By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

Women with natural hair often manipulate their hair quite heavily when it comes to styling. Care has to be taken to be gentle to hair as certain practices can lead to damage to the scalp and hair loss which can be irreversible. Here are some conditions to watch out for:

Weak hair at the temples ( Proximal Trichorrhexis nodosa)

Signs: Hair at the temples fails to reach a normal length and is abnormally fragile. Often people with this will have at one point seen white flecking (white dots) at the area of concern.
Reasons: For natural hair, this form of weakness arises from physical trauma such as excessive brushing/combing, styles that stress the hair (e.g tight braiding, braiding hair that is not sufficiently long enough, tight ponytails/puffs), excessive scratching or massaging. Chemical trauma is also a possible cause for example from hair dye or bleach.
Treatment: Removing the source of trauma and letting the area affected recover. New hair is needed to take over the area and do remember that a full hair cycle can be quite long. A full hair cycle is estimated to take upto 3 years but can be much longer for some (for example if hair grows to waistlength or longer, the hair cycle is around 5 years). Therefore it is estimated that complete recovery can take 2-4 years i.e the time period for the hair follicles in the region to get to a new anagen phase.

Traction alopecia

Signs: Gradual hair loss around the temples or in an area of stress (e.g where a ponytail is normally secured)
Reasons: The most common cause in natural hair is tight braiding and tight hair styles.
Treatment: Traction alopecia can take several years to become noticeable. It is a scarring form of alopecia which means that the hair follicles are destroyed and therefore new hair will not grow. Preventative action is best (i.e avoid tight braiding/hair styles that pull hair tight). Hair transplants are a possible solution for some cases.

Razor bumps (Pseudofolliculitis capitis)

Signs: Bumps that appear where hair was shaved. These bumps can appear as pimples or become fluid filled if infected. Permanent scarring is possible.
Reasons: The curve of curly natural hair makes it able to grow into the skin instead of out of the follicle especially if it was shaved to a very short length.
Treatment: If you wish to cut your hair very short, avoid going for a clean shave. Try to keep at least a quarter of an inch or so of visible hair to minimise in growth.

Ladies, have you dealt with any of these conditions? How did you treat them?

References
Dermatol Clin, pp 387-95, 1988.
Arch Dermatol, pp 328-329, 1977
Dermatol Ther, pp164-76, 2004

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40 Comments on "3 Hair Loss Conditions Caused By Natural Hair Practices"

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Aaayes

Is it really true that hair loss due to tight styles can’t be repaired?? My hair thins at the front from wearing my hair band too tight everyday, so this freaked me out. Is there really no way to grow it back??!

Vivek Sharma

Its easy to get Minoxidil from minoxidil15express.com. The
only drug that work for hair loss problem and is FDA Approved or better choose
hair transplant because no other medicine or drug will so don’t waste your money in other drugs.

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[…] From: 3 Hair Loss Conditions Caused by Natural Hair Practices […]

Dilip singh
I am so happy to share my own experience with my fiance and want to tell everyone about it. I also had the same Hair Loss and thinning Hair problems. I tried so many products as everyone does and just by luck found that product named ‘Minoxidil’ at http://www.dualgen15.com. Just after a week using it I found the surprising results. Then I suggest my finance too to use it as precaution, and as u know precautions are better than cure. The Hair loss problem is solved but still we use it so it may not happen again. I suggest to… Read more »
nicole

ive had hair miss along both sides of tempiles for almost 5 yrs now and advice oyes i have elbow length hair and put in bun not tight because i work in medical feild any suggustions? im the one in red on the left nicole
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robbi

I just found out about hot comb alopecia so this link may be helpful:

http://peacelovenhair.blogspot.com/2012/10/hair-lesson-hot-comb-alopecia.html

myex
i just would like to state m story cause i was inspired. My african mother had no idea how to take care of my hair so she permed it. hen she thought it was cheaper to send it to the african braid salons to get my hair very tighty braided( to the point where i would have white bumps around my temples for days when i got braids) and keep it in for months at a time. byt the time i was 17 i had thinned out edges and used weave to cover the thin edges. i never educated myself… Read more »
Ronnie
Congratulations on your hair restoration progress! Thank you for your honesty and sharing your experience. I think that thinning hair is a bigger issue in the Black community than people think – not just among adult Black women but Black children, too. A Youtube vlogger got a little upset with me because I tactfully posted a comment about all of the photos of corn-rowed children she has on her channel. The cornrow styles are beautiful, creative, and elaborate but some of them were done on children who seemed to be already developing traction alopecia at the crown, edges, or sides… Read more »
Patrice

Hi Robin – I am glad to hear that you had a good experience with a hair transplant. Could you please provide the name of the place where you received a hair transplant. I am interested in doing the same and I live in the Chicago area and cannot seem to find someone that specializes in transplanting hair for African-American women. Many of us are led to believe that alopecia is caused by pulling the hair too tight. But I also have severe alopecia which I learned is hereditary. I welcome any recommendations.

