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Q&A: What Styles Are Best Avoided for Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean & Asian Hair?

Name: Claire

Question: What styles and services would you avoid for Caucasian hair, African Caribbean hair and Asian hair?

Afro-Caribbean Hair is Particularly Susceptible to Traction Alopecia, Which Can Be Caused by Braiding and Other Styling Aids.Answer: Excessive tension placed on the hair shafts, often after wearing extensions, weaves, braids or tight ponytails, can lead to a type of hair loss called Traction Alopecia. The hair is pulled so tightly that it damages the follicle. If the tension is severe enough, or done over a long period, the hair follicle shrivels, resulting in thinner hair or it can shrivel completely stopping hair growth, causing hair loss. This damage can take up to two years before it becomes visible. It can affect hair of any race, however, Afro-Caribbean hair is most vulnerable because this race tends to weave and braid their hair significantly more than other races.

African Caribbean hair 
Afro-Caribbean hair in particular should avoid overstyling. This is because the hair grows in a tight spiral, making it difficult for the natural oils produced by the scalp to work their way to the ends of the hair. As a result this hair is more prone to certain scalp problems and is often dryer and more likely to break. Hair breakage will eventually lead to thinning hair which is often the early stage of hair loss.

In summary, Afro-Caribbeans must follow the advice below and take extra-precautions in using the correct hair care products.

  • Extensions, weave-on and any hair additions must be very loose and reserved for special occasions.
  • Hair colour or any chemical process should be done in the salon or professionally.

Advice for All Hair Types

Hair extensions
The wearing of extensions often pulls and plucks the hair out of the roots or it causes the hair to break off very close to the scalp resulting in bald patches. All hair types should avoid this hairstyle but especially hair that is dry and prone to breakage (any race) and African Caribbean hair.

Perming & Colouring
Chemical process such as perming and colouring the hair in one sitting as the hair can be over processed to the point of breakage. This often results in thinning hair. All hair types are susceptible to this chemical damage but particularly hair that is dry and prone to breakage (any race) and African Caribbean hair.

Regular Colouring
Repeated colouring such as when a person colours his or her hair only to dislike the result and then colours it again on the same day. The hair must be left alone for a week or ideally two weeks before having the colour re-done. This advice applies to all races.

Plaits and Braiding
Any plaits worn for a long period can cause excessive tension on any hair type. The plait should be big, loose, and worn for a short period. Braiding and corn rows are in particular very bad for Afro-Caribbean hair.

How to Treat Hair that is Damaged from Excessive Styling
Sometimes, after a break from styling, the hair will return to its former condition. However, if the hair has been severely weakened from overstyling, a short hair loss treatment programme can help the hair follicles return to a healthy hair growth cycle. To find out more about hair loss treatments, contact the Belgravia Centre for a free consultation.

More Information:
Hair Types and Race Differences
Asian Hair Facts
Hair Care for Afro-Caribbean Styles
Hair Loss Product Reviews

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