How You Should Be Fixing Breakage at the Nape Area

Updated 04/16/19
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If you're experiencing hair thinning or breakage at the nape area, you're probably upset about it. It's not just frustrating, but if the area is so thin it looks bad, it'll prevent you from wearing your hair up. Still, it's fixable—although you need to figure out why it's happening first. Once you know what causes it, you can work on avoiding the issue in the future. You don't just want your hair to grow back in a healthy way, you don't want to suffer from this problem again.

Common causes of nape breakage are things like:

  • Tight styles, such as ponytails, buns, braids and extensions
  • Bad chemical application
  • Constant manipulation
  • Poor accessory choice

Maybe one, or all of these apply. If you're addicted to ponytails, you'll have to find other styles that work for you to keep your hair out of your face, or stop making those ponytails and buns so tight. Instead of sporting ponytails every day, reduce your wearing time to no more than a few times per week. Wear loose hairstyles the rest of the time so that your scalp and hairline get a break from the tension. It can be tough dealing with hair that seems to resist relaxing, but you'll also need to adopt gentler relaxing techniques to grow your nape back. Don't use a relaxer strength higher than you need to accomplish your aim of getting super-straight hair. A medium strength is suitable for most textures.

Ponytails and buns are go-to styles for many people, but they can really cause damage all the way around the hairline, especially if you're a high-and-tight type of person. The same goes for tight braids and extensions. Some ladies want sleek hairdos that don't budge in a strong wind, so they may rely on heavy gels and lots of brushing to get their edges as flat and smooth as possible. Constant tension along the hairline will definitely lead to thinning and breakage.

Also, in the quest for a smooth hairline, bad relaxer application can lead to thinning hair. Either the chemicals are left on too long, or the strength of the relaxer is too high. Smoothing over this area throughout the day or manipulating it constantly, is another way to thin the nape.  But you must resist! Use techniques that help you fight the urge; some are simple and rely on a negative association, such as wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it every time you catch yourself in the habit you're trying to break. Regardless of whether it's an anxious habit or just something you do, playing with your hair is bad for it. This includes accessories! We're past the 90s, there's no need to use any elastic with metal in it. Wearing hard pieces at the nape area is a sure way to pull on the delicate hair there and break it off.

Now that you know what to stop, one thing you can start is massaging the nape of your neck every day. Overall scalp massage is great, but if you only have time for one area, focus on your nape. A small dab of jojoba oil or Jamaican Black Castor Oil, ($13,) can be used when massaging along your hairline. Remember, ​with any hair growth, it takes time to see results. Adopting better habits and letting bad ones go should have you seeing improvement within several weeks.

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