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 it mov­ing.… 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 you… 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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