Hair loss is an embarrassing and challenging experience for an individual to endure. For women, experiencing hair loss can be distressing and frustrating, particularly when searching for a solution to mitigate or end hair loss and begin the hair regrowth process, but finding no treatment option that works. While hair loss affects both men and women of every ethnicity and culture, some types of hair loss affect certain ethnicities in higher proportion due to a number of biological and environmental factors. When analyzing African American women in particular, it is important to understand the causes of hair loss in African American women and potential treatment options that are available. In black women, hair loss can be due to a number of different conditions and stimuli, which makes it imperative to determine the root cause of the hair loss first in order to determine the right treatment option moving forward. We have put together a beginner’s guide to the various causes of hair loss in African American women and some of the treatment options available.
An Overview of the Hair Growth Process
In order to understand how the hair loss process is changed or affected by various conditions, it is vital to develop an understanding of how the hair growth process occurs normally. The hair growth process has three main phases of growth and shedding, known as anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is known as the active phase of hair growth. The anagen phase of the hair growth process is the longest in duration of any of the hair growth phases. During the anagen phase, cells that make up the root at the base of the hair rapidly divide on a continuous basis. Due to this continual process of rapid cellular division, the new hair is created and pushed through the surface of the scalp. When this new hair emerges on the surface, it replaces a club hair. A club hair is a hair follicle that has ceased growing and is no longer in the anagen phase of the hair growth process. On average, individuals will grow one new centimeter of hair every twenty-eight days while in the anagen phase of the hair growth process. For many people, the anagen phase of the hair growth process lasts between two and six years. An individual’s ability to achieve long hair is determined in part by how long their active growth phase is.
The second phase of the hair growth cycle, catagen, is known as the transitional phase of the hair growth cycle. During this stage, hair follicles will transition between being actively growing, as during the anagen phase, and at rest, as during the telogen phase. The catagen phase is much shorter in duration than the anagen phase, lasting on average two to three weeks. The catagen phase marks the end of the active growth cycle as the outer root sheath of the hair begins to grow smaller in size and attaches to the root of the hair. This process is how a club hair is formed. On average, three percent of all hairs on the surface of the scalp are in this phase at any given time. The third and final phase of the hair growth cycle is the telogen phase, which is known as the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. The telogen phase often lasts for one hundred days on average and encompasses six to eight percent of the hairs on the scalp on average. When a hair follicle is in the telogen stage of the hair growth cycle, it is no longer actively growing and is instead at rest. This is the point in the hair growth process at which the formation of a club hair is complete. On average, between twenty-five and one hundred hairs that are in the telogen stage naturally shed from the scalp each day. The hair growth process begins again when the new hair once again displaces the club hair and begins actively growing. With this knowledge of the hair growth process in mind, it is possible to examine the most prevalent causes of hair loss in African American women.
Common Causes of Hair Loss in African American Women
There are a number of different conditions and circumstances that can cause a woman to begin to lose her hair. The first step to finding the right treatment option to successfully combat hair loss and hair thinning is to determine the underlying cause of the hair loss. Below are several of the common causes of hair loss in African American women.
Treatment Options for Hair Loss in African American Women
Once the cause of the hair loss has been determined, the next step is to explore the available treatment options to find the right solution. There are a multitude of available treatment options on the market, but it is up to the individual experiencing the hair loss to find which one works best for them. One simple treatment option to begin utilizing is an oral supplement that is rich in nutrients shown to boost hair growth, such as Biotin. In addition to Biotin, many oral supplements specifically targeted at aiding in hair growth will contain ingredients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, MSM, Zinc, and Silica. Oral supplements are an easy way to improve hair health. In addition to oral supplements, another available treatment option is to utilize a topical Minoxidil treatment. Topical treatments are one of the most effective ways to stop and reverse hair loss or hair thinning by promoting natural hair growth. It is important that any topical treatment selected contain Minoxidil