Alopecia in black women: are more black women suffering hair loss?

Female hair loss occurs in all races. However, recently Dermatologists reports African American women in particular seem to be a growing trend. Why is that?

A simple answer would be the extensive styles like extensions, braids and weaves as well as the styling aids used to create the look.  Typically women who begin to lose their hair tend to disguise it with more weaves and braids only to make the damage worse.  But there are other underlying causes too.

ISHRS’ Dr. Robert Leonard shed some light on the types of alopecia that hit black women the hardest.

Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is a disease that is most commonly seen in black women. It creates inflammation at the center of the scalp, scarring hair follicles, and moves outward.  If the follicle becomes scarred, it is essentially a dead follicle and no hair will grow from it. What make this troubling is that it is one of the most difficult types of hair loss to treat.

CCCA stems from a genetic condition but others believe straightening procedures, the pulling from braids, weaves and extensions lead to the condition. It could be a combination of both, according to Dr. Leonard. The bright side to this whole disease is that if treated early, you can slow or halt the process.

"Prevention is very important because this is a progressive condition that spreads," says Leonard.  Seek a dermatologist or hair restoration specialist immediately for diagnosis to determine treatment options.

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