We’ve always heard warnings that chemical treatments were dangerous for our hair-and it makes sense. We’ve heard the same about not eating enough protein, or using too much heat. According to a report we just learned about that will appear in the August edition of Archives of Dermatology, styling in the form of braids and weaves, as well as inflammation may result in scarring hair loss in African American women.
The study says, “Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is a term coined by the North American Hair Research Society to describe a scarring hair loss, centered on the vertex of the scalp, that spreads peripherally. It is thought to be the most common pattern of scarring hair loss seen in African American women, yet so little is known about its true prevalence among them.”
Sound scary? Well, it’s legit: The study was conducted by surveying 326 African American women, who were scouted at two African American churches and a health fair in Cleveland. The study results found there was a high rate of central hair loss among African American women. Additionally, “Advanced central hair loss with clinical signs of scarring was seen in 59 percent of these respondents and was interpreted as clinically consistent with CCCA,” the report states. “Diabetes mellitus type 2 was significantly higher in those with CCCA, as were bacterial scalp infections and hair styles associated with traction (e.g., from braids and weaves).”
Sadly, many women use these techniques to cover up hair loss and increase the number of styles they can wear-and it appears they could be making their conditions worse. Also, since these styles can be expensive, some women keep them for as long as possible to ensure they’re getting their money’s worth. That extended traction can lead to folliculitis, which can result in scarring.
For those of you reading who engage in these grooming practices, how do these findings make you feel? Would you consider ceasing such grooming practices because of them?
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