How Braids and Weaves Are Causing Black Women to Lose Their Hair

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Prestonia agrees that clients often take the wrong approach to significant problems. “In consultations, I see women with devastating damage,” she said. “When you come to me and you have three inches of receded hairline, how could you have not seen that coming? Don’t wait until it gets to the point of no return.”

Harris believes women should work with their doctor, as well as their stylist, from the very beginning. “This way of addressing hair issues is what I consider the 21st century approach to using beauty as a tool for healing,” he said. In his vision, the hair care stylist plays an important role. “My goal is really trying to create a means of elevating the hair stylist to the role of being a health care advocate. And we’ve found a way of doing that here, using hair loss as a point of connection between the doctor, the patient and the stylist.”

Ultimately, a reliance on traction hairstyles can interfere with learning proper hair care. According to Harris, weaves and similar styles create a “point of detachment for women from their hair.”

“It ends up being a crutch for women to not have an intimate understanding of how to care for their hair in a health-conscious manner,” he explained.

Both experts say that focusing on proper hair care should become an ongoing process. This could transform the negative results detailed in the study into a path for more black women to develop holistic plans for health. The horrible result of this lack of involvement – baldness in the form of traction alopecia — can be avoided if we expand our vision of what is beautiful.

But are we ready to be converted?

Black women can work with doctors and knowledgeable stylists to make African-American hair a radiant reflection of overall well-being. Trends in healthier black hair care are increasing, but the inclusion of accurate medical analysis can further enhance this movement. Hopefully, if more black women take the advice of positive leaders in the medical and hair care industry, our hair will become an area of even greater expression and enjoyment.


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