From genetics, to strenuous hairstyles and treatments, Black women are more prone to experience the woes of hair loss.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an astonishing forty percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they turn 40-years-old. Black women with natural hair especially have issues with losing their hair.
A survey conducted by the Black Women’s Health Study program at Boston University’s Stone Epidemiology Center produced overwhelming results. Out of 5,600 natural hair women surveyed, almost half (48 percent to be exact) of participants endured struggles with hair loss.
Even more troubling, 81 percent of the Black women who participated admitted that they had not received a consultation from a doctor about their condition.
Women with natural hair can combat hair loss before it becomes an issue by assessing exactly what hair loss is and exploring methods for prevention.
image via ebena.net
What exactly is natural hair loss, and What Does it Mean for Black women?
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (pronounced al-oh-pee-sha), abbreviated as CCCA and often referred to as simply alopecia, is one of reasons, if not the leading cause, of hair loss in Black women.
The crown of the scalp is usually the most affected. Alopecia causes hair loss to spread outward centrifugally, or in the pattern of a circle. The hair loss usually happens over time, although in some cases, it may happen rapidly.
Even though the exact reason behind the development of alopecia in Black women is still a mystery, doctors have identified a few culprits behind the conditions.
Too much heat, hot oils, potent chemicals from relaxers, braids installed improperly, hot combs, and certain types of extensions are said to be the potential causes.
Family history and hereditary have also been explored as contributing factors.
Let’s be honest. Dealing with alopecia is scary and discouraging, but luckily we have learned about prevention. Here’s some advice on what black women need to know about hair loss and methods for prevention before it becomes a nuisance.
How to Prevent Hair Loss in Black Women
There are often warning signs that are overlooked in terms of hair loss. You may notice that your ponytails have lost thickness, or your scalp may become more visible. If you, or your hairstylist, happen(s) to notice hair loss, the issue should be handled immediately (Hopkins Medicine).
Black women can put their minds at ease knowing that hair loss does not have to be dealt with in silence. Thousands of Black women deal with the same issue, and there are different methods to help prevent hair loss.
Consult with a Physician, Dermatologist, or Trichologist
Many Black women fail to properly treat hair loss because of shame or embarrassment. This should never be the case. Consulting with a medical professional who is trained on the specific issues of hair loss and alopecia is one of the best ways to gain insight and take action.
Making an appointment with a physician, dermatologist or trichologist will assist with assessing the true cause of hair loss and how to treat it to prevent further damage.
A physician, or your primary care doctor will be able to refer you to a specialist for skin care, such as a dermatologist or trichologist. Dermatologists focus on skin care, while trichologists are more specialized doctors that focus on the study of the hair and scalp, making them perfect for dealing with hair loss in black women.
Being proactive about your routine checkups will assist with this matter as well.
According to Dermatologist Crystal Aguh on behalf of Hopkins Medicine, anemia, low levels of vitamin D and abnormal thyroid hormones can all affect the health of your hair. You should also try to maintain a balanced diet and practice self-care.
The longer the issue of hair loss and CCCA goes untreated, the harder it becomes to combat. Ignoring the problem can even lead to permanent scarring and make the hair loss irreversible.
Use Natural Oils to Help Slow and Prevent Hair Loss
Here are some oils that we have determined to help assist with the nuisance that is hair loss:
Castor oil, known for its ability to cleanse the body internally, has properties for hair regeneration and stimulates hair growth. Scientifically speaking, the oil contains ricinoleic acid, which makes it anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. All of these factors assist with preventing the spread of bacteria and infection. Castor oil also works to make the roots of the hair stronger, which fights shedding and makes the hair grow back stronger and thicker than before.
Coconut oil, the only oil that can get into the hair follicle fully, is extremely effective in terms of hair loss. Because coconut oil is able to penetrate follicles, this oil can help rebuild hair from the inside out and prevent it from becoming damaged any further. The Lauric acid inside the oil has properties that fight off fungi and bacteria, two key components of hair loss.
Rich in vitamins D and E, and minerals like magnesium and calcium, almond oil is a natural moisturizer. Hair that is dry and brittle is more susceptible to breakage, and almond oil is one of the only oils that is able to stop this. Adding almond oil to your scalp will help provide the hair with nutrients and ensure the growth of strong, healthy hair.
Lavender oil not only adds nutrients to the hair that help assist in making it stronger, it also promotes circulation and oxygen flow. Lavender oil penetrates the roots of the hair, combats pests like lice, and helps fight off bacterial infections.
Olive oil, full of vitamin E and fatty acids, is effective for nourishment and hair loss treatment. This essential oil is also rich in antioxidants and helps block the creation of DTH hormone, which may be responsible for hair thinning.
Refrain From Styles That Cause Further Damage
Using excessive heat and wearing hairstyles that cause further damage will only accelerate hair loss. Instead, wearing protective hairstyles and using accessories that are not strenuous on your hair will help prevent hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
- The Bun (secured with an added flair)
- Practical Ponytails (showcased in a trendy, posh fashion)
- Bantu Knots
- Mohawks (and ‘Frohawks)
- Twists & Braids
Hair loss in Black women is an issue that no longer has to go unacknowledged. Plus the good news is, now there’s an even easier way to look great and slow hair loss significantly.
Stop hesitating and take that next step towards having a healthy head of hair.
Consult with a hair care specialist if you are suffering from hair loss or have any questions. Incorporate essential oils into your daily regimen, and refrain from wearing hairstyles that will cause more damage to your hair.
Here with HairZing, you can rest assured that you have a number of stylish, convenient hair accessories to choose from that won’t stress your hair follicles. Start working towards happier, healthier hair today.