On one sunny June afternoon, I took a class that would change the course of my career. It was a class dedicated to giving hair loss solutions to licensed Cosmetologist. I myself had decided to further my education on this matter after seeing tons of clients come to my chair with some of these conditions. Having a reputation for being a healthy hair care specialist is what led these women and men to find me in the first place. The picture on the left are of 6 different women ages 23-65. Female #1 in her late 30's she has had the habit of wearing a low ponytail in her hair since she was in her teenage years. After the repetitive stress on the hair for years has caused her to experience a form of traction alopecia. Traction is type of hair loss that can come over a gradual period of time. This is due to tight ponytails, pigtails, and braids. Female #2 in her mid 40's has a combination of Traction Alopecia and Alopecia Areata. She did her own micro braids when removed this is what was the result. Alopecia Areata is when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. In most case the hair will return. Females #3 #4 both have forms of traction #3 is in her early 20's and had been wearing box braids and weaves since Junior high school. And her receding hairline is the effect of constant extensions. #4 has additional form of alopecia is Androgenetic, which for lack of better words hair loss runs in her family. She was already predisposed due to her genetics and with adding habitual weaving to her lifestyle this was her result. She also wore the weaves for convenience. Female #5 is 27 her story is really sad, she was seen by a stylist who was supposed to be a professional and received an improper relaxer service. The stylist applied her relaxer to her hair and sat her under a heated dryer to process her relaxer. At the time the young lady was about 14 years old. So in her defense she was young and innocent. I have heard some women tell me stories of this. 3 to be exact and all of them it happen with the same stylist. One of them did take legal action. I pray that stylist has learned her lesson however this young lady all these years later is still affected. And in her case her I believe is Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia for short is CCCA. It’s a scarring form a hair loss that results can be permanent. Early signs of this can start of with inflammation in the scalp. This is the most common form of alopecia in black woman. Now males and also those of other races can experience this type of hair loss. Studies just link it more common in black women. It maybe because of our practices such as, styling techniques, hot combs, tight braids, heavy extensions, certain oils, gels or pomades and chemical relaxers. Female #6 is 65 and is on a series of medication and has some health related issues. In her case she is experiencing Telogen effluvium which is most common in most medication induced hair loss. In most cases adding supplements and stopping medication if the doctor allows can result in hair restoration. If not stabilizing the hair loss is possible. I wanted to share these few stories, trust I have so many more but I wanted to share a few.
Now can you see why I wanted to get more information about how to deal with these heart aching issues that keep being presented before me? This class was taught by the founder of Nouritress Products she shared so much information the statistics of hair loss. 40% of hair loss cases are women and more than half of the 40% are black women. Once I heard that I was honestly startled. Not that I didn't know that woman have hair loss, but to know that more than half of them are women of color. She also shared that it is statistically predicted that the younger generation will have some form of hair loss by age 20 because of all of the practices they are doing. They are wearing extensions younger and younger. I’ve seen pictures of babies with extensions on social media. A young scalp cannot handle such tension. When I was a little girl in the 80's if you didn't have long hair your mom made due with what you had. There were no such things as weave on a child that young. They are also doing a lot of DIY things to their hair at home that may result in permanent hair loss.
I have seen the emotional and psychological effects that hair loss can have on someone and it is a very difficult process to see. It affects ones self esteem, and can lead to depression and anxiety. This topic is very dear to me being in the hair industry for 20 years and watching hair challenges. I am now enrolled in School to become a certified Trichologist. While I am already a holistic Practitioner of Trichology I wanted to take my studies even deeper to help fight against this Epidemic in my community. I will continue to bring awareness and solutions to women near and far to warn against this sensitive yet truthful situation at hand. Spread the news and lets stop Hair loss in black women... The Epidemic
Read this interesting article below for more information on women's hair loss.