African-American women and men are prone to hair loss, and new data presented at the American Academy of Dermatology‘s 74th Annual Meeting in Washington illustrates the scope of this problem, which often goes undiagnosed. Certain styling practices may increase the risk of hair loss in this population; women who are concerned about losing their hair should consider different styling practices and see a dermatologist if they notice any signs of hair loss.
According to the AAD, of the 5,594 women who have completed the survey, 47.6 percent reported hair loss on the crown or top of the scalp. The survey also shows the problem usually goes undiagnosed. More than 80% of women indicated they had never seen a physician about hair loss.
Causes of Hair Loss
Black women and men are more prone to three specific types of alopecia:
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA)
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is hair loss (alopecia) that begins in the central (vertex) portion of the scalp. According to Dr. Lenzy, the No. 1 cause of hair loss in African-American women is the condition CCCA, a disorder in which inflammation and destruction of hair follicles causes scarring and permanent hair loss. CCCA is most commonly seen in black women and it can occur at any age. This type of hair loss causes scarring (cicatrix) of the hair follicles. Once a follicle is scarred it is destroyed and hair will never grow from that follicle again. When you look at the scalp, it may appear shiny and often you will not see follicular pores or hair follicles.
Traction alopecia is a form of acquired hair loss that results from prolonged or repetitive tension on the scalp hair (e.g. cornrows, dreadlocks, twists, braids and weaves). Traction alopecia often appears as thinning at the hairline, but also occur anywhere the hair is constantly pulled.
Breakage is the damage of hair itself, with this damage the hair shaft becomes weak and brittle strands. Causes are excessive heat from flat irons and hot combs or chemicals used to straighten or color the fragile naturally curly black hair.
Seek medical help, Stop damaging your hair
Covering the hair loss or thinning hair up with wigs, weaves, or braids in hair line and nape areas can make already hair worse or even negatively affect the scalp to the point or irreversible hair loss. These styles which require a lot of tension contribute to worse hair falling and thinning hair.
To prevent hair loss:
Go natural. Try to accept you beautiful and do hair changes without harsh chemicals or extreme heat
Have a looser style and avoid braids, weaves, extensions or cornrows.
Wear the right size wig, choose one with an open cap and be sure to wash it regularly.
Try to extend the times of chemical relaxing treatments, and stop the treatment if your hair becomes weak or sheds.
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