Could wearing braids or a weave make your hair fall out? In this blog, we discuss how popular hairstyles are causing a hair loss epidemic amongst women of African heritage.

A Hair Loss Epidemic

Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center delivered some of the first research that revealed the high levels of hair loss in African-American women. Of the 5,594 participants, nearly 50% were experiencing hair loss. The underlying cause for the majority of these women’s hair loss was identified as traction alopecia. This condition develops when the hair follicles are placed under strain. Though hair loss can be temporary, permanent damage can occur which prevents regrowth. The braids, cornrows, weaves and wigs that are popular amongst African women can be blamed for many cases of traction alopecia. Tightly-fixed styles and heavy hairpieces pull at the follicles, while the glues used to fix wigs can cause damage to the skin when removed. Wearing such styles for too long without a break is another significant factor.

Why are Braids and Wigs so Popular?

The reasons why these hair styling techniques are so widely favoured are complex. Many women grew up believing the misconception that braids help to stimulate hair growth or that natural Afro hair is unmanageable. Societal norms about what is beautiful can exert pressure too, making women feel that they need to comply with certain standards to be attractive. Fortunately, change is happening. Models with natural hair now grace the catwalks of the world’s leading fashion brands and short hair is just as acceptable as a flowing mane.

Treating Hair Loss

The most important message for women with African hair-types is that prevention is better than a cure. Don’t leave weaves or braids in place for weeks at a time and allow your hair to rest between styles. For those who are already seeing the signs of hair loss, the medication minoxidil can help to spur hair regrowth, as can PRP Therapy. Where permanent follicle damage has occurred, an effect of improved density can be obtained using non-surgical Micro Scalp Pigmentation. Alternatively, a surgical hair transplant procedure can be used to rebuild areas of hair loss. You can find out more about these treatments by contacting the experts at Vinci Hair Clinic. Contact them today to book a free and fully confidential consultation.

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