Cherish Your Hair

Ethnic Hair Solutions

Different ethnic groups have observable differences in the structure, density, and growth rate of hair. With regards to structure, all human hair has the same basic chemical composition in terms of keratin protein content. It has been discovered that ethnic hair may differ in the distribution of lipids throughout the hair shaft. However, with ethnic hair:

•There’s less contrast between hair and scalp color, and curly hair covers more of the scalp.

•It’s coarser, resulting in a raised cuticle layer which readily absorbs, then loses, moisture.

•It needs oils to seal in moisture, protect the hair and keep it soft and manageable.

•Surgical procedures, even minor ones, can often result in keloid scars and hypopigmentation if not done correctly.

•It’s frequently stressed – thinned – from years of use of strong chemicals to color or straighten, from braids, from weaves and from heat.

For Black women, the most common type of hair loss falls into the category of traumatic alopecia. Caused by destructive habits that are often avoidable, dermatologists say traumatic alopecia results from the following: 1) improper use of products that chemically alter the natural hair texture, 2) excessive hot-pressing, curling or blow-drying, 3) gluing hair in during the weave process, 4) applying new relaxers over previously relaxed hair, 5) chemical or heat burns to the scalp, and 6) combining permanent color with other chemical hair treatments.

Traction alopecia affects thousands of Black women each year. Continuous pulling of the hair that occurs from tight cornrows, braids, weaves, ponytails and curlers is often the culprit. If you have difficulty moving your forehead or experience headaches and scalp soreness, these may be signs that your hair is styled too tightly. Over time, bald spots may develop along the hairline and above the ears. The hairline gradually recedes significantly. If the problem is not treated, a permanent condition called scarring alopecia may result.

Another common type of hair loss among Black women is hot comb alopecia or (CCCA) central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, which begins at the central portion of the scalp and progresses rapidly. Eventually, it causes severe damage to hair follicles.

What You Can Do For HAIR LOSS

•See your Trichologist early for an exam, proper diagnosis and medication if necessary.

•Avoid harsh chemicals, relaxers and excessive heat

•Try a simple, loose style that does not require a lot of maintenance

•Stay with styles that minimize the appearance of hair loss without sacrificing your look.

Info 101: What can I expect on a visit to a trichologist?

Many natural hair wearers suffer with hair loss. Disorders of the scalp, health conditions, vitamin deficiencies and even heredity can be causes of hair loss. The best person to seek advice is someone who specializes in hair and scalp care – a trichologist