Ah, hair breakage. It's bad enough catching wind of it along your hairline, but it can be even more upsetting when you throw your hair into a ponytail only to find breakage making an appearance at the nape of your neck, too. Still, with a little knowledge of why you're actually experiencing hair loss in the nape of your neck in the first place, it can be fixable. Below, we outline the common culprits of hair breakage and thinning in the nape area as well as how to grow it back and keep it healthy.
Causes of Breakage in Nape Hair
There are a number of potential causes of breakage in this vulnerable area of your head; one (or all) of these may apply.
Tight hairstyles: Addicted to ponytails and buns? True, they're the ideal easy hairstyles for getting your hair out of your face, but with convenience may come a big downside: breakage. Switch off your tighter hairstyles with looser ones, which will ensure your scalp and hairline are getting a break from the tension. Also, steer clear of tight elastic hair ties and opt for softer alternatives.
Poor chemical application: It can be tough dealing with hair that seems to resist relaxing, but on the quest to grow back hair on the nape area, it's best to adopt gentler relaxing techniques. Avoid using a relaxer strength higher than you need to accomplish your aim of getting super-straight hair (a medium strength is suitable for most textures). Also, apply relaxer to the nape area last to avoid having the chemicals sit longer than needed.
Constant manipulation: We know how much effort (and inevitable tugging and smoothing) must have gone into creating that fabulous sleek updo, but relying on heavy gels and constant brushing to smooth down edges causes unnecessary tension along the hairline that's likely to lead to thinning and breakage.
How to Regrow Broken Nape Hair
Next to eyebrows, regrowing nape hair can be the biggest challenge. Below, uncover ways to encourage growth, bearing in mind that as with any hair growth, it takes time to see results.
Scalp massage: An overall scalp massage poses many benefits, but focusing on the nape especially might result in healthier hair and less breakage. Use an oil meant to seal in moisture and strengthen the hair follicles.
Avoid brushing, when possible: Instead, use your fingers to detangle when necessary, as overstimulating nape hair with constant brushing can lead to more damage.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Anything you can do to seal in moisture—be it a deep conditioning mask or a leave-in conditioner—may help the hair grow back.
How to Keep Nape Hair Healthy
If you're starting to see hair growth (yay!), keep these tips in mind to ensure you're not repeating a vicious cycle of breakage.
Use a heat protectant: A heat protectant should be used on the entire head pre-hot tool usage, but it's especially crucial to apply it to the nape area, as it's particularly susceptible to breakage. Also, if you're using a high heat setting on your whole head, lower the temperature when you get to the nape area.
Cover the nape nightly: A simple silk scarf goes a long way. Wear one nightly to protect your hair from moisture-eating cotton pillowcases.