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. Thinning at the crown can be accompanied with symptoms of soreness and sensitivity of the scalp and is unique to men/women of colour. Thinning and/or hair loss at the centre of the scalp is caused by hair styling practices employed by Afrocentric men and women. 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.
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.
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 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.
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 and then sheds. The inner root sheath surrounds 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. During the early stages of CCCA, thinning at the affected area resembles Female Pattern Baldness. As CCCA progresses, the hair thins, hair breaks and eventually hair loss will spread circumferentially and undoubtedly baldness will increase in size. Prolonged, untreated CCCA can cause the scalp to appear shiny and smooth, whilst the hair in the scarred area reacts by shortening, becoming more brittle and resulting in breakage. The crown can also become tender, sore and, in extreme cases, a burning sensation can be felt.
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 mechanical 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
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.