According to a study, black women who use chemicals in their hair and then braid or weave it are subject to permanent hair loss.
According to MSNBC.com:
"More than half the women with this condition said they had braids, weaves or hair extensions, as compared to only a third of those with less severe hair loss."
This balding has only been seen in black women and is thought to be caused by prolonged pulling of the hair strands, causing inflammation of the hair follicle. Once the balding begins, it starts at the top of the head and then spreads throughout.
The women most likely to have this form of alopecia also have three things in common:
"Reseachers found that women with scarring hair loss were also more likely to have type 2 diabetes, to braid or weave their hair tightly, and to have bacterial scalp infections."
Scarring hair loss first came to attention during the 1960s and was thought to be caused by hot combs. Little research, though, was done to confirm this theory.
Dr. Angela Kyei, who worked on the study that was published in the Archives of Dermatology, had this advice:
"This is just telling us there is a trend and we need to study it further. If there is any take-home message from this study, it is that hair grooming is not the only thing you should look at in these patients," Kyei noted. "If you have hair loss - specifically if you have the central type of hair loss, which is permanent - you need to seek medical attention."
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