My research into Afro hair loss was piqued when my Aunt confided in me about a thinning section of hair in the centre of her scalp that had eventually turned into baldness. I didn’t understand how this had happened and neither did she but we were both distressed about it. My Aunt exhausted all solutions and even visited a hair clinic to receive treatment but this was not effective. Frustrated and disappointed, my Aunt then tried the doctor who diagnosed her with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia but the treatment she received had disappointing results. If you have had a similar experience to my Aunt, or you have been diagnosed with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia or suspect this is what you are suffering from, do not despair, we will guide you through what this form of Alopecia is, why it occurs and how it can be treated effectively, so read on to find out more.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is a condition that exclusively effects women with Afro hair types, particularly in their 40’s and 50’s. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is the manifestation of scar tissue in the scalp in the form of circular patterns of hair loss. The scar tissue is caused by damaging hair styling/care practices that are unique to people with afro hair types, such as wearing tight ponytails, weaves or dreadlocks, or relaxing your hair and greasing your scalp. The earliest sign of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia is the peeling away of the Inner Root Sheath. The Inner Root Sheath is a layer of hair that envelops the hair shaft forming the channel for growing hair. When the Inner Root Sheath peels back because of the trauma caused of the scarring of the scalp, it has negative effect on hair formation, reducing the quantity and thickness of hair produced. Please see illustration below:
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia usually starts with gradual hair loss in the 'Centre' of the scalp and can be mistaken for the symptoms of Female Pattern Baldness. During the early stages of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia the effected area will show a well defined minute amount of circular hair loss, however, as the Alopecia progresses it will spread circumferentially and increase in size, expanding outwards, which refers to the 'Centrifugal' element of the Alopecia. Hair density diminishes and hair in the scarred area becomes shorter and more brittle than those found in the un-effected areas of the scalp. The the scalp can become shiny as the follicular openings of the scalp closes and scars, which is the 'Cicatricial' component of the hair loss condition. Other symptoms of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia include tenderness of the scalp, itching and burning.
Causes of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia was initially called hot comb Alopecia because it only occurred amongst women with Afro hair types who used the hair straightening technique of applying heavy oils to the hair followed by combing the hair through with a hot comb until straight. However, once the hot comb technique became antiquated, the condition of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia continued to persist amongst people with afro hair types. Most recently research has suggested that possible causes of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia are multifaceted and include both internal and external factors.
External Factors That Cause Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
- Tight hair styles (braids/dreadlocks/weaves etc)
- Sensitivity to oils/gels/pomades/oils (which is why you should avoid greasing your scalp if you have this condition, click here to learn more)
- Chemical trauma (relaxer)
- Thermal insult (tongs/hotcomb/straighteners etc)
- Abrasion from scratching itchy areas
Internal Factors That Cause Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
- Autoimmune disorder
- Bacterial infection
- Fungi infection
- Genetic influences
If you have Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia and would like to prevent the symptoms of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia from spreading, natural hairstyles are encouraged because this averts unnecessary pressure from being placed on the scalp, which aggravate the condition and could be damaging to your hair and scalp. Other recommendations include avoiding the following:
- Hair relaxer. If you want to make the transition to natural hair without incurring further hair loss, click here.
- Heat application (blow dryers, hot combs, flat irons and hooded dryers)
- Weaves, hair extensions, tight braids and dreadlocks.
- Hair styles where the hair is tightly pulled
- Any hair style that causes discomfort or irritation
- Greasing/Moisturising the scalp, click here to find out more.
Treatment for Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
If you recognise symptoms of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia in your hair pattern, then the hair products you are using and the hair care regimes you are following are not working for you. So, why not try the ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Shampoo and Lotion, because leaving Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia untreated is likely to result in the condition spreading throughout your scalp, perpetuating baldness. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion provides treatment that can halt the progression of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia and improve hair growth. The patented Si MATRIX PF which stimulates and reactivates the hair follicles encouraging hair growth. The natural extracts of Rosemary and Nettle purifies and cleanses the scalp creating a healthy environment in which hair can grow. Nettle is also a natural and ancient remedy for balding. A visible change should be noticeable after 12 weeks of treatment with the ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion, with hair becoming thicker and hairs beginning to sprout through the bald patches. If you are suffering from a severe case of That Cause Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, 3 or 4 treatment packs over the course of a year might be required to achieve full hair coverage.