Progressive Versus Transient
In many people, hair loss is progressive and doctors can have a difficult time predicting how much hair a person will eventually lose because of the uncertain time course of the progression. However, eventually, the loss stabilizes and then stops.
This has consequences for younger vs. older adults suffering from progressive permanent hair loss. The uncertain time course makes any estimation of future hair loss in younger adults more difficult than in older adults because in order adults, the progression has just about finished running it’s course. This makes it a little more challenging to achieve great hair transplant results in younger individuals because it’s not as clear how much more hair they will lose.
With that in mind, not all types of black hair loss are in fact progressive. Medical conditions or other hair stresses usually only cause transient loss.
It is also the case that permanent hair loss, at least in men, is confined to specific locations. The loss is permanent in those locations but because other areas on the scalp are unaffected, hair transplants can be highly effective.
A more common condition causing temporary hair loss results from constant pulling or traction on the hair and scalp, most notable in braided hair styles.
Continuous pulling, however, can ultimately damage the hair follicle leading to permanent hair loss. Fortunately, this is typical in only one area of the scalp, often the hairline. When the pulling abates, the condition stops. In this case, hair transplants can be highly effective in restoring lost hair.
Hot comb: Due to the nature of curly hair, the oils which are naturally secreted from the sebaceous gland in the skin has a much more difficult time traveling the length of the hair and lubricating the hair cuticle. This often leads to dry, brittle and cracking hair shafts. Combine this with a hot comb while trying to permanently straighten the hair, and its common to see permanently damaged hair follicles.
Different Scarring Alopecias Pattern (male and female): This is the most common form of baldness. In both Caucasian and African scalps, there are a number of other conditions which may lead to hair loss and scarring of the scalp. Particular to the African scalps are conditions such as Central Centrifugal Alopecia, Dissecting Cellulitis, Folliculitis Keloidalis and Folliculitis Barbae. If you have any concern that your loss has caused thickened skin or scarring, you are advised to consult your physician for confirmation.
Traumatic Loss (Traction and Trichotillomania): Traction alopecia is a permanent hair loss condition when the hair follicles are irreversibly damaged after constant tugging and pulling on the hair shafts. This can be seen in anybody who braids or pulls back their hair over several years. Most commonly, this condition effects woman of color but is also seen in men who wear turbans or anybody else who pulls the hair.
Trichotillomania is similar and is a nervous habit where someone continuously and repeatedly plucks and ultimately damages the hair permanently.
The obvious first recommend treatment is eliminating the trauma or pulling. However, if it’s too late, the only solution is hair replacement surgery because medicines or scalp treatments cannot restore permanently lost hair.
© 2012, Anapelli Hair Clinic