Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune newspaper, consultant dermatologist Dr Bola Ogunbiyi has refereed to an “epidemic” of hair loss among the nation’s women. She was quoted as saying, “loss of hair along the hairline as a result of pulling hair into a tight pony tail, braids and weaves, is the commonest hair loss in women.”
Ogunbiyi acknowledges that many African women find their hair to be difficult to manage in its natural state, which often leads them to look for alternative methods to use within their grooming regimes. These techniques can involve chemical relaxers, jerry curls or the use of braided hair extensions.
A combination of chemical relaxers and hair extensions is particularly harmful, according to Dr Ogunbiyi, as it places additional pressure on hair. As a result, chemically affected hair can break, whilst the tension created by weaves and extensions can see hair pulled out by the root.
“What we do to our hair, all the things that we apply to our hair can all contribute to hair loss,” she said.
Not just Nigeria
However, the problem of hair regime-related hair loss is not confined to Nigeria, with similar issues being reported by women as far afield as South Africa. The University of Cape Town has called for a ban on the use of hair relaxers by young women and girls because of the damage caused to hair. Some of the women studied by university researchers had experienced total baldness brought about by the chemicals used to relax the curls in their hair.
Many of the styles and techniques used by African women travel around the world with them, leading to similar hair loss issues in the UK. Aside from chemical relaxers making hair brittle and prone to breakage, the tension created by extensions has the potential to cause long-term damage to the hair follicles.
Extensions, weaves and cornrows have all been shown to place undue pressure on the scalp and hair follicles, which can over time result in a condition known as Traction Alopecia. In women diagnosed with Traction Alopecia, not only does hair fall out, but damage to the hair follicles can prevent future hair growth on a permanent basis.
What can be done to treat Traction Alopecia?
The Belgravia Centre has a good track record of helping women who have experienced hair loss as a result of Traction Alopecia. Our unique extra-strengthMinoxidil cream has been shown in many cases to assist in even the most stubborn cases of hair loss.
If you are experiencing hair loss, why not call The Belgravia Centre today on 0800 077 6666 or contact us online to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with one of our hair loss experts? For women outside the UK, or those who can’t make it to the clinic, please use the online diagnostic form to get in touch with one of our hair loss experts – our personalized treatment plans are available worldwide.