7 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Hairline and Fix Thinning Edges

Hair loss around the hairline can be a discouraging issue to deal with.
Hair loss around the hairline can be a discouraging issue to deal with. (Photo: Gavin O’Neill/Trunk Archive, makeup artist: Rae Morris, model: Janini Milet for Wilhelmina)

As women and men age, hair loss, specifically around the hairline, is an issue that can be alarming. In many instances, thinning edges can be reversed, but there are other cases where the matter needs closer attention. If something as serious as traction alopecia (hair loss due to strands constantly being pulled in the same direction or an excess of heat styling) is detected, one should seek out medical advice for solutions.

Damage can also be caused by everything from an unhealthy diet to wearing one too many topknots. Luckily, we were able to track down advice from a few professionals who are hair-loss experts for seven tips to help you fix a struggling hairline before it’s too late.

Tip 1. Maintain an adequate diet
Experts agree that an unbalanced diet can be a leading cause of hair loss. But also when it comes to hair, many of us don’t realize it’s actually harder to nourish than any other part of the body. “Hair is nonessential tissue, so it is the last to receive nutrients and the first to be withheld from,” according to trichologists at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York City.

With that in mind, foods specifically loaded with protein (eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry) and stored iron (red meats or dark leafy greens) are highly recommended to be added to your weekly diet, as these types of food groups contain the essential amino acids and cell proteins that help promote steady hair growth. However, if you have been eating poorly for a long period of time, trichologists of the PKC warn that “you have to let the initial loss run its course. This usually takes six to 12 weeks to stop depending on the length and severity of the deficiency.”

Tip 2. Switch up your style
Topknots, high ponytails, and sleek chignons are all amazing until you overwear them and, as a result, start noticing thinned-out edges. As Yahoo Beauty previously reported on Kim Kardashian’s noticeably sparse edges, the excessive wearing of tight hairstyles may cause tension around the hairline.

Trichologist and internationally renowned hair-loss specialist David H. Kingsley, PhD, explains, “Hair extensions can most definitely pull on the hair follicle, causing traction alopecia (breakage) and/or hair loss, as the hair is physically pulled from the scalp. Usually, if treated with scalp masks and hair strengtheners, such as British Science Formulations Root Energizing Mask and Hair Strengthener, the hair will grow back. However, long-term ‘pulling’ can lead to permanent hair loss. It is something that needs addressing quickly.”

Tip 3. Dry hair with care
“One of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to dry your hair with more care,” says celebrity hairstylist Vernon François. Many of us just grab the closet terry cloth towel and rub our hair down from front to back with it, not realizing that the terry material is yanking our strands apart. Who wants that headache? François recommends to “carefully pat and squeeze hair dry using a cotton T-shirt, or even better, a microfiber towel. You’ll find that moisture is absorbed more quickly, plus the hair breaks and sheds far less, if at all, compared to harsh rubbing with a cotton towel.”

Tip 4. Stress less
Stress can be caused by a number of different factors, and most of us have had our fair share of it at some point in life. While everyone has different techniques for dealing with these intense pressure-related feelings, you really want to aim at decreasing rather than increasing if you want to see any improvement in the volume of hair along the edges of the hairline.

“Stress can, through a convoluted route, increase testosterone levels, which in turn can affect the hair growth cycle,” shares trichologists at the PKC. “The best way to treat stress-related hair loss is to tackle the stress itself. We suggest weekly sessions of yoga, Pilates, meditation and/or mindfulness. Anti-androgenic scalp drops can also help.”

Tip 5. Massage your scalp
“Healthy hair growth starts with a healthy scalp. Massaging your scalp with essential oils has been known to help stimulate growth of skin cells around the hair follicles,” says François. One highly praised favorite to try: Jamaican castor oil. Look for formulas that are hand-processed from organic Jamaican castor seeds. YouTube beauty vloggers have shared countless videos raving about how well this nourishing treatment product has worked for them.

Tip 6. Sleep on silk
Moisture is essential for hair follicles to properly flourish, and when lying down on materials like cotton, moisture is easily zapped, leaving your strands thirsty and eventually leading to thinning edges. To avoid this issue, try wrapping hair in a Silke London silk wrap or covering pillows with silk pillowcases before you hit the sheets.

Tip 7. Fill in the blanks
Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it, and thinning edges might call for this strategy, especially while you are building your hairline back up to optimal strength. There are everything from hair-building fibers to root touchup coloring sticks that can assist in the illusion of a full, healthy hairline. Take your pick, and fill in as needed.

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