Afro-latina woman wearing glasses and showing her bald edges

It's been over 10 years since I removed my straight, sew-in weave to reveal my naturally curly hair. Although it was the best decision for my healthy hair journey, another nuisance arose: traction alopecia. Many of us in the natural hair community also refer to this term as "snatched edges." I've spent the last decade learning the best ways to care for my edges, including discovering the products, techniques and mistakes to avoid. Here are my 7 tips to help grow your edges back.

1. Scalp Massages

Massaging the scalp will increase your blood circulation, which then promotes hair growth. As a nightly ritual, blend a dime-sized amount of jojoba oil (or your favorite carrier oil) mixed with a few drops each of peppermint, rosemary and tea tree essential oil into the palms of your hand. Then, mix well and massage the mixture into your scalp with fingertips for 5 minutes. Pay special attention to the hairline where the areas are thinning, and avoid using your nails.

2. Scalp Clarifying

Buildup on the scalp will clog follicles and can lead to further hair loss or thinning areas. Using a clarifying shampoo a minimum of once per month can help open the follicle and remove buildup, dirt and sweat from the scalp. The NC community likes Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo, Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo, and DevaCurl's Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum.

3. Dermaroller

New to my edge growth routine is the use of a dermaroller. A dermaroller is a handheld roller device with hundreds of tiny surgical needles that range in length from 0.25 mm to 1.5 mm. Traditionally, a dermaroller is used to increase the absorption of skin care products, stimulate collagen growth, and treat acne scars, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and stretch marks.

For hair growth, the tiny surgical needles stimulate the scalp to increase blood flow to the scalp and when used in conjunction with a growth serum or oil, helps to increase the absorption of those products.

4. Essential Oils to Promote Growth

Many essential oils are effective at stimulating hair follicles, increasing blood flow to the scalp, encourage growth, lowering DHT and detoxifying the scalp. My favorites include peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary essential oil. Remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and should be blended with a carrier oil prior to application on the scalp.

5. Growth Serums/Oils

If DIY isn't your thing, you can purchase premade growth serums or oils to save you the time. Some of the best I've tried include the ORS Fertilizing Serum and Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento Growth Oil.

6. Vitamins & Supplements

Although a healthy balanced diet can provide you with the proper nutrients, the use of certain vitamins and supplements may help aid in hair growth. For example, if your body has a vitamin deficiency, a supplement may help bring your levels up to normal standards. This was my personal situation with a vitamin D deficiency. My doctor recommended a vitamin D supplement because the levels were below normal. With continued use, my hairline became denser in the areas that were once thin.

*Always consult a physician before starting a vitamin or supplement regimen.

7. Change Your Part

Surprisingly, a simple step like changing the part in your hair can relieve tension on that area. If the part is always in the same area, it is more likely to experience breakage. Try these 3 ways to change your part for a different look.

Things Not To Do

  • Wear tight, slicked back hairstyles

  • Wear heavy braided styles

  • Wear stay-on Satin Bonnets, tight headbands or certain hats for extended hours

  • Use relaxers, harsh hair colors or other chemicals along the hairline

  • Sleep on anything but satin or silk pillowcases

  • Skip clarifying shampoos

Have you found any products or techniques that helped grow back your edges?

Let us know down below in the comments.