Why Is My Afro Hair Thinning at The Crown

why is my afro hair thinning at the crown?


A study conducted by the Medical Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology discovered that one third of women, with afro hair types, suffer from hair loss or thinning at the crown of their scalp, typically caused by Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA). 50% of men are likely to suffer from hair thinning around the scalp and/or temples by the age of 50, which can be caused by CCCA or Male Pattern Baldness. More information about Male Pattern Baldness and how this can be treated can be found at the bottom of the page, alternatively, click here for more info.   

If you are suffering from hair thinning at the crown, the good news is, if treated early enough, this condition can be treated and hair growth can be restored. Keep reading to discover the causes of hair thinning at the crown, how to prevent further thinning and how to achieve hair regrowth. 

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia and Traction Alopecia Can Cause Texture Hair to Thin at the Crown

For men and women with afro hair types, thinning at the crown can be accompanied with symptoms of soreness and sensitivity of the scalp. These symptoms are unique to men and women with afro hair. Thinning and/or hair loss at the centre of the scalp, along with soreness and/or scarring is caused by hair styling practices employed by men and women with textured hair that are either too abrasive, too hot or chemically damaging. The hair care regimes and hair styling techniques used to manage and maintain afro hair frequently results in Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) and Traction Alopecia, both of which cause hair thinning and/or hair loss at the crown of the scalp.

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia

What is Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) and Why Does it Cause Hair Loss at The Crown?

CCCA is a form of hair loss affecting the crown and vertex of the scalp. CCCA can result in scarring, a feeling of soreness and increased sensitivity in the affected area. CCCA symptoms include the presence of scar tissue on the scalp. Scar tissue is caused when the scalp attempts to heal itself after exposure to heat and/or trauma to skin covering the crown of the scalp.

How does heat exposure cause CCCA?

CCCA is typically caused by hair styling tools such as hot irons or steam irons. Exposure of the scalp to heat can cause scarring and damage to hair follicles, all of which results in scar tissue, causing hair loss and hindering the reproduction of hair.

How  does trauma to the scalp cause CCCA?

Trauma to the hair and scalp is caused by the excessive tugging and constant pulling of the hair and hair bulb. Styling techniques such as braiding, dreadlocking or weaving of the hair cause trauma which manifests in scalp inflammation or scaring, which are symptoms of CCCA. If you have dreadlocks and are suffering from hair loss or thinning, please click here.

The early symptoms of CCCA is hair thinning at the crown of the scalp. Thin hair occurs when the outer layer of the inner root sheath is peeled away/eroded because of the stress applied to hair due to hair styling techniques which apply a lot or pressure, the hair then sheds. The role of the inner root sheath is to  surround and protects new and growing hair, so, the disintegration of the inner root sheath leaves the hair vulnerable to thinning and, eventually, breakage and hair loss. 

hair follicle structure


During the early stages of CCCA, thinning at the affected area resembles Female Pattern Baldness (Click here for more information of Female Pattern Baldness), with hair thinning at the crown and spreading out gradually. As CCCA progresses, the hair thins, hair breaks and eventually hair loss will spread circumferentially and undoubtedly baldness will increase in size, exposing a damaged and sore scalp. Prolonged, untreated CCCA can cause the scalp to appear shiny and smooth. Hair in the scarred area reacts by becoming more brittle and resulting in thinning and breaking. The crown can also become tender, sore and, in extreme cases, a burning sensation can be felt.

Treatment for CCCA

If you identify with any of the symptoms described above, the chances are you are suffering form CCCA. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion is effective at treating CCCA because it contains the patented Si MATRIX PF which reactivates dormant hair follicles, stimulating hair growth, as demonstrated with Anne below, one of our many satisfied customers. 


central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia


Traction Alopecia

traction alopecia

What is Traction Alopecia and Why Does It Cause Hair Loss at The Crown?

Traction Alopecia is a condition of hair loss which is extremely common amongst black women who prefer hair styles such as tight ponytails, braids, dreadlocks and weaves. The afore-mentioned hairstyling techniques cause tension on the hair and trauma to the hair bulb.

