges. Just remember to use the help of a Rosemary Mint Edge Gel for best results. Here are some great styles for thin edges: 

  • Crochet Braids
  • Crochet braids are a perfect option for someone suffering from traction alopecia because they apply very minimal tension to the edges. You can try different braid patterns to cover up any thinning edges. We recommend the duration of this style is one to three months. 

  • Box Braids
  • Box braids are another great option for those looking to protect their edges. The base of the hair that’s feeding into the braid is thicker, so the tension is equally distributed. This leads to less breakage. We recommend leaving this style in for no longer than three months. 

  • Loose Ponytail or Bun 
  • Depending on the length of your hair, you can wear a ponytail or bun that is loose, as not to cause tension on the scalp and edges. 

  • Bangs
  • A little bang has never hurt anybody! To cover any damage done to your edges, try out bangs. Depending on the length of your hair, you can wear your new bangs for a cute wash and go or wear any other style like buns or a ponytail with bangs. 

  • Twists 
  • Twists are great because your edges are not being pulled, and you won’t need to brush or manipulate your hair often. Depending on the shape and length of your hair, you can also create twists to hang or cover your forehead to hide any thinning edges. 

    Own Your Edges

    Remember to use gentle products, stop using heat, and limit harsh tension on the scalp and edges. The key is to protect your hair and nourish it with the support of all the best natural hair products. Now that you are on top of all the care tips and tricks, and fun styles to try out, you are one step closer to getting healthy edges! 


    1. Helathline.Traction Alopecia.
    2. Medical news Today. Traction alopecia: Symptoms and prevention.
    3. Johns Hopkins. Hair Loss in Black Women: Tips from an Expert.,%2C%20dreadlocks%2C%20extensions%20and%20weaves.

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