What black women need to know about Hair Loss and Alopecia
It's normal to lose some hair as we get older. Studies show that humans can lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day and this goes unnoticed usually.
Alopecia is the excessive loss of hair either from the scalp or other body parts. It can be temporary or permanent resulting from heredity, medical conditions, bad haircare practices, ageing and even hormonal imbalance. It can affect men and women of all ethnicities and age groups and there are hundreds of millions of people that suffer from it worldwide.
Common types of alopecia
Alopecia occurs in different types depending on the cause. These are the most common types of alopecia that black women may experience;
Also known as patchy baldness. It is an autoimmune condition in which the immune attacks its own hair follicles by mistake. It can appear anywhere from the scalp to other body parts that grow hair including the beard, eyelashes, eyebrows and extremities.
Treatments may range from topical applications on the scalp and steroid shots. There should be a medical consultation and prescription from a professional before taking said medication.
Commonly known as male or female pattern baldness, it appears as though hair is thinning out without necessarily receding the hairline. It does however lead to permanent hair loss eventually.
Treatments for this type is either minoxidil or finasteride.
Traction alopecia is purely brought on by having very tight hairstyles, pulling, tagging or stressing it out. Styles like braids, tight extensions and buns can be detrimental to your hair, causing this condition with continued stress leading to permanent hair loss.
In very severe cases, hair transplant may be a solution. If the case is not too serious, avoiding tight hairstyles, switching to better ones and not sticking to a particular style will help stop hair loss.
This type of alopecia involves a lot of inflammation, itching and scarring which eventually causes permanent hair loss. The inflamed parts destroy hair follicles causing scars.
If detected early, injections and medications may help, while hair transplant may also be considered in more chronic cases.
This is more advanced than alopecia totalis. It involves complete hair loss on the entire body from the scalp, beard, eyelashes, eyebrows, extremities, chest, back and pubic area.
This is a form of alopecia areata that causes one to lose all the hair on the scalp. Medications from alopecia areata applies here as well.
Other causes of hair loss in black women
Apart from alopecia, excessive hair loss in black women may be a sign of medical conditions caused by:
- An illness such as scalp disorders
- Stress and mental health issues
- Cancer treatment
- Weight loss
- Iron deficiency
Hair loss from these conditions are usually temporary and your hair will start to grow back after you complete treatment for the underlying issue. Full Bloom Beauty's haircare products can help you regrow healthier, thicker, longer hair.
What to do if you think you have alopecia
The causes of alopecia are extensive and will vary with each individual and most hair loss does not need medical treatment. DO NOT take any medication until you consult your doctor, a proper diagnosis and prescription is offered. Here are some simple steps that you can take to prevent more damage if you suffer from hair loss:
- Stop using harsh chemicals like relaxers and dyes and avoid tight braids and weaves that put strain on your hair follicles. Full Bloom Beauty's hair coaching sessions can help you find alternative products, routines and styles to preserve healthy hair.
- Use natural haircare products that nourish the scalp and help boost hair growth such as Full Bloom Beauty's Growth Duo . Anoint can be messaged directly into your scalp to stimulate blood flow while Deliverance is an ayurvedic pre-poo or hot oil treatment to strengthen and preserve your healthy hair.
- Take regular pictures and keep a track of shedding.
- Seek medical advice if you experience excessive hair loss, have a sore or burning scalp for a prolonged period or are worried about your hair loss.
Most cases of afro hair loss are temporary and your hair can grow back and fully bloom with the right hair care products and routines. Full Bloom Beauty is here to help you every step of the way.