Thursday, September 19, 2013

The African American Woman's Guide to Hair Loss

Shedding hair is a natural process for any woman. However, hair loss is not and many African American women suffer from it. In fact, more and more African American women are diagnosed with alopecia each year. In this guide, we'll take a look at the two types plaguing women of color and how you can restore your hair back to radiant health.
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. The two major types African American women face are Traction Alopecia and Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopeci (CCCA). Both are treatable and preventable with a consistent plan of action.
Traction Alopecia
This is hair loss as a result of stress and constant pulling of the hair strand that weakens the follicle. Hairstyles are the typical cause. You'll see hair loss gradually in the area of the most strain. Weaves, extensions, braids, cornrows, or tight ponytails can contribute to this.
Many transitioners use these low maintenance styles to cut down on manipulation of the hair. However, it can be easy to forget about proper management of one's own hair when in these styles. Proper guidance while transitioning is key to preventing traction alopecia before it starts!
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopeci (CCCA)
CCCA is hair loss that begins at the center of the scalp and spreads out. Some of the most common factors are chemical processing (relaxers, dyes) or heat damage (hot comb, flat iron, curling iron). These process not only cause hair loss, but can do serious damage to the remainder of your hair. A biopsy is typically recommended to confirm this diagnosis, however you can start natural preventative and treatment measures right away.
How to Treat and Prevent Hair Loss
Here is the good news: traction alopecia and CCCA is reversible in most cases. Here are a few simple tips to restoring your hair and scalp to its healthy state:
  • Avoid tight hairstyles. Weaves, braids, cornrows, and tight ponytails are examples of some styles to avoid. Where looser styles or custom fit wigs while nursing your hair back to optimal health.
  • No more chemicals/heat. In order to thrive your hair needs a break (possibly permanently) from the chemicals and heat. These two things can damage the strongest of strands. Becoming natural will increase your chances of healthy hair growth and a healthy scalp. Plus, natural hair is gorgeous!
  • Nourish your hair and scalp. Using nutrient-rich plant-based hair care products is essential to giving your hair and scalp the nourishment it needs to rejuvenate. Look for products with perfect blend of herbs and oils to renew damage done at the follicle level.
Keeping your hair and scalp well cleansed, moisturized, and stress-free is key for its survival. I can help you find the right products and routine for your individual needs.
  • Nourish your body. This is an important factor that is overlooked. Just as you feed your hair to nourish it back to health, you have to feed you body in order to help heal it.
Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies each day will boost your healing potential and stimulate hair growth from the inside. Lean protein helps promote strong hair and scalp, while healthy fats from nuts and seeds provide moisture and protection.
  • Get the proper support. Dealing with hair loss can be frustrating. Having support can provide you with the tools and tips necessary to get individual solutions to this problem. I am ready to help you get your healthy hair back while providing you with the support you need!
Hair loss is not a fun thing to deal with. But with some much needed TLC, this guide, and a great support system, your hairs beauty will be radiantly restored!

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