The typical hair and hair follicles of African-Americans are tightly curled, thus producing hair that spirals. African-American hair also typically has a larger diameter and retains less water, thus its relatively course. The many styling methods utilized on African-American hair cause concern with hair loss. African American hair is very strong, however because the hair cuticle is so thin is easier for the hair to become damaged with the use use of chemicals and tight hair styles.

What makes African-American hair different than other races?

African-American hair typically has a tighter curl pattern which makes our hair more fragile than others. African-American hair has a tendency to dry out or weather more and is more prone to breakage due to wears & tears of the cuticle layers. African-American hair follicles produce more sebum than other ethnic groups, however, due to it’s curly nature the oil cannot evenly flow throughout the hair properly. This causes the need for additional oils and other hair care products to make hair more manageable and to prevent unnecessary breakage.

Number one reason for African-American Hair loss

Relaxers used to straighten hair can cause a great deal of heat and chemical damage to hair and scalp, which can also cause Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), and over time can cause permanent hair loss. This becomes especially true when the heat or chemically processed hair is pulled tight by rollers or a hot curling iron which can lead to traction alopecia. Consider that hair relaxers commonly used on African-American hair contain lye or similar chemicals that break down the hair shaft. Left on beyond the recommended time, these chemicals would eat right through the hair and cause it to fall out in clumps. This is why these same products are used in products like Drano® to clean clogged drains which often are clogged by hair. No-lye relaxers are very popular today, mainly because it leads people to believe that the product is not caustic. This is far from the truth.

Relaxers, whether with or without lye, have a very high pH (very near the top of the scale) which makes them very caustic. Relaxers break the hair down. Relaxers work because they break the bonds that actually give strength to the hair. This causes the hair to straighten. Therefore, relaxed hair is, by definition, weaker than natural hair. Relaxers also deplete the hair of sebum (the oil your scalp secretes). Combine that with heat from blowdryers and flat irons it is very easy to damage the hair and scalp. Hair that has been straightened will be weaker as opposed to if it were natural and will is more susceptible to hair breakage (Trichorrhexis Nodosa).

The combination of calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate are combined to form guanidine hydroxide, which could just as easily clean a sink. Repeated use of such products can cause some degree of hair loss, and if scarring occurs while using these chemicals, the hair loss can be permanent in that area of the scalp. One must ask themselves is it wise to place such caustic chemicals in the hair on a regular basis for the sake of desired appearance? The question must be answered by each individual, however the facts should be known.

Hair Skin &Nails Liquid Daily Multi-Vitamin – Feed your Follicles

ThHair Skin Nails Liquid Vitamine first line of offense when you are trying to stop hair loss, stop breakage, and to restore a healthy head of hair is to take a hair skin nail vitamin. Your hair is made of 16 amino acids and is held together by two atoms of sulfur. Have you ever smelled hair when it burns? Well that odor is sulfur. Every time you relax your hair or apply color to your hair you break those bonds. One of the most effective ways to restrengthen your hair is to feed it what its made of. I have developed this liquid hair skin and nails vitamin to contain these essential components which includes sulphur, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and whole foods. A main reason why most people do not take vitamins is because they are big and hard to swallow. My specially formulated hair, skin, and nails vitamin is not only liquid but it tastes great. Liquid vitamins have superior absorption to pill forms and more are more bio-available.

Minoxidil 2% – Ultimate Hair Regrowth Product for African-American Hair

Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Solution

Secondly, the only topical ingredient FDA approved to stimulate hair growth and to stop hair loss is Minoxidil. No one knows the exact mechanism for which minoxidil works. However, it is believed that because minoxdil is a vasodilator it allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients into the blood capillaries of the follicle. Bobby Spence Minoxidil 2% has been used clinically by Trichologist, Dermatologists, Doctors, and Hair Stylist to treat their patients and clients with traction alopecia (hair loss at temples and nape of neck), cicatricial alopecia (hair loss from relaxer damage), androgenetic alopecia (heriditary), alopecia areata (auto-immune hair loss), telogen effluvium (excessive shedding), diffuse thinning (overall thinning throughout entire scalp), and other types of hair loss. The above picture is an actual user of minoxidil. She had traction alopecia from wearing weaves and lace front wigs. Click here to read more..

Leading Types of African-American Hair Loss Alopecia

CCCA (Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia)

Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is a common cause of progressive permanent alopecia. This form of hair loss was previously know as hot comb alopecia, follicular degeneration syndrome, or pseudopelade in African Americans. The constant over-processing of the hair using Relaxers and Hair Color causes and inflammatory response to the scalp and literally burns and scars the follicles. When this occurs the hair loss in permanent. Clinical features include a smooth and shiny scalp in the affected areas usually affecting the crown and vertex of the scalp.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss caused by gradual pulling of the hair from tight hairstyles such as ponytails, braids, weaves, dreadlocks, and hair extensions. This type of hair loss is very common among African-American women and is evident by the loss of hair around the temples and the side of the head. It is also caused by excessive use of Relaxers, Brazilian Keratin Treatments, Texturizers, and other hair chemicals.

Top 7 Reasons for Female Hair Loss

1. Hair Loss caused by Hormones. Androgentic alopeica (hereditary hair loss) is the number one cause of female pattern hair loss. It accounts for a slow decline in scalp hair density. When testosterone coverts into DHT it has a miniaturizing effect on the hair follicle which leads to thinning and ultimately hair loss. Also low levels of estrogen and progesterone can be the culprit as well as high levels of cortisol.

2. Hair Loss caused by Vitamin Deficiency. Low Ferritin (iron storage) and Vitamin D are closely linked to hair shedding and hair breakage. When iron is low the hair loses elasticity becomes dry and brittle and constantly breaks off. Lose anagen syndrome can also occur if the connective tissue of the hair bulb is weak.

3. Hair Loss caused by stress. Unless you are pulling your hair out from stress (trichotillomania), then the female hormone cortisol can elevate and cause antigens to attack the scalp and cause hair loss. Also stress can worsen autoimmune diseases by affecting the hypothalamus and pituitary gland which will secrete hormones that promote inflammation.

4. Hair Loss caused by birth control. Some birth control pills, IUD’s can shock the body and cause hormonal imbalances that can trigger diffuse hair loss (telogen effluvium) which causes hairs to pass prematurely to the telogen stage. During the stage of hair growth we normally lose between 50-100 hairs however, due to the sudden shock you will experience excessive hair shedding which you will see in your brush or bathroom floor. This is type of hair loss is normally temporary and self correcting but in some cases you should consult your doctor and possibly lower your dosage or switch altogether.

5. Hair Loss caused by medications. Check with your doctor to see if your medication contraindicates hair loss. The body normally can quickly recover once adjusted to medications however in some cases it will continue for as long as you take it.

6. Auto-immune conditions. Condtions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, intestinal cystitis, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, and lupus.

7. Hair Loss caused by chemical damage. Over processing of the hair due to hair color, relaxers, perms, highlights will cause hair breakage (Trichorrhexis Nodosa) and will cause the hair cuticle to become frayed and leak proteins. Split ends (trichoptilosis) will also occur.

**Consult a Trichologist to get a complete list of the recommended blood tests that are relevant to hair loss and scalp disorders.


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