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9 Really Important Things Every Black Woman Should Know About Her Edges

Don't let winter snatch your soul.

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Winter is coming, and there's one question begging to be answered:

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Your edges are your friends! Treat them with kindness, and they'll love you back. Here are some ways to show your edges some love this winter so they'll still be around to celebrate the spring with you.

1. Keep your edges moisturized.

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Gwen Jimmere, CEO and founder of Naturalicious, tells BuzzFeed Life that hydrating your edges with a good moisturizer will help to keep them soft and manageable. It's important to know that most effective moisturizers have water as the first ingredient, and do not include mineral oil or petrolatum. Checking the ingredients of your moisturizers is very important because some of the more common ingredients, like petrolatum, used in styling products are actually moisture resistant. Try Naturalicious Moisture Infusion Styling Creme.

2. Stimulate your scalp with oil.

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"A quick 10–15 second scalp massage with a fatty oil around the edges two times a day will help to stimulate blood flow near the roots of your hair, and can help regrow thinning edges," Jimmere tells BuzzFeed Life. "The key is to ensure you use an unrefined oil, which means that all the oil's naturally occurring minerals and nutrients have not been stripped from it."

Stacy Hill, CEO of DyeVerCity Salon, suggests massaging vitamin E, pumpkin seed oil, or products containing the horsetail herb on your edges, as they promote growth. Gently massaging your edges daily is stimulating and helps to improve blood circulation, which is necessary for the hair to grow back. This can be a great way to unwind each night before going to bed.

3. DON'T snatch your own edges!

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Styles that are too tight will snatch your edges, and not in the good way. Jimmere says people who opt for braids, twists, or weaves should be especially careful. "If you feel tension when you close your eyes, it's far too tight," she tells us, and over time, the strain will weaken your edges.

Don't buy into the idea that extensions that are tightly installed will last longer. What's a long-lasting style if you don't have any edges? Jimmere also says that you have to speak up. If your stylist is pulling your hair too tight, tell him or her to be more gentle.

4. Chill on the relaxer.

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Hill tells BuzzFeed Life, if you're getting a relaxer, "Apply it to your edges as the last step, right before rinsing the formula from your hair, because the edges tend to be very weak," as they are pulled and stressed the most in styling. She also says that it's common for women to relax only their edges in between treatments as a way to get them to lay more smoothly. Hill advises against this, though, and says that this is only stressing the edges more.

5. Lay low on the heat.

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Hill says not to use heat styling tools every day, and always keep the setting low when you're near your edges. "Hair is very fragile, and your edges are especially," she tells BuzzFeed Life. "You're literally frying those delicate strands when you apply heat to them day after day." Avoiding direct heat to your edges is advised, even more so if your hair is damaged or fine.

6. If you rock weaves or wigs, try switching up your style from time to time so your edges aren't always stressed in the same places.

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If you always leave some hair out when you get sew-ins, try doing something different: Rock a full sew-in with no edges left out, or use a closure. Or if you want to leave some hair out, switch up your part so you're not always exposing the same hair to ~the elements~.

Try to skip heat if you can. This is easiest if you pick a kind of hair similar to your own texture so you’re not always straightening your hair to blend. Lots of stores — and websites! — sell hair that mimics tightly curled, kinky textures. Treat it the way you'd treat your own: with lots of tenderness and care!

Avoid wigs with clips, which can yank your edges out. Opt for elastic instead. If you're worried about your wig staying on, consider having it sewn on in a few places for some added security.

7. Give your hair some extra special love from time to time with a deep-conditioning treatment.

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Make yourself an easy deep conditioner at home. There are lots of simple recipes you can use, so play around with them! It's always great to use a conditioner you love as the base and add your favorite oils or protein treatments to that. Honey can also help your hair retain moisture — just be sure to heat it up a bit so it mixes nicely.

Put a shower cap (or plastic bag) on your head once you've applied the deep conditioner, and let it sit for at least 45 minutes before you rinse it out. If you have a hooded dryer at home, you can sit under that for less time because the heat will help your hair absorb all that great moisture.

8. Don't skip the TLC before bed — always use a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase.

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Rubbing up against cotton all night will draw out your hair's natural oils, and the friction can cause breakage. That wreaks havoc on your edges in particular, especially if you move around a lot in your sleep.

Satin will allow your locks to preserve their moisture, and your hairstyle will stay in place longer. Just be sure to not tie your scarf too tight — that scarf-induced migraine is no joke. If you're going to put your hair in twists or braids to preserve your style, make sure those are loose too.

9. Be patient and consistent!

It can be hard to feel like you’re seeing progress, especially if your hair is tightly curled. Feel free to track your progress with pictures instead of just your eyes — you might be surprised!

If you don’t see progress or are still experiencing consistent breakage unrelated to the tension that you put on your hair, it may be worth talking to your stylist, general doctor, or dermatologist.

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