The need for hair replacement in African American culture

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Hair loss or thinning is devastating – pure and simple.  There is just no other adjective you can singularly use to emphasize the effects that it has on those individuals that are suffering with it and feel that replacement procedures are the only cure.  For many of these individuals, they are continually searching for effective hair replacement methods that will solve their dilemma.  However, this has presented a real challenge for the person who asks “what hair replacement procedure will benefit me the most?”

Even more discouraging is the fact that it affects people from all walks of life regardless of ethnicity.  It’s not exclusive to the citizens of the US as it affects men and women on a global scale.  Many hair replacement techniques today, have been steadily growing in popularity, especially with African Americans because of the challenges that they face where the loss or thinning of hair and the replacement of it are concerned.  Although African American men suffer from male pattern baldness as do Caucasian males, both men and women that are African American suffer with this issue for different reasons.

Unfortunately, these reasons have oftentimes been labeled as culturally specific and the hair replacement solutions for African American men and women can be quite complex.  Patchy balding areas and receding hairlines are part of these cultural anomalies as they are with Caucasians and other ethnic groups.  All but one of the following hairstyling techniques are unique to African American culture and directly related to hair loss and thinning that leads to the consideration of replacement methods or therapies:

Bleach-again – this is one of the harshest of hairstyling chemicals and was never intended to come into direct contact with the scalp’s delicate skin.

Chemical relaxers – these contain lye and can burn the skin like acid.

Hot combs or irons – burns and scarring of the scalp oftentimes occur because these hair grooming devices get to close to the skin.

Traction Alopecia – this condition is caused by braiding the hair or styling it with the long-term use of corn rows or extremely tight pigtails.  The root of the scalp is constantly and excessively being pulled, which not only pulls the hair strand out by the root, but also scars the scalp and eliminates any future growth potential.

As a result of the above, hair replacement procedures have become a part of African American culture as much as it has with Caucasians and has been considered a viable option where the replacement of lost or thinning hair is concerned.

Photo via Miracle Moms

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