My Edges Don’t Define Me

by Denise Garrison

For centuries, black women have been known for the creativity of their hair. They can be whoever they want to be in an instant. From wigs, extensions, braids, big natural hair, twists, short cuts, and more. There is no limit to what black women can do with their hair. In addition, we spare no expense when it comes to our hair either because we want what we want; No matter how detrimental the style may be for our hair. Some styles can be over a few thousand dollars, not including maintenance. Depending on the occasion, some women may even break the bank.

A woman’s crown is sacred to her and one of the things that makes her feel most beautiful. In recent years, many black women have learned how to properly upkeep their hair and the importance of protecting their locks. However, one issue that has been plaguing our community, for decades, is hair loss around the edges and hairline, which has been attributed to tension, traction alopecia, or a poor hair care regimen. As a child, young ladies are not always taught to maintain their hair properly because their parents were the ones responsible for choosing their hairstyles. Sadly, many black women were not taught how to treat their hair either which has created a generational hair curse.

Braids, ponytails, barrettes, ballies, ribbons, are a part of childhood that is symbolic of a young black girl’s childhood. It is an exhibition of innocence and grace. As a teenager, young women begin to explore themselves and experiment with their hair. It would be the first time that they would have a say-so in what their hair will look like. However, some parents still run a tight ship and will not let their teens get too out of hand.

Throughout the evolution of the hair industry, styles like braids and crochet also known as protective styles have been on the rise. They have made life so much easier for women on-the-go, or women who have a hard time maintaining their hair. In contrast, these styles have also become a crutch as well because of the length of time that they are kept in. To serve the purpose of being protective, these styles should be installed by a professional to ensure proper installation and post-style maintenance. No matter what style you choose to wear, you must protect your edges and keep your hair moisturized. Many women have lost their edges and have become self-conscious about their hair. With the use of the right products, some edges will grow back and sadly many will not. This can cause severe stress, trauma, and low self-esteem. Leaving many to neglect their natural hair and eventually resort back to wearing wigs, braids, and weaves.

On any given day, you can scroll down your timeline on social media and see a picture of a woman slaying her edges. They can be styled in many ways ranging from being swooped, swirled, waved, or slick backed. We must keep in mind that the hairline is made of fine hairs that are fragile and must be treated with care. When hair follicles are damaged or over-used through aggressive styling, it can lead to permanent damage. If you are unsure if your loss is temporary or permanent, please seek help from a professional hairstylist or trichologist in your city.

Your edges do not define who you are. You are still beautiful no matter what the standards of society may show. Protect your crown sister.

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