Women of color — and, more specifically, women of African-American descent — have a unique set of concerns when it comes to their hair, no matter which hairstyles they get. Balding, irregular coloring and damage caused by chemical relaxers and other types of heat styling are just a few of the many problems that they may experience. These issues are common hair frustrations for women of color whether you have curly hair, straight hair, frizzy hair, or flat hair.
For a wide variety of reasons, African-American women have issues with balding. According to Dr. Amy McMichael of WebMD, the loss of hair in African-American women is the seventh most common reason why these women see a doctor. This hair loss, which is medically termed as alopecia, comes as a result of a variety of factors, including harsh, lye-based hair products, poor diet and hair breakage. Dr. McMichael recommends women of color who are losing their hair to see a doctor and get a comprehensive plan of solving the issue. At Transitions of Wisconsin we specialize in hair loss and hair replacement.
Typically, African-American women have black (level 1) hair. When this hair is dyed with the wrong type of process, it can cause frizziness, breakage, and general hair damage. African-American women are more likely than women of other ethnicities to try to get hair colors and textures that are not indigenous to their culture (for example, they’ll try to straighten their hair when it’s naturally curly, or they’ll try to color their hair a blonde or red color that is not indigenous to their culture). If you, as a woman of color, must dye your hair, hair care professionals often recommend that you not “lift” the hair more than four levels from the natural hair color.
Chemical Relaxers and Other Heat Styling
Finally, but certainly no less importantly, African-American women are more likely to use heat processors (i.e., the “hot comb”) and chemical relaxers to straighten their hair to look more “European.” While there could be a whole discourse as to why this is so — and why this isn’t advisable — the main thing we want to reiterate is the importance of loving yourself, and your hair, exactly the way it is. For this reason, if you must indeed straighten your hair, try to avoid chemical relaxers, especially those that contain lye (which has proven to be carcinogenic).
The best way to determine which hair loss solution is right for you is to meet privately with a professional Transitions of Wisconsin hair loss specialist. If you’re interested in scheduling a free consultation, contact us today!