Hair and scalp conditions are common to us all, but did you know some tend to affect certain ethnicities more than others? For example, black women are more at risk of developing some types of hair and scalp conditions due to the genetic make-up of the hair.
Here, we’ll look at some of the most common hair and scalp conditions affecting black women and how you can prevent and treat them.
Psoriasis of the scalp
Linked to the immune system, Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects the scalp. In those with darker skin, it causes silver/grey scales to develop. Typically, the condition is treated with creams or lotions. However, in black women, the structure of the hair can make this difficult.
There are ointments available which can help, and for milder cases washing regularly with a medicated shampoo can work wonders. However, before attempting any treatments it’s important to have the severity of the condition diagnosed.
Psoriasis of the scalp is more prevalent in white women. However, if it does occur in black women, it can be more difficult to treat.
Extensions and wigs are commonly worn by black women, but unfortunately, they can lead to an issue with traction alopecia. This is a temporary form of hair loss which largely occurs around the hairline.
In order to treat the condition, you will need to potentially take your braids or extensions out if they have been fitted too tightly. Experiment with different styles, ensuring they are comfortable and not too tight.
If some degree of hair loss has occurred, temporary treatments such as Minoxidil can prove effective at quickly repairing the damage.
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia or CCCA is a form of scarring hair loss that often results in permanent hair loss and black women are more prone to developing this condition, although it can affect anyone. The exact cause is not known and is likely to be a combination of factors, including genetics, infections or autoimmune disease.
Hair loss usually begins in the mid-scalp and extends outwards. The scalp may appear shiny as the hair roots scar over. Some sufferers may not experience any other symptoms, but tenderness, itching and burning are common. Once diagnosed, the aim of treatment is to halt the progression of the disease and prevent further hair loss – once scarring of the scalp occurs, regrowth is usually impossible.
How to prevent and treat hair and scalp conditions
If you are experiencing a hair or scalp condition, it’s important to get it diagnosed. There are so many different types of hair loss and scalp issues, and you’ll need to know which one you have before you can get it treated.
Preventing scalp and hair problems isn’t always possible. However, following a healthy lifestyle and making sure you’re using the right products can help. You’ll also find it useful to seek treatment as early as possible too. This will prevent it from getting worse and clear the problem up quickly.
If you’re worried about a hair or scalp condition, book a consultation with a dermatologist that specialises in treating hair and scalp conditions.