The ever changing landscape of hair can be seen through the perspective of black women. Box braids, wigs, weaves and perms. The lengths that black women take to style their hair is endless. With the rise in popularity of these styles comes damage. In recent years, the black community has seen a rise in hair loss, especially in women.
What is causing the hair loss?
The most common type of hair loss being experienced by black women is traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is caused by the irritation of the hair follicle when hair is being pulled too tight for extended periods of time. The issue is not in wearing certain braids, wigs, and weaves, but in wearing them frequently and too tightly. Pain and inflammation or little bumps next to the hair follicle can indicate when a style is too tight.
Due to the naturally curly texture of a black person’s hair, it is prone to breakage. When frequent stress is added to the hair, hair loss is likely to occur. Thinning from the breakage and the loss of hair from traction alopecia can add onto the increased rate of someone losing their hair.
With women facing this sort of hair loss, they may turn to wearing more styles that will hide their hair loss, especially at their hairline. This causes a damaging pattern of irritation on the hair follicle, rooted in humiliation, that can lead to scarring and permanent hair loss if left untreated.
Support and Treatment
The culture of black women sporting these hairstyles that can be too tight and wearing them frequently is also filled with shame from the hair loss many are hiding. In a previous blog post, I’ve expressed the sense of embarrassment women, and notably, black women experience when they begin to lose their hair. Often time their beauty and worth are placed in their hair and how it looks.
For many black women, they wear their hair like a crown. It is something that empowers them, no matter the style. It’s important to make sure that they receive the proper support and treatment when they experience hair loss. It should not be met with shame, but with encouragement to restore their hair back to a healthier state.
For any person experiencing hair loss seeking a dermatologist is imperative. At Radiant Skin Dermatology and Laser, we are committed to continuing to build a community that is supportive and informative about hair loss. Come in for a consultation to treat all of your hair loss needs.