Hair loss can be distressing for women, not only for the aesthetic effects but also for the health implications it can signify. According to Dr. Valerie Callender, professor of dermatology at Howard University College of Medicine, hair loss can be a sign of other medical conditions such as diabetes, acne, and breast cancer.
She urges women to recognize the signs of hair loss and visit a dermatologist as soon as possible to prevent the progression of hair loss and to check for underlying medical conditions.
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Types of Hair Loss: One of the most common types of hair loss seen in women with darker skin tones is central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA). This condition causes hair loss in the center of the scalp and, if left undiagnosed, can lead to permanent hair loss.
Underlying Issues that CCCA may Hint to: Women with CCCA are also likely to have breast cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. A dermatologist can diagnose this condition and create a treatment plan, including antibiotics, topical steroid medication, or corticosteroid injections, to prevent scarring and hair loss.
Female pattern hair loss is another common condition that affects millions of women of all skin tones. With this hereditary condition, the hair thins mainly on the top of the scalp, and it usually starts with a widening of the center hair part. A possible treatment for this is minoxidil, which can reduce hair loss, stimulate hair growth, and strengthen existing strands of hair. Improving your diet and hair care routines and adding a good hair supplement can also be useful practices to prevent hair loss. However, women with this condition are also prone to acne, menopause, and high blood pressure.
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That’s Why You Should Braid Loosely: Hairstyles that tightly pull the hair, such as braids, can cause hair loss of another type called ‘traction alopecia,’ which is common in women with darker skin tones. Callender advises women to avoid hairstyles that pull the hair too tightly and to opt for looser hairstyles instead.
Ingredients in hair products are also crucial for women with darker skin tones. Shampoos and hair products should contain ingredients that moisturize hair, such as vitamins A and E, jojoba oil, and shea butter.
Is Hair Transplant a Good Option?: When all else fails, Callender suggests a hair transplant, which can create natural-looking results. Hair transplants are most effective for patients with traction alopecia and female pattern hair loss. A board-certified dermatologist can determine if a hair transplant is the right option.
Conclusion: Hair loss can indicate underlying health problems, and early detection is crucial. Women who experience hair loss should see a dermatologist as soon as possible to limit the progression of hair loss and to check for other medical conditions. By taking action early, women can hold on to their hair and maintain their overall health and well-being.