Have Dreadlocks and Suffering from Hair Loss or Thinning?
How To Stop Hair Loss if You Have Dreadlocks
You love your dreadlocks and have had them for years but you have begun to notice a gradual thinning, which over time, has begun to turn into serious hair loss and it's starting to freak you out. You don't know what to do and you don't understand why this is happening. If this is the case, then you are in the right place - help is at hand. When your dreads begin to recede along your hair line or when your dreads start thinning at the crown, become thin and shed in large volumes, it is possible that you could be suffering from hair loss conditions such as Traction Alopecia or Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia which can be triggered by wearing dreadlocks. The symptoms of Traction Alopecia are usually a thinning and receding hair line. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia manifests in dreadlocks when locs thin at the crown or around the hair line. But please don't despair, help is just a few sentences away and you will learn how to fix balding dreadlocks. Keep reading to discover how you can stop the hair loss and thinning and regain the healthy dreadlocks that you love.
1) Avoid Dreadlocks that Are Too Long
Long locs look great. As dreads become longer, there is a strong sense of pride and accomplishment because of the care and nurturing which was applied to achieve the length. The downside is as dreadlocks become longer in length, there is an increased possibility that hair loss or in the worse case scenario balding will occur, with your hair line receding and dreads becoming thin at the crown due to the weight of the dreads. Dreadlocks can trigger hair loss because hair that would usually shed as a result of the hair growth cycle, remains twisted in the dreads, causing excessive weight on the roots.
Between 50 and 100 hairs a day make the transition to the Telogen stage (hair fall stage) of the hair growth cycle. This allows for the hair bulb to rest before re-entering the Anagen (hair growth) stage. Find out more about the hair growth cycle by clicking here. Wearing dreadlocks hinders the hair growth cycle, because hair that would naturally shed is instead interlocked in dreads, causing a drag on the scalp which is heavier than normal. The weighty drag on the scalp can cause inflammation of the scalp and hair bulb, causing hair loss. Hair loss and thinning usually occurs along the hair hair line and at the crown. To counteract the hindering effect locs have on the hair growth cycle, trimming your locs monthly and seeking treatment such as ProTress is advisable.
If you start to notice thinning or hair loss as your dreads become longer, then it is possible that you are suffering from Traction Alopecia, whereby the weight of the dread causes the hair follicle to separate from the hair bulb. If you think you are suffering from hair loss / Traction Alopecia to avoid further or sustained hair loss, seek treatment as soon as possible. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion has a proven track record of restoring hair growth and preventing further hair loss for afro hair types, click here to find out how it works.
2) Avoid Frequent Re-twisting
The allure of a fresh look achieved by a re-twist is all too tempting, but if done too frequently and too tightly it can cause hair breakage and thinning at the root, triggering hair loss conditions such as Traction Alopecia click here to find out more, Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, click here to find out more about this Alopecia, or weathering.
The technique employed to create locs as well as daily styling of dreads can cause weathering of hair shafts, which in turn causes hair loss and a loss of dreads. Weathering occurs when trauma or frequent injury is inflicted on the hair shaft through hair styling techniques which involve rubbing the hair strands together which occurs when forming locs, creating hairstyles with locs or shampooing locs. The damage caused can result in hair loss, breakage or thinning.
The hair shaft is protected by cuticles, which look like fish scales in appearance, under a microscope. Hair cuticles on afro hair types are naturally slightly raised because of the curl/coil, so rubbing the hair shaft whilst creating locs through twisting, or whilst styling or shampooing will raise the hair cuticles even further, causing some of them to break, become fractured or jagged, also known as ‘weathered’. Once hair cuticles are sufficiently ‘weathered’ the softer parts of the hair shaft are no longer protected, becoming vulnerable to damage and prone to breakage if hair styling techniques are continued. Damaged cuticles result in hair breaking, the hair shaft losing its structure, becoming frizzy, matted or forming single or double knots along the hair shaft, known as Trichonodosis. Trichonodosis occurs when hair becomes scratched by the curling brush, causing the cuticles to become fractured and the consequential splintering of the hair shaft which then forms knots. Consequently locs become thin, fragile and prone to fall out.