The earliest symptoms of Traction Alopecia is hair thinning in affected areas. It is common for Traction Alopecia to affect the crown of the scalp or the hair line, depending on where the most pressure is applied on the scalp. The friction of tight hairstyling techniques causes hair strands to fray and become thin, leaving hair vulnerable to breakage.

As the symptoms of Traction Alopecia becomes more acute, there is a constant loosening of hair from the follicle. The trauma caused by the constant pressure on the scalp (as a result of hair styling techniques employed using friction, pulling and tugging at the hair), often results in inflammation of the cells in the skin around the hair follicles which, in turn, hinders hair reproduction. Sustained tension on the hair can result in hair follicles wasting away and the scalp becoming increasingly exposed.

Treatment for Hair Thinning at the Crown Caused by Hair Styling

Discontinuing hair styles and use of hair styling tools which cause sustained tension on the hair or exposure to heat or harsh chemicals is advised alongside treatment such as ProTress. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion facilitates recovery from Afro hair loss because it contains the patented Si MATRIX PF which is a revolutionary treatment for the connective tissue recovery, revitalising and reactivating hair follicles. Once the ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Lotion is applied to the scalp, the peripheral micro circulation (flow of blood around the scalp) is reactivated causing the scalp to tingle as the lotion massages the scalp. This revitalises hair follicles, whilst improving the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair bulbs, which restores hair growth and prevents further hair loss.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness is the dominant cause of thinning at the crown for men with afro hair types. Male Pattern Baldness is a genetic hair loss condition which causes baldness. Because Male Pattern Baldness is genetic, if anyone in your family has suffered from Male Pattern Baldness, there is a possibility you could too. If your pattern of hair loss is thinning temples and circular thinning at the crown of your head, the chances are you are suffering from Male Pattern Baldness. If hair is being lost at a faster rate than normal and your scalp is becoming more exposed at the crown and your forehead more prominent, there is a high chance you are losing your hair because of male pattern baldness.

Why Am I Going Bald?

Male Pattern Baldness happens when hair follicles become minimised and eventually completely diminished because of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a by product of testosterone. The reduction in the size of hair follicles continues to thin hair over time, making hair more prone to fall, resulting in balding.

DHT shrinks hair follicles causing thinning

 When the scalp comes becomes under attack from DHT, there is an increased percentage of hair follicles in the telogen stage (hair loss stage) of the hair growth cycle, which is the point at which the hair follicle detaches from the blood supply, thereby preventing any further hair creation, causing the hair to fall out. To aggravate the hair loss situation, DHT also shortens the length of the Anagen stage of the hair growth cycle, which is the growth stage. A reduction in the length of the Anagen stage means hair lost is not replaced when lost, making the scalp more noticeable. Please see the diagram below for illustration of the hair growth cycle.

hair growth cycle

If you are suffering from Male Pattern Baldness, you can preserve remaining hair, making hair thicker and stronger as well as preventing further hair loss with ProTress. To prevent the spread of Male Pattern Baldness, hair follicles need to be stimulated to prolong the Anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy 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 which stimulates hair growth and revitalises hair follicles, helping to extend the Anagen phase. 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 Telogen (the final stage of the hair growth cycle when hair falls), as a result of Male Pattern Baldness and the strong presence of DHT. 


 Nor shall foreigners drink the new wine For which you have laboured, (without my permission), says YHVH


  • Hi
    I’m in South Africa
    I have this hair-loss and I would like to know how to purchase the product

  • Dear Mbali,

    Thank you for submitting the following inquiry to the ProTress Hair Care website;
    ‘How can I get your products in South Africa?’
    ProTress can be purchased online, via our website www.protresshaircare.co.uk and we ship to anywhere in the world, including South Africa. Delivery to South Africa typically takes between 14 and 21 days.
    If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@protresshaircare.co.uk.
    Kind regards,
    ProTress Hair Care Team

    ProTress Hair Care
  • How can I get your products in South Africa?

  • Using this for 2 months now. My scalp feels amazing and I’ve noticed a difference my hair has stopped shedding, is getting thicker, and my curl pattern is more defined. Hair is coming through on my patch. Can’t wait to get to the end of the treatment.


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