Fixing Breakage at the Nape Area

Woman with hair breakage in the nape area
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Reader Question: My nape area is broken off so badly. I can't wear my hair up because it's so thin and looks bad. What can I do to bring it back?

Typical Causes of Breakage in the Nape Area

First, let's figure out why the breakage is happening to begin with. Once we know what caused it, you can work on avoiding the issue in the future so that your nape not only grows back in a healthy way, but doesn't suffer from this problem again.

Common causes of nape breakage include:

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

Ponytails and buns are go-to styles for many women, but they can easily cause damage all the way around the hairline. 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 lead to thinning and breakage.

Next, in the quest for a smooth hairline, bad relaxer application can also lead to a thinning nape. 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. Some women just have a hard time keeping their hands out of their hair.

Finally, with all of the good accessories available, there's no need to use any that will cause damage and breakage. Avoid any scrunchies, elastics and headbands with metal pieces. Wearing these hard pieces at the nape area is a sure way to pull on the delicate hair there and break it off.

How to Get Your Nape Healthy Again

Maybe one or all of these apply.

If you're addicted to ponytails, you'll have to find other styles that work for you, 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 a "kitchen" that seems to resist relaxing, but you'll need to adopt gentler relaxing techniques to grow your nape back. Don't use a relaxer strength higher than you need in your aim of getting super-straight hair. A medium strength is suitable for most textures.

Ditch any hair accessories containing metal parts that come in direct contact with your hair. Now, if you have "hand-in-hair" disease, it may be difficult to stop fondling your hair all the time. But you must resist! Use techniques that help you fight the urge; some are simple and rely on 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.

Now that you know what to stop, one thing you can start is massaging the nape 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 (buy on Amazon) can be used when massaging along your hairline. Remember, as 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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