I don't know about the rest of you but an abused hairline is one of my pet peeves. If I see one in public, chances are, I will sit there and angrily stare at it without even realizing.
What makes it even worse is when you see someone (whose hairline is already gone) pulling what is left of it with some hairstyle that she really didn't need to do.
I get it, maintaining natural/unstyled hair is a time-consuming and difficult process but it does not mean that your hairline has to suffer.
These media personalities - who have to always have their hair styled for work - are proof of that.
Just take a look at Sindi Dlathu who plays Thandaza Mukwevho on the SABC 2 soapie Muvhango. The 43-year-old actress has been on the show for almost 20 years and she has had her hair styled - usually in cornrows - for many of those years. And her hairline is still here!
Cornrows are actually a great protective style for ethnic hair and this is probably why Sindi's hair has managed to stay so strong. She is also a fan of cutting her hair regularly. Sindi wore her hair in an s-curl style for years before growing it out with the help of cornrows - a strategy which you can use as well.
One mistake many women make with cornrows and other protective styles is that they do not thoroughly care for the hair that naturally grows out of their heads. Over time this hair can become dry and weak, causing it to break and fall off. This is what makes your hairline disappear in addition to making it seem like your hair never grows.
Another way in which protective styling can go wrong is when your hair stylist pulls the hair too tight in an effort to make it look neat. NEVER let them do that.
The technical term for hairline loss is traction alopecia - loosely translated, this means hair loss due to pulling. If you pull your hair too tight, too often, it is bound to give up on you so treat your hair right.
Like Connie Ferguson (pictured above) you can still get a neat-looking hairstyle without having it pulled too hard.
Another popular misconception is that relaxing your hair will destroy it.
While chemical relaxers are harsh, they will not completely destroy your hair, neglecting it is what destroys it. Connie Ferguson is the perfect example of what relaxed hair can look like if you just put a little more effort into caring for it.
Doing things like relaxing less often and moisturizing your hair more can make a big difference.
Hair care blogs recommend relaxing your hair every 8 to 16 weeks depending on your hair's needs.
You also should not plait your hair immediately after relaxing it. It is always best to give hair some time to recover from the chemical process as hair is weakest right after getting relaxed. One to two weeks (7 - 14 days) should be sufficient time.
You should also wash your hair AT LEAST once a week and remember to condition after every wash as well as deep conditioning every few weeks.
Using less heat on your hair will also allow it to strengthen over time. What is the point of styling hair now if you're not going to have it in 15 years? How else do you think the likes of Carol Bouwer have managed to keep a healthy head of hair after all these years?
Considering the fact that what you put into your body is what you will get out of it, keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle is also key to healthy hair.
Make sure that you drink plenty of water on a daily basis, you get enough sleep, you eat well, avoid stress and exercise regularly like Basetsana Kumalo.
Taking multi-vitamins, Omega-3 oil and other supplements (if your doctor recommends it) can also be great for your hair, skin and nails.
In addition to all that, take extra care with what products you use. Not all of them do what they promise to do and what worked for a friend might not work for you.
Natural oils such as castor, coconut, almond and olive oil are great for the hairline, especially when used in conjunction with water.
And lastly, I think it bears repeating that protective hairstyles (such as the one on Sophie Ndaba, pictured above, paired with diligent hair care) are your friend.
Just ask Bonang Matheba what protective hairstyles such as braids, weaves and wigs/lace wigs can do for your hair. They brought her hairline back from near-extinction and now we spend more time talking about her hairstyles, work ethic and relationship as opposed to her hairline.
Lace wigs are all the rage now as they look like natural hair but allow you to keep your natural hair covered in addition to being versatile and widely available. So we suggest saving up for one or buying one for the months/weeks when you're tired of getting your hair braided.
Main image credit: Instagram