A recent study in the Archives of Dermatology found that braids and weaves may contribute to permanent hair loss in African-American women. The report reads: “The resulting prolonged traction [used to create the styles] can produce chronic folliculitis, which can eventually lead to more scarring.”
Almost 60% of 310 women surveyed for the study had central hair loss with scarring. Among those with the most serious hair loss, 57% wore braids and weaves, the study by researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio found. Seen predominately in African-American women, this type of hair loss, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, centers on the vertex (crown) of the scalp and spreads peripherally.
Most women of color wouldn’t be surprised by these statistics as any tight style can break your hair if not done properly. But a woman’s hair is her crowning glory so it’s important to nurture it with optimal care so hair loss and permanent scarring doesn’t become your reality.
Take heed to these tips that will help you achieve longer, stronger and healthier hair:
Give Your Hair a Rest from Tight Braids and Weaves
While you can wear braids and weaves if you’d like, be sure to care for your hair while it is styled, refrain from getting these styles frequently and avoid too-tight braiding and sewing when wearing weaves.
Wash Hair Regularly
It seems like this should be common sense but many women of color don’t wash their hair often enough to avoid messing up their hairstyle. The foundation to healthy hair is clean hair. Women of color should wash and condition their hair a minimum of every 10-12 days, but this can vary depending on your hair type. This is also true when wearing a weave because dirt can cause bacteria to build up, which leads to infection. Be sure all to remove all shampoo and sit under a hooded drier after.
Do Scalp Massages
With this tip, you treat yourself to a little rest and relaxation, while also promoting hair growth. The kneading pressure increases blood circulation hair follicles and increases the strength of hair’s roots. A scalp massage opens blood vessels for an increased flow and circulation, which means that the cells of the hair follicle will receive the nutrients that are needed for hair growth function.
Eat More Protein & Drink More Water
Your hair is made up of protein which is rich in keratin. If you don’t have enough keratin in your body it could lead to hair loss. Try foods such as broccoli, nuts, fish and beans for an extra dose of protein. Drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water daily is also a healthy step to take toward fighting hair loss. Water helps to remove toxins from the body and protects from infection and diseases, which sometimes can lead to hair loss.
Try Biotin Supplements
Biotin helps with hair growth because it provides certain nutrients that hair needs. They’re available at any drugstore or vitamin store. Experts recommend a daily intake of 2.5 milligrams. Progress usually takes 3 to 6 months.