Will Castor Oil on My Edges Prevent Hair Loss?'

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Cornrow BraidsName: Darryl

Question: I just got cornrows and was told if I put castor oil on my edges while I wear braids, I won't get hair loss. Is that right? How much do I need to use?

Answer: Hi, Darryl. Whilst castor oil may help to soften and improve the condition of your hair, it will not prevent hair loss caused by a medical hair loss condition.  

Wearing your hair in cornrows can place a lot of tension on the hair follicles and, if these are too tight and/or worn too frequently, they can lead to a hair loss condition called Traction Alopecia. This can cause receding all the way around the hairline, due to this area bearing most of the pressure, as well as bald patches - often accompanied by hair breakage - around the areas where the style is fixed. This is what can damage your 'edges'.

Traction Alopecia is often found in people with afro hair who wear tight hairstyles as the hair's naturally dry and more brittle texture makes it more prone to breakage. In this respect, keeping the hair properly moisturised and nourished using suitable oils is a good idea, but a better one is to switch up your hairstyle regularly and ensure your scalp has enough time to recover in between. Taking these preventative steps is worthwhile but if you do still find yourself developing hair loss or thinning edges, a specialist will be able to tailor a Traction Alopecia treatment plan for you.

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