Causes of Hair Loss for Black Men


causes of hair loss for black men

Hair loss is an extremely sensitive subject for men. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge that you have a hair loss problem and further bravery to seek out treatment and advice.

Hair styling practices such as, such as dreadlocks, braids or cornrows, or using a curling sponge can potentially trigger hair loss for men with afro textured hair. Many black men with afro textured hair are oblivious to the fact that some of their hair styling choices are causing hair loss. The good news is hair loss caused by hair styling techniques is preventable and treatable because it is not hereditary or hormonal, click here to find out how men with afro hair can prevent hair loss.

Lifestyle choices including habits such as vaping, smoking marijuana or not drinking enough water can trigger hair loss for black men. If you have any of these habits and are suffering from hair loss or thinning, keep reading to find out how to prevent further hair loss and restore hair growth.

The most common cause of hair loss for black men, is Male Pattern Baldness, an endogenous alopecia which is hereditary and therefore considered unavoidable, but treatable. If you think you are suffering from Male Pattern Baldness, because you are exhibiting symptoms such as hair thinning at your temples or balding, click here for advice and treatment, otherwise keep reading. Because for black men, the causes of hair loss goes beyond the scope of Male Pattern Baldness.

If you style your hair with a wave texturiser or pomade and are suffering form hair loss, please click here for more information.

One of the Most Common Causes of Hair Loss for Black Men Is Choosing to Wear Dreadlocks 

Dreadlocks have both religious and cultural significance for African American and Caribbean men. For black men, wearing this hair style can be considered a symbol of strength and rebellion against European colonialism. However, behind the symbolism and beauty of dreadlocks lay the unfortunate reality that locs are one of the most common causes of hair loss for black men outside of Male Pattern Baldness. Dreadlocks can trigger hair loss conditions such as Traction Alopecia and Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia.

How Do Dreadlocks Cause Traction Alopecia for Black Men?

Traction Alopecia causes gradual hair loss over time, primarily caused by consistent hair pulling and addition weight being applied to hair repetitively, over a sustained period. Symptoms of Traction Alopecia for black men can be a receding and thinning hair line. Hair loss is initially discrete but has the potential to become severe and painfully visible, with the hair line thinning and receding substantially if not treated and if hair styling practices aren’t adjusted. Men who wear dreadlocks, especially long locs, suffer from Traction Alopecia because the weight of the bonded hair puts strain and pressure of the hair bulb and scalp. 

traction alopecia can cause hair follicle to loosen from the hair bulb

Also, because Afro hair is kinky the cuticles do not lay flat because of the curved nature of the shaft. Dreadlocks defy the natural curls/kink of afro hair through the processes of locking and re-twisting, which involves pulling and tugging, potentially causing the hair bulb to gradually separate from the hair follicle over a period of time causing sustained hair loss and hair thinning.

Repetitive and sustained pulling of your hair through re-twisting causes tension around the hair follicles which can result in inflammation which can cause scarring around the scalp and permanent hair loss or balding. If you have dreadlocks and are suffering from hair loss, click here for more tips on prevention treatment.

hair loss treatment for dreadlocks

I Have Dreadlocks and Think I’m Suffering from Traction Alopecia – What Should I Do?

If you have dreadlocks, one way to stop the symptoms of Traction Alopecia is to reduce the length of the locs to mitigate the impact of stress on the hair bulb and scalp, in addition to undergoing treatment to restore hair growth. Leaving hair loss untreated can result in permanent hair loss, which is why it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion is effective at reducing hair loss and restoring hair growth for people who wear dreadlocks. Click here to find out how it works. If hair loss is extreme, some people go as far as abandoning dreadlocks altogether, in addition to undergoing treatment. 

How Do Dreadlocks Cause Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia?

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is a hair loss condition which usually only effects people with afro hair types. Symptoms of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia manifest subtly with a gradual thinning of hair around the crown, which if not treated becomes more visible. Triggers of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia are either internal, i.e hormonal, or external i.e hair styling/care practices. Dreadlocks can be categorised as an external cause of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia. The contributing factors of the weight of the locs, combined with scalp sensitivity to the gels and pomades used to loc and re-twist locs can trigger Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia usually starts with gradual hair loss in the 'Center' of the scalp which then spreads outwards, which refers to the 'Centrifugal' element of the Alopecia. The scalp then becomes shiny as the follicular opening of the scalp closes and scars, which reflects the 'Cicatricial' component of the hair loss condition. Other symptoms of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia include tenderness of the scalp, itching and burning. To learn more about Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia here. 

I Have Dreadlocks and Think I’m Suffering from Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia  – What Should I Do?

If you wear dreadlocks and identify with the symptoms of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia and want to stop hair loss from spreading or becoming permanent, it is advisable to style hair naturally. This averts unnecessary pressure from being placed on the scalp, which aggravate the condition. If you find the idea of not wearing dreadlocks traumatic then reducing the length of your locs is an alternative. Seeking treatment, such as ProTress, to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss is also recommended. Click here to learn more about how to maintain dreadlocks, preventing further hair loss and thinning.

Can Cornrows or Braids Cause Hair Loss for Black Men?

Braids and cornrows can cause Traction Alopecia and Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia for black men. Tight cornrows might look really slick and attractive but if done too frequently and too tightly they can trigger hair loss. If hair is pulled to tightly it puts strain on the scalp and hair bulb, possibly causing gradual hair loss. Hair pulled tightly can also cause inflammation and scaring. If you style your hair in braids or cornrows and are suffering from hair loss, it is recommended that you stop these styling techniques and undergo treatment such as ProTress to stimulate hair growth. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion revitalises hair follicles and reactivates micro circulation (the circulation of blood around the scalp) which improves and restores hair growth. Click here for more information.

I Vape and I’m Experiencing Hair Loss – Why?

Vaping or smoking marijuana appears harmless on face value but the chemical compounds they contain can cause havoc with your hair

Vaping contains nicotine, which is full of free radicals (toxins). The intake of nicotine into your body puts it under oxidative stress because it increases the number of free radicals in your body, thereby creating an imbalance between free radicals (toxins) and antioxidants.

 oxidative stress

This imbalance causes oxidative stress because there are not enough antioxidants to pair with the free radicals to neutralise them. Lacking a partner, the free radicals attach themselves to protein cells (hair) by stealing their electrons which in turn erodes protein cells.

erosion of protein cells caused by free radicals

The erosion of the hair follicles protein cells, particularly hair cuticles make hair dry and brittle. Hair cuticles seal moisture into hair and act as a protective layer, so when this is eroded hair becomes even more exposed to free radicals which causes a vicious cycle of hair becoming weak, thin, dry and prone to thinning, breakage and shedding.  

Oxidation can also cause protein cells in the hair growth cycle to become inactive which stagnate hair growth which can give the appearance of hair thinning and, in some instances, make the scalp more visible due to lack of hair coverage.

How Do I Prevent Further Hair Loss and Achieve Re-growth After Vaping?

If you are vaping and suffering from hair loss it is advisable to stop vaping to prevent further hair loss. The good news is hair re-growth can be achieved if you have experienced hair loss because of vaping. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion both contain Rosemary and Nettle. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and Nettle has antibacterial qualities, when combined serve to purify hair and scalp from free radicals. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Lotion contains the patented Si MATRIX PF an innovative treatment for connective tissue recovery, making hair thicker, stronger and less prone to break or shed, giving the desired effect of reducing hair loss caused by nicotine.

I Smoke Marijuana and I’m Experiencing Hair Loss – Why?

The most dominant and potent component of marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The absorption of TCH into your blood stream affects:

  • Testosterone levels
  • Cortisol Receptors


A by-product of Testosterone is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a powerful hormone which causes hair follicles to shrink over time, causing hair to become thinner and thinner until the hair follicle closes altogether.

Cortisol Receptors

THC increases the volume of circulating cortisol receptors. An increase in cortisol receptors can affect your mood in a negative way, causing depression and anxiety. Feelings of anxiety or depression causes high blood pressure (hypertension) as blood capillaries retract in response to the change in circumstances which the body categorises as stressful.

hypertension causes hair loss

Hypertension has a negative effect on the flow of blood around the body and scalp. Blood flow around the scalp is a crucial component for the facilitation of hair growth. When blood travels around the scalp, it passes oxygen and vital nutrients (protein) to the hair bulb, allowing for the creation of hair. If blood flow is hindered by hypertension hair growth can slow or cease potentially causing hair thinning, hair loss or both.

How Do I Prevent Further Hair Loss and Achieve Re-growth After Smoking Marijuana?

If you smoke marijuana and are suffering from hair loss it is advisable to stop smoking to prevent further hair loss. Because DHT might be a contributing factor to hair loss some hair loss could be permanent. Once DHT minimises or eradicates a hair follicle it cannot be reactivated. Click here to learn about surgical treatments to restore hair growth. The good news is avoiding further consumption of marijuana will prevent further hair loss. Also, hair which was lost due hypertension can be regrown with treatment such as ProTress. ProTress can reactivate hair growth in follicles which became inactive due to hypertension, whilst making hair thicker and stronger, improving the physical appearance and health of your hair.

Suffering from Hair Loss – You Probably Need to Drink More Water

Choosing to drink water is not a popular option for men. Why would it be when there are so many other tasty choices, such as sodas and beers? But, for men, drinking water, especially in large quantities, is important for general health and the health of their hair. Our bodies are 50 to 70% water and to ensure a normal regulation of bodily functions men require an intake of 3.7 litres of water each day. If men do not meet this threshold, dehydration can occur and because your hair follicles lack water, they will stop producing hair.

Can Using a Curling Sponge Cause Hair Loss?

Using a curling sponge involves rubbing an abrasive material on your hair in a circular motion which can cause hair shafts to weather. The damage caused by continuous rubbing of the sponge on your hair can cause hair thinning, hair breakage and hair loss. If you use a curling sponge and have experienced hair loss, please click here for more info. To prevent further hair loss using a curling sponge less frequently would be advisable.

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male Pattern Baldness is the most common type of hair loss for black men. Hair styling techniques are not the cause of this particular Alopecia. Male Pattern Baldness is a genetic hair loss condition that causes baldness, so if anyone in your family has this condition, you too are at risk. The symptoms of Male Pattern Baldness are a receding hair line, that is particularly prominent at the temples, resembling a distinctive ‘M’ shape and/or balding in the center of your scalp.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Male Pattern Baldness is caused when hair follicles become minimised because of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a dominant hormone for men.

shrinking hair follicle as a result of DHT, causing Male Pattern Baldness

The reduction in the size of hair follicles makes hair thin and more prone to fall, resulting in balding. Learn more about this condition by clicking here.

causes of hair loss for black men

How Can I Prevent Male Pattern Baldness?

If you are suffering from Male Pattern Baldness and want to stop the hair loss, it is advisable that you seek treatment as soon as possible. The longer you leave Male Pattern Baldness untreated, the higher the risk of permanent hair loss. 

Effective Hair Loss Treatment for Black Men

To prevent the spread of Male Pattern Baldness, the rate of hair loss must be reduced and hair growth activated, which can be achieved with ProTress. 

ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion is effective hair loss treatment for black men and has been specifically developed to treat hair loss conditions that effect black men, such as Male Pattern Baldness and Traction Alopecia. ProTress Energising Lotion contains the patented Si MATRIX PF which helps to reactivate the peripheral micro circulation (blood flow around the scalp), as well as increasing the supply of oxygen to and nutrients to the hair bulb and revitalises hair follicles, helping to extend the Anagen phase of the hair growth cycle (click here to learn more about the hair growth cycle), stimulating hair growth and preventing further hair loss.

protress stimulates hair growth

ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Lotion also contains revolutionary treatment for connective tissue recovery which helps to prevent the excessive shedding which happens when the hair is in an extended period of the Telogen stage, (when hair falls), as a result of the strong presence of DHT. ProTress prevents further hair loss and helps to maintain the hair that has not been lost to the attack of DHT.

 hair loss treatment for black men

hair loss treatment for black men

YHVH, Foreigners will not drink the new wine for which I have laboured, without my permission.


causes of hair loss for black men





  • Dear Jeremiah, Thank you for your inquiry. You can purchase ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion directly from our website; We ship to Nigeria. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.

    ProTress Hair Care
  • How can I get it here in Nigeria I really need your help

  • Dear Juan,
    Thank you for your email. We are so pleased you have experienced hair regrowth with ProTress. This is delightful news!
    To answer each question in turn:
    1) Once you are satisfied with the results of using ProTress and stop using it at the intensity level you have been, your hair will remain intact and will not become damaged, as long as you do not re-engage in hair styling practices that cause Traction Alopecia. 
    2) We do recommend continued use of ProTress for maintenance, once a month, however, this is entirely to your discretion.
    If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
    Thank you for your custom and may your hair continue to thrive!
    ProTress Hair Care Team

    ProTress Hair Care
  • First of all, this product lives up to the expectation. I used to wear dreadlocks so my edges are now restored. Will I need to continue to use this product. If I stop will my hair go back to the way it was.

  • Dear DeVaun, Thank you for contacting ProTress. Yes, we do ship to the U.S. If you have any other questions please email us at

    ProTress Hair Care

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