Foxy

Okay…does the woman in the picture have thin edges? I guess I am so used to seeing hairlines like that, I don’t even know what healthy edges look like. I need someone to show me a pic of healthy edges. I’ve always had a wonky hairline–it looks thin one day, but normal another! Someone please direct me to a pic!

Ronnie

Even though this site doesn’t do a lot of articles on locs, I’d like to add that locs are natural and that locs that are palm-rolled dry too often and pulled into tight ponytails or left to grow too long and heavy can cause traction alopecia.

soulshadow55
I used to wear my hair in cornrows with extensions. Later on I wore braids, and one thing that I had to start doing was DEMANDING that my braider stop braiding so tight!!! I know she felt that the style would last and that it would look nicer but I’d come home with a headache and itchy scalp. I’d have to stand in the shower for 20 minutes just to help loosen the cornrows. My hairline at my forehead receeded over the years and I’ve been battling and working on growing my hair back fuller and thicker. I’m much older… Read more »
bacalove
Hello, I got thinning edges from wearing a too tight had and also twists that were rolled up on those long rollers. Since being natural is new to me, I thought my hair would be stronger. It is not! We have to stop using harsh shampoos and cones! We need to use conditioners, no cones and parabens. As I Am is a great hair line. They offer all 10 of thier products to sample for $3.49 cost of shipping and handling. Carol’s Daugher is another good line and Oyin. Still be careful of shampoo and use no poo shampoos.
K Murray
Ladies, we do have to be careful with our edges and nape area. I sometimes even twist and braid my own edges a little tight. Another area that I have to watch are the scarves/hats being to tight and rubbing against my hairline. And a while back, I was dying my hairline to much to cover the gray. I finally told my husband “forget about me dying my hair because I’d rather have gray edges than no edges” and gave him the “And what” look. Stick up for yourselves and forget about trying to remain “cute” and look at future… Read more »
Marie

Hi, i’ve had weak edges since i was little due to tight ponytails. Since then i’ve colored my hair, had many perms and cut my hair plenty of times. I’ve been natural for about 19 months now and i still can’t get my edges to grow, and i’ve used different remedies and treatments but nothing seems to work. Please help!!!

Sophie

I’ve actually had that first problem around the temples recently, this was really useful. I have my hair in kinky twists and the hairdresser did them tighter than I like. It’s been a few weeks so they’re sort of grown out and it’s not tight anymore, but I’ll be more vocal when I’m getting my hair done next time!

Robin

I had severe traction alopecia. Two years ago I had a hair transplant, and went back to natural hair. Those were the two best decisions I have made for my hair.

CurlPlease

I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!

NaturalHairStyles101
I’ve been dealing with thinning edges for a while now, and I’m glad this article told me that it could take 2 or more years to regrow that area. I really didn’t know that. I’d get disappointed and just give up when treatments like Ors temple balm didn’t help my situation after 8 weeks like it promised, but now I realize that I should continue to pamper my edges well past that date because I could be out of my anagen phase. That should’ve been a no-brainer for me, but it didn’t really click with me until I read this… Read more »
ywoodard

For me it took time. When i took my braids out approx 3.5 years ago i did so because i noticed how thin my edges were. Today, i have noticed that they have filled back in and while not 100% of what they were, it is a marked difference. I mean my hairline had moved back at least a half inch due to the thinning at the temples. It is now almost back to normal. I did what i think someone else suggested, i left it alone and that worked.

The Natural Haven

I am with you all the way. Patience and tenderness.

simply positive

At least you are honest with yourself.

Ronnie 62

A steriod cream, Rogaine and scalp shots.Also,some beta blockers take tempe hair out too.

Ronnie 62

Temple hair

Eugenie Munion

For years, I have tried so many natural and organic products only to be disappointed in limited selection and overall effectiveness. I’ve heard good things about other brands but since I’ve tried face naturals products, I don’t have any desire to try another brand. Their products are so amazing and they offer target skin solutions based on your skin type. face naturals is the best all natural organic skin care line I’ve ever tried!

NN
what about stress related hair loss. I started having random bald spots caused by seborrheic dermatitis. This went on for 10 years! Then it became trichotillmania (compulsive hair pulling) I had to eliminate sugar, carbs and anything that dries the skin from my diet. Then, I had to stop stressing. Which also meant eliminating people, situations, and emotional roller coasters from my life. My hair has not completely grown back but it is not nearly as bad. These issues cause a lot shame and frustration as many dermatologists (black and white) just give you a topical cream and say keep… Read more »
Jas

Kinda off topic but what is the girl’s hair type in the pic below the title?My curl formation is just like that and I need help identifying my hair type..Thanks in advance!

nelle

I think its a mix of 3c, 4a. I don’t know why people bother to answer your question w/ vagueness. I know for me it would be easier if I knew other naturals who had similar hair b/c then I’d follow their blogs, vlogs, etc. Good luck!

sophie

Exactly nelle I don’t see nothing wrong to know your hair type! I’m 4c I think it is a great idea to see other 4c girls on blogs etc.. I’m pretty sure the products they use will have more efficiency on my hair than 3a products!!

ywoodard

I would classify her as classifying goes as a 3c/4a ish. Also be careful of asking that question on natural sites. Be sure you’re in a “safe” environment. Note that some people relate the hairtyping to good hair/bad hair argument. I do not, but be aware that it can start some mess in the forums. I am not saying that has happened here, just saying i think this is what you had in mind when you asked the question.

Rosina

Its type “beautiful natural hair”. Since you have similar hair, then I can safely conclude that you also have type “beautiful natural hair”.

At the end of the day, thats all that really matters.

Cheers!

The Natural Haven

Rosina – what a great answer! I am going to use that in future.

Jas – Enjoy your hair, look for products that work, treat it gently and whatever type it is, it will be beautiful.

OMG

Should have been titled “3 Hair Loss Conditions Caused by BAD Hair Practices” since anyone not just naturals have these issues.

LBell
Agreed… The only one I’ve ever had an issue with was weak hair at the temples and yes, they were caused by too-tight braids or puffs. I’ve gotten jumped on by people (online and IRL) because I suggested that the only true cure for thinning temples was to leave the hair ALONE. My thing has always been it’s better to have nappy edges than NO edges. Jc, I think you may have addressed this before but is there any scientific proof that products (such as castor oil) will grow back temple hair? Because I honestly don’t think it matters what… Read more »
Leslie

It’s true too many women are obssessed with making their hair do things it doesn’t want to do. Idc about my edges laying down cause my hair isn’t straight so why would I expect it to appear as such. If you want your edges to lay down so badly either cope with never having any of get a relaxer. Plus it hurts having hair pulled back so tight i don’t understand how girls do it. I think the loose messy look is cuter anyway.

Leslie

Woops I applied under the wrong person, I was agreeing with LBell.

The Natural Haven

Yes LBell I agree with you. Castor oil is not well researched. A lot of statements floating around about it are more about traditional practice rather than science.

Aggressive massaging can be quite bad for hair. I do think that often when people lose hair at temples, they would like to see regrowth back in weeks. In truth the hair that was pulled out was in a cycle and therefore it could take as much as 4 years to get a new follicle. A little patience and leaving the hair alone is best.

Mai
…you know, I never thought about that before but you are totally right. One winter in high school, I was outside playing with my dog and she knocked me over and started pulling on my hat. She ended up ripping out some hairs in the crown of my head (in retrospect it was really funny, but at the time, I was pretty mad, lol). She ended up created a small bald spot, which wasn’t that big of a deal at the time because my hair was almost always in a ponytail and it was fairly long. It took about a… Read more »
Alisha

I totally agree with you. I think all the methods (applying castor oil, rosemary oil and other methods for hair re-growth) all boils down to taking impeccable care of your hair and not doing the things that damage it. I don’t think these methods speed hair growth. I’ve seen about as much growth in 6 months of impeccable hair care (that’s the word I use for oiling, protective styling, etc) as I did in the past when I just left it alone.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Very true.

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