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Can Weaves and Braids Cause Hair Loss?
A recent study shows that certain African American hairstyles can lead to serious hair loss. The Archives of Dermatology, an esteemed medical skincare journal, concluded that the prolonged traction from such hairstyles can produce chronic folliculitis. Extended wear of these hairstyles can also result in permanent scarring to the scalp.
Out of 310 women surveyed in the study, 60% suffered from central hair loss with scarring, or central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. This type of hair loss is predominately seen in black women, and is characterized by balding at the crown of the head and then spreads peripherally. Among the women in the study with the most extreme hair loss, 57% regularly wore braided or weave hairstyles. This study proves a likely connection between this type of hair loss and hairstyles involving scalp tension.
It’s unlikely that many black women—and some men—would be surprised by these statistics. Braided hairstyles are notoriously painful, involving harsh pulling of the hair and extended tightness throughout the entire scalp. But since tight hairstyles tend to stay put longer, many see the pain as worthwhile. Any type of extreme or prolonged updos can cause hair loss, regardless of race or hair type. So while braids and weaves may be the go-to way to wear your hair, you may be wreaking permanent damage to your scalp and potentially luscious locks.
Give Your Scalp a Break
Let Your Hair Loose. Going au natural can be a big change from weaves and braids, but the fact that it could save your hair should be a major incentive. There are plenty of styling options with natural hair— curls, spikes, twists, and more.
Start Massaging. Poor circulation is a known culprit of many different kinds of hair loss. When blood isn’t moving around your scalp properly, the hair follicles can’t get the oxygen and other nutrients they need to grow hair. Give yourself weekly scalp massages while washing your hair, or ask for a relaxing treat from a loved one.
Bump Up the Protein. Protein plays an important role in developing hair that’s strong and healthy. Strong hair will hold up better in tight hair styles and be less prone to breakage. Try eating lean protein sources like meat, beans, and leafy greens. If consuming protein via food is difficult, supplements are an option.
Choosing a Professional Hair Loss Treatment
If you’re in the advanced stages of central hair loss, your hair might not grow back over time. After so much tension placed on the hair follicles and scalp, they may be too damaged to be capable of growing hair again. Professional hair loss treatments offer a permanent solution to multiple types of hair loss, including the central hair loss that black women are prone to suffer from. A surgical hair transplant can restore hair anywhere on the scalp. It’s a popular option for people with hair loss because it only requires one procedure—after that, the patient is left with their own naturally growing hair. If a non-surgical solution is more up your alley, laser hair restoration can encourage hair growth without the associated pain or invasiveness of a hair transplant surgery. Laser hair loss treatments like the HairMax Laser Comb and similar hair replacement systems are effective, but require multiple sessions.
If you’re interested in a professional hair loss treatment, the next step is to schedule a consultation with a hair loss specialist. During a consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about your treatment options, costs, and if you’re a potential candidate. Hair Loss Specialists will gladly book a consultation with a hair restoration expert in your area