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What Causes Black Women’s Hair Loss

Treatment For Androgenic Alopecia

Hair Loss in Black Women | Hair Loss Treatment for Women | Hair Loss Women

Androgenic alopecia has no cure. Still, there are a wide array of treatment options. These options range from over-the-counter and prescription drugs to surgical procedures.

You may be surprised to know that in a sea of treatments professed to counteract hair loss, only two products, minoxidil and finasteride are proven to encourage hair growth. Both products are approved by the FDA and sold in the United States.

Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, is a popular over the counter treatment for hair loss. It is a liquid or foam treatment that is rubbed into the scalp daily. Minoxidil may be used by both men and women and takes about six months to show results.

Unfortunately, products such as minoxidil and finasteride have limited success at remedying hair loss. Though they may slow the rate of hair loss and even renew hair growth, once an individual stops using them, hair loss returns.

Speak to a doctor or appropriate professional before using any prescription product. Finasteride should not be used by women, it is a medical prescription for men only.

Treatment For Traction Alopecia

Hair stylists offer a variety of options to cosmetically treat hair loss. What is more, numerous salons today specialize in hair care for black women! This includes natural hairstyling and nonsurgical hair replacement methods. Hair stylists can enhance a client’s natural hair and create appealing, unique looks that boost self-esteem!

During the styling process opt for looser hairstyles. Wash and gos and twists are low tension styles that protect hair from roots to end. Protective styles prevent traction alopecia by minimizing manipulation and friction of the hair.

Hair oils are natural products that also encourage hair growth. Castor oil is an easily attainable oil that boasts many benefits. It moisturizes the hair shaft, increasing hair flexibility and decreasing the chance of hair breakage. Moisture treatments are another product that keeps hair hydrated. Alternate between the use of a good moisture and protein treatment. Protein treatments strengthen the hair and prevent future hair loss.

  • Anagen effluvium alopecia caused by chemo, radiation, or poisoning
  • Alopecia mucinosa and alopecia neoplastica caused by cancer
  • Tinea capitis caused by an infection
  • How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done

    The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:

    • Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
    • Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
    • Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
    • Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.

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    Hair Loss Due To Medications

    Hair loss is a side effect of a number of medications taken for common health problems. Blood-thinning medications, oral contraceptives, drugs for depression, NSAIDs, and beta and calcium channel blockers can all lead to thinning hair or baldness. Too much vitamin A and vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids can cause hair loss as well. Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer are known to cause total hair loss as they work to destroy cancer cells. Just as hair usually grows back after chemo, it should also grow back once you stop taking any medication that causes hair loss.

    Can Women Get Female Pattern Baldness In Their 20s

    Causes of female hair loss in black women

    Women are less likely to develop female pattern baldness before midlife. Like men, women are more likely to start losing hair once they get into their 40s, 50s, and beyond.

    High levels of male sex hormones, called androgens, contribute to hair loss in men. Its generally felt that androgens are also at play in female pattern hair loss.

    Smoking may also increase your risk for developing female pattern hair loss.

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    What Is The Relationship Between Hair Loss In Women And Menopause

    During menopause, you might see one of two things happen with your hair. You might start growing hair where you didnt before. Or, you might see the hair you have start to thin. One cause may be changing levels of hormones during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased.

    During and after menopause, hair might become finer because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases.

    Your healthcare provider will do a thorough examination and take a detailed history to help you deal with changes in hair growth. You may be directed to have your iron levels or thyroid hormone levels tested. Your medications might be changed if what you take is found to affect hair loss or growth.

    Do Women Experience More Hair Loss Due To Covid

    Generally, women pay more attention to their appearance than men and they are more sensitive to their looks. Therefore, when experienced with a COVID-19 related hair loss, they exhibit stronger symptoms of depression and anxiety which trap them in a vicious circle of stress and hair loss.

    Utkan Kzltaç, MD

    Chief Physician and Dermatologist Hair Transplant Surgeon of UnitedCare, a dermatology clinic helping patients become the best version of themselves.

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    Is The Structure Of Afro Kinky Curly Hair More Vulnerable To Hair Loss

    The hair shaft of most 4b/c Afro hair types are flat with a more twisted structure and a thinner diameter compared with other hair types.

    In addition to this, the curly nature of African hair makes it difficult for the oils from the root of the hair, to travel up to the ends of the hair.

    For these reasons, Afro hair is more prone to dryness than other hair types, making it more vulnerable to breakage BUT not necessarily hair loss.

    So What Causes Traction Alopecia

    6 Causes of Hair Loss

    Traction alopecia is caused by inflammation of the follicle when the hair is being pulled too tight for too long. Its probably the most common form of hair loss we see in the black community, said Crystal Aguh, an assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore and an editor of the textbook Fundamentals of Ethnic Hair: The Dermatologists Perspective.

    Hair that is naturally curly is also fragile. Because of bends in the hair, sebum from the scalp, a natural protectant, cant travel down the length of the shaft. The bends themselves also make curly hair prone to breakage.

    Hair loss happens in phases. Pain and little bumps around the follicle, called traction folliculitis, are the first signs that a style is too tight. Subsequent thinning, traction alopecia, can still be reversed. After that, when the follicle is put under repeated tension, it scars over and hair stops growing permanently. This is called scarring alopecia.

    Braids, wigs and extensions can be worn safely and are not the direct cause of hair loss. But when they put too much tension on the hair or are worn constantly, the follicles inflame and hair breaks. Women may notice hair loss but feel trapped in a cycle of wearing extensions to cover it.

    Read Also: What To Do About Hormonal Hair Loss

    How Jada Pinkett Smith Is Uplifting Black Women With Alopecia

    The actress Jada Pinkett Smith revealed her alopecia diagnosis in 2018, and since then, shes been embracing the challenges of the condition and publicly displaying evidence of hair loss with confidence and candor.

    Last month, she released a video on Instagram to talk about a new patch of baldness caused by alopecia, a condition that causes drastic hair loss. The video, which has almost 2 million views, shows a smiling Pinkett Smith acknowledging the discovery.

    Look at this line right here, Pinkett Smith, 50, said as she pointed to her scalp. Now this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide, so I thought Id just share it so yall not asking any questions but you know, mamas going to put some rhinestones in there, and Im going to make me a little crown.

    Like Pinkett Smith, many women of color experience alopecia. According to a 2016 survey of 5,594 Black women, 47.6 percent of respondents said they experienced hair loss. A majority of respondents who experience hair loss do not seek help from medical professionals and often go undiagnosed, according to the report.

    A Nurses Health Study conducted in 2018 found there was an increased likelihood of alopecia areata in Black and Hispanic women compared to white women.

    Peralta, who is Afro Latina, said that growing up, hair was a primary focus in her Dominican culture. When she began losing her hair, she said she felt like less of a woman and struggled to cope.

    What Causes Alopecia Areata

    Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your body.

    When you have alopecia areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles . This attack on a hair follicle causes the attached hair to fall out.

    The more hair follicles that your immune system attacks, the more hair loss you will have.

    Its important to know that while this attack causes hair loss, the attack rarely destroys the hair follicles. This means that your hair can regrow. The less hair loss you have, the more likely it is that your hair will regrow on its own.

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    What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss

    Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:

    • What kinds of hair products do you use?
    • What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
    • What types of food do you eat ?
    • Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?

    They might ask about your history:

    • Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
    • Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
    • What medications and supplements do you take every day?
    • Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
    • What foods are in your diet?

    And, they might ask about your observations:

    • How long have you been losing hair?
    • Have you been shedding more?
    • Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
    • Does anything worsen your hair loss?
    • Does anything improve your hair loss?
    • Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
    • Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
    • Has your hair been breaking more often?

    Diet Deficiencies: Your Hair Is What You Eat

    Time To Talk About Black Women Hair Loss

    The essential vitamins and nutrients, like protein, that you get from a healthy, varied, and well-balanced diet ensure good health all throughout your body, making sure all your organs and internal systems are working just as they should. Poor nutrition or following a severely restrictive crash or fad diet can lead to all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can result in hair loss, from thinning hair to patches of baldness.

    Read Also: Will There Be A Cure For Hair Loss

    As A Result Of Hair Loss

    According to MedicineNet.com: Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. Alopecia can be temporary or permanent. The most common form of alopecia occurs gradually and is referred to as androgenetic alopecia.

    Most women suffer hair loss because of three major causes: hair shedding, hair thinning and hair breakage. below are the major causes of hair loss in young women:

    1. Increased hair shedding

    It is also known as telogen effluvium, the most common causes of which are acute illnesses like typhoid and malaria, poor nutrition, iron deficiency, thyroid disorders etc.

    2. Hair loss caused by thinning of hair

    It is also called female pattern hair loss in which there is thinning of hair over the crown of the head resulting in widening of the middle hair parting. This is the equivalent of the common male pattern baldness seen in men. This is generally inherited, but can also reflect an underlying hormonal imbalance like poly cystic ovarian syndrome

    3. Hair loss from hair breakage

    This condition is not true hair loss from the roots but represents hair that breaks along its length during shampooing, combing and hair styling. Hair bleaching, coloring, ironing, straightening etc. make the hair bonds weaker, making it easier to break.

    4. Receding hairline from Androgenetic alopecia

    5. Fluctuating hormone levels

    6. Stress

    7. Receding hairline after pregnancy

    8. Eating disorders

    9. Excessive styling

    10. Frontal fibrosing alopecia in women

    Female Pattern Hair Loss

    You may have heard of male pattern baldness. More than 21 million women in the U.S. are born with the female version of this condition. Also called androgenetic alopecia, itâs the top cause of hair loss for both sexes.

    In men, the hair tends to thin out at the temples and can make them go bald. In women, it usually starts at the top of the head or at the part. It can look like a Christmas tree with thinned-out branches. You might hear it called female pattern baldness. But women rarely lose all their hair. Instead, their hairs tend to get sparse and give their scalps a see-through look. It usually starts in midlife after 40, and sometimes earlier, and continues through your life. Can alopecia be reversed? Read more about the steps you can take.

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    How Common Is Hair Loss In Women

    Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.

    Diabetes And Black Afro Hair Loss

    Causes Of Female Hair Loss Thyroid Problems

    If you have, or suspect you have, diabetes it is vital you book in to see your doctor. Diabetes that is unmanaged can have many adverse affects on the body, including hair loss or thinning hair. The causes of hair loss among diabetics can be difficult to pinpoint, although there are a few common causes including hormonal imbalance, emotional stress and the medication you are taking.

    While hair loss can be extremely distressing and can affect your confidence, there is good news. Most hair loss caused by thyroid issues and diabetes are not permanent and can be reversed with the right approach. We have some tips on how to treat or manage your hair loss:

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    Keep The Hair And Scalp Healthy

    Use castor, Jamaican black castor, olive, or unrefined and pure coconut oil to massage your scalp to keep it moisturized. Additionally, keep hair moisturized by frequently applying masks and oils. When you use heated styling tools, always thoroughly apply a heat protector.

    Healthy hair starts from the inside out. Help keep your hair healthy by eating foods rich in vitamins and healthy fats, such as salmon, avocados, seeds, nuts, and plenty of fruits and veggies.

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