African American girls in particular, as early as elementary school, are wearing alternative hair, tight braids and twists, again, that put undue stress on the hair and scalp. While this may serve as an enhancer and provide lifestyle convenience, it has been reported that by their early twenties, permanent hair loss is evident. This forces the use of wigs and weaves. Given the evidence above, this is certainly avoidable and, as a longtime professional in the industry, I strongly encourage caution and consult with a professional periodically when used with children. Please reference my previously written article on how synthetic fibers cause hair damage.
Alopecia is one of the hair losses that is, in most instances, irreversible. In some cases, one can minimize the damage of the condition. Lifestyle changes in diet and reducing particular stresses on the scalp, such as hair additions, medication and chemicals can be an aid in further damage. Though, family history must be taken into consideration when diagnosing this condition.
Alopecia Areata is baldness in spots about the size of a quarter that can manifest throughout the head. This type of hair loss is internal and happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles, which is where the hair starts to grow. (WebMD.com) Fortunately, the condition is not permanent in 90% of cases.
Any type of stress, such as divorce, nervousness, etc. has the ability to choke the blood supply and minimize nerve connection. As a result, the hair ceases to grow properly. The hair is ‘fed’ by blood vessels at the base of the follicle, which gives it the nourishment it needs to grow. (Viviscal.com) Once relieved of the stress factors, the nerve endings and blood supply return to normal, thus producing a better surface to grow the hair.
The catagen period is when the hair is in its regressive phase in which hair is released from underneath the scalp with a white round bulb, at the follicle. New hair will be replaced, however. This happens at least once a year, not to be mistaken with daily shedding, which is 75 to 85 strands of hair per day. This is normal. Keep in mind that hair grows daily.
Chemical abuse manifests in several ways. Each of the following has an overall affect on whether the hair is produced or not…
1. Prescription drugs have bee links to having an affect on hair growth. Prior to taking, have a discussion with your doctor. Cancer treatments, weight loss drugs and other medications can prevent hair growth and spark hair loss.
2. Illegal drugs, as cocaine and heroine, research shows this can also damage hair.
Overall abuse, head-related injuries, and tension on the hair and scalp due to pulling excessively and continuous braiding, twisting and consistent use of wigs and hair weaving have long term effects. The immediate appearance can certainly enhance and improve one’s self-image but over time, can be connected to permanent hair loss. Unfortunately, there is little education for consumers when it comes to long-term use of these alternative hair additions. Hair weaves or additions were never meant to improve or enhance the natural growth process of your hair. They are only temporary styling aids. To further address any concerns, consult your local hair care professional. I am also available to address your health and beauty needs via replies to this article or email me at email@example.com.