3) Get Treatment to Stop Hair Loss or Thinning
If you have dreadlocks and are suffering from hair loss or hair thinning and want your healthy head of hair back, then you will most likely need to undergo treatment to prevent further hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion is a three month treatment pack that works in tandem with the science of your hair’s growth cycle. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion revitalises hair follicles and increases the rate at which blood flows around the scalp and passes nutrients and oxygen to the hair bulb (Microcirculation), which restores hair growth and stops excessive hair loss. The patented formula contains Si Matrix PF, which has all the nutrients which your hair needs to grow, making hair thicker and stronger. Don't just take our word for it, click here to check out the before and after pictures and testimonials from our satisfied clients.
4) Be Gentle When You Wash Your Dreadlocks
Your hair is dead matter, like a tree, so one way to hydrate your hair is to wash it. Because dreadlocks are delicate, washing them might undo the structure, especially if they are new. When you do wash your hair try to avoid rubbing your scalp to avoid weathering and gently massage the shampoo around your scalp with your fingertips; stroke the shampoo/conditioner into your hair with the palm of your hands, to avoid undoing the dreads. Pat hair dry with a towel (avoids heat damage caused by using hair dryers). For the best way to to wash your long dreadlocks to avoid mould, bad smells and hair loss, click here
5) Try Not to Style Your Dreadlocks Tightly
Dreadlocking defies the natural curl/kink of afro hair so pulling your dreads through various styling techniques exasperates hair loss. Click here to find out why afro hair shafts are so fragile.
For people with European and Asian hair types, the additional weight and pull on the scalp and hair bulb caused by dreads can cause hair thinning, hair loss and even scarring, potentially causing Traction Alopecia.
Overall, repetitive and sustained pulling of your hair causes tension around your hair follicles which can cause hair loss and inflammation. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion will purify your scalp and restore hair growth by revitalising your hair follicles.
6) Protect Your Dreads Whilst You Sleep
Gently wrapping your hair in a silk head scarf can prevent hair breakage caused by pillow friction as you sleep, which can cause your edges to fall out / recede.
7) Find a Good Loctician
A good loctician is an important factor in avoiding hair loss whilst ‘dread’, this is because there are 5 techniques that can be used to create and maintain your dreadlocks. The technique employed depends on the texture of your hair, your hair length, the type of dreads you want and the lifestyle you lead. The loctician you choose should be aware of the various dreadlock techniques as well as being knowledgeable about how to care for your dreadlocks to maintain healthy ‘dreads’, preventing hair loss / breakage
A Note Of Caution
If your hair loss condition is quite severe, you might want to consider growing the dreadlocks out and wearing your hair in a natural style to avoid further or permanent hair loss and scalp damage and seek treatment like ProTress to restore hair growth and prevent further hair loss. Click here to find out how to make the transition to natural hair, avoiding further hair breakage. Below are just a few of the before and after pictures from satisfied ProTress customers.
How to Restore Hair Growths and Care for Your Damaged Hair After Dreadlocks
So, you have taken the brave step to substantially trim or unlock your dreads because your hair and scalp have become visibly damaged, but you don’t know what to do next. You have some visible thin areas around your scalp and your hair feels weak and your scalp a little tender. You just want a healthy head of hair again, so what should you do? Below are some tips which can help you fix the bald spots on your dreads and restore hair growth where hair locs have been lost.
- Avoid Applying heavy oils directly to the scalp such as castor oil, argan oil, black seed oil etc. Such oils are full of fatty amino acids and are great for adding moisture to the hair, but if not rinsed out after 20 to 30 minutes they can cause serious side effects. Click here to learn more.
- Avoid hair styles which involve pulling, tugging or adding weight to hair and scalp. This will aggravate your hair and scalp, whose sensitivity has been heightened due to the trauma caused by the stress of the dreads. Further if you style you hair in fashions which require pulling and tugging you could trigger Traction Alopecia and Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, causing further damage, hair loss and thinning.
- Wash your hair at least once a week to provide the necessary hydration for your hair and scalp. Shampooing your hair regularly also helps prevent your scalp become clogged by sebum, which can hinder hair growth and thickness. Click here to learn more.
- Condition Your hair frequently. Cuticles on textured hair are naturally slightly raised. Hair styling, dying and shampooing can cause them to raise even further, making hair dry and vulnerable to thinning and breakage. Good hair conditioners help to flatten hair cuticles, sealing moisture into the hair shaft, making hair strong and healthy. Click here to learn more.