Tight ponytails are cute but they can absolutely wreck your edges. Here are a few tips to fixing tension damage.

1. RELEASE TENSION: Newbies make the mistake of always wearing their natural tresses in a puff. Usually pulled back a tight elastic band, this is a major no-no. After a while, it starts to tug and pull at your edges, making them fragile and thin. Regular ponytail wearers should also take heed. Don’t wear a ponytail style for longer than two days. Let your hair breathe.

2. STOP INFLAMMATION: Inflammation is the culprit for most hair loss. The scalp may be damaged or irritated, causing the edges to thin and fall out. If you have a sensitive scalp plagued by psoriasis or dermatitis, sometimes oils can make it worse. Try switching to pure vegetable glycerin for your edge and scalp remedy. Those who can use oils should try massaging Jamaican black castor oil onto the area everyday.

3. LEAVE OUT YOUR EDGES IN PROTECTIVE STYLES: Make a special request to your stylist to leave out your edges when getting a faux curly style to ensure that they will not be pulled to the high heavens for six to eight weeks. When wearing braids, tell your braider that your edges should be braided securely but NOT tight.

4. USE ROSEMARY & THYME ESSENTIAL OIL (SOOTHING FOR DRY EDGES): These are both anti-inflammatory and soothing when added to carrier oils like olive, sesame and castor. If the herby scent is a bit much for you, add several drops of grapefruit or lemon essential oil for a yummier aroma. Rosemary & thyme both encourage growth and give the slightest tingling sensation that increases blood circulation to your edges.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN STYLE YOUR EDGES BETTER:

KEEP IT DAMP: Damp, not wet hair, slicks up the best: Your hair doesn’t have to be soaking wet to be easily manipulated. In fact, the gel adheres better when your tresses are damp.

GET THE RIGHT BRUSH: Boar bristle brush to the rescue: This is the BEST brush to use with this gel. It catches nearly every single hair and works with any texture. Yes, a fine tooth comb is usually the go-to, and we recommend that as well

How do you condition and style your edges now?

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