Richard Farrell Explains Hair Loss in African American Men

The many styling methods utilized on African American hair cause concern with men’s hair loss. African American men’s hair is very strong, fortunately so because the hair styles cause a great deal of stress on the hair and scalp.

The typical hair and hair follicles of those of African descent are tightly curled, thus producing hair that spirals. This hair also typically has a larger diameter than Caucasian hair and retains less water, thus its relative “kinkiness.” The many styling methods utilized on African American hair cause concern with hair loss. African American hair is very strong, fortunately so because African American hair styles cause a great deal of stress on the hair and scalp.  Learn more about men’s hair loss:  http://www.farrellhair.com/Men-Hair-Loss.aspx.

For example, using a hair pick to pick the hair up to a bushy style is a very damaging process due to the constant pulling causing stress on the hair shaft as well as the follicle. In fact, combing African American hair in general can create high stress on African American hair and cause breakage, which perpetuates dryness. Cornrowing and braiding are methods of hairstyling that pull the hair tight, and this can cause a great deal of stress on the hair and scalp resulting in hair loss. Braiding that result in the hair being pulled very tight can cause traumatic alopecia, a hair loss that is caused by trauma to the hair and scalp. Traumatic alopecia is usually reversible with proper hair care.

Hot oil conditioners are excellent for African American hair, as hot oil treatments contain proteins and polymers vital to repairing the hair cuticles. Hot oil treatments involve heating the oil and putting it into the hair and scalp, then covering the hair with a plastic cap to allow the oil to soak in. Follow the recommendations on the treatment you are using for the amount of time you should leave the treatment on the hair. This process can heal breakages and shinier stronger hair will be the result.

There is little that can be done to alleviate this syndrome without changing the typical hairstyles of African Americans. There is a catch-22 concerning relaxing African American hair, since combing natural African American hair causes so much stress and breakage of hair, while chemicals cause so much harm to the hair and scalp as well. There are a few hair-relaxing products on the market that use chemicals and are somewhat less harsh than sodium hydroxide (lye) or its popular equivalent in “no-lye” relaxers: calcium hydroxide (quicklime) mixed with guanidine carbonate. These products do not straighten hair in most instances the same way as commercial relaxers; however it does tend to make African American hair more manageable.  Learn more about men’s hair loss:  http://www.farrellhair.com/Men-Hair-Loss.aspx.

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