Almost every woman that has constantly chemically relaxed then braided or weaved their hair, has experienced hair loss and unfortunately, for some women, this is a lifelong struggle. This kind of hair loss is medically termed, traction alopecia and it is described as excessive hair loss as a result of continuous tension of hair and scalp and it’s most common among black women.
Naomi Campbell shows she’s bald while on a photo shoot in NYC. Naomi appeared to be completely bald underneath her wig.
The feelings that one goes through…
Although once set in, the symptoms don’t cause physical pain but many of us living with the condition will tell you that it causes emotional and psychological pain; feelings of sadness and depression as though you’re experiencing loss or grief.
This condition is commonly caused by traction based hairstyles, especially when tight styles are done on chemically treated hair. Relaxers, braids, weaves, cornrows, dreadlocks, ponytails and twists are all contributors to traction alopecia.
How it starts:
It starts with the pain caused by the inflammation of the hair follicle when the hair is being pulled tightly for extended periods of time. Then, when the follicle is put under repeated tension, it scars and the hair stops growing permanently.
- A simple way to avoid hair loss is to keep hairstyles for short periods and less frequent. Give your scalp a break.
- No hairstyle should ever be painful on your scalp! If it is, rather undo the style than risking hair loss. It is not worth it.
- Avoid using chemical relaxers.
- Upon identification of hair loss, consult a dermatologist that specializes in hair loss to assess the extent of damage to the scalp. Should the follicle still be alive, then the dermatologist will be able to get it to produce hair again, but if the follicle has been replaced by scar tissue and the damage is irreversible then the only solution may be to do hair transplants.
- Finding a good hair stylist that can camouflage hair loss by giving a hair cut that suits your face shape while concealing the bald spots.
- Finding a good full-frontal lace wig that you can have fun styling according to your desired mood.
- Or just simply being boldly bald and beautiful…
Note to remember: beauty is not defined by hair. Hair is an accessory, not a definition of beauty and as Isaac Fowler quoted:
“Your imperfections are marks of authenticity… And that is the beauty of you.”
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