It took decades for me to develop real patience with my hair. And I'm the first to admit that, at times, it's still a struggle. Between perm damage, bad dye jobs, scissor-happy stylists, and just the plight that regular upkeep can bring, it can still be difficult to fully embrace my natural curls when it's not tucked away under my usual protective styles. But if there's one thing I've finally mastered through countless curl calamities, it's how to grow my edges back — some know-how that I recently had to put to work after a summer style gone awry.
Last year, in the midst of the passion twist trend wave, I decided to DIY the style on myself. I figured it'd give me a chic, bohemian look as well as a much-needed break from sew-ins. Before I installed the twists, I used the banding method (where you wrap rubber bands around each section of your damp hair to "stretch" it out) for extended longevity. After wearing the twists for about four weeks, I noticed more hair loss than new growth. I didn't consider how the tension would affect my edges. By the time I removed the style, chunks of hair were falling from the perimeter of my head.
And while the Blake 10 years ago may have felt like it was the end of the world, one of my mom's favorite adages for hair rang true in my ear: "It's just hair, it'll grow back." I figured once I installed another protective style, my edges would return in no time. The breakage didn't get worse, but it surely wasn't getting any better.
Since the world was under quarantine for several months, I decided that there was no better time to give my edges some TLC by wearing low-manipulation natural styles. After doing so, I noticed that not only was my hair feeling healthier, but my edges were growing back rapidly. Nearly three months in and more than pleased with the results, here are my secrets.
How To Regrow Your Edges: What Wash Day Looks Like
Once every two weeks, I wash and deep condition with TPH by Taraji's Cleanse Collection, using a scalp massage to truly cleanse my scalp while shampooing. After, I follow-up with the Presto Miracle Mud Mask from The Mane Choice, leaving in my hair to soak it in for about 30 minutes. This mask contains vitamin B and kakadu plum, both wonderful for hydration and repair. Once the hair is rinsed and still wet, I seal in moisture with Oribe's Gold Lust Nourishing Oil and allow my hair to air dry. Skipping a week in between my wash days ensures that I don't dry out my hair, and even better, leaves less maintenance for me.
How To Regrow Your Edges: Massage Your Scalp
It probably comes as no surprise that I'm mentioning this hair growth elixir, but I've concocted my own magic potion that I massage into my edges each and every night. It consists of Jamaican black castor oil, just a bit of eucalyptus oil, and The Mane Choice's Scalp Growth Oil. Packed with growth agents long known for reviving broken or thinning hair, the combination of scientifically blended products, paired with essential oils stimulates the scalp in ways that you can actually feel — there's a small tingle upon application.
The one issue, however, is that the blend itself is a bit heavy and can easily make hair greasy if not used in minimal doses. That said, I only use a small bit, and only at night. With my two pointer fingers I massage the mix into my edges in a circular motion, moving back and forth for at least five minutes.
How To Regrow Your Edges: Wrap Your Hair In Silk
After applying the oil blend, I wrap my edges in a silk scarf and bonnet, sleeping on a silk pillowcase to avoid any tugging at the hair strands often caused by cotton. However, there are those rare instances that I opt in for a distanced patio happy hour. In those moments, I'll do my signature perm rod set, which gives me a larger-than-life spiral fro, and allow that to hold me over until the next wash day. This ensures little to no tension on my edges, encouraging no more breakage. It's undoubtedly not the most glamorous, but my hair from my edges to my ends are having a moment to breathe. And if I really want it to turn out larger than life with a bit more length, I'll blow dry my hair before putting it in perm rods, rather than styling while wet.
I won't lie and tell you that following these steps will leave you with flourishing edges in two weeks, because that's just not true. In fact, I didn't begin seeing real results until about a month in. However, a little patience and following these easy steps has left me with noticeable growth that's not just getting longer, but also getting fuller. Now I can rest assured that when I dive back into the protective styles after the world opens up again, I'll leave the installation to the experts, and continue to show my edges some extra love in between appointments.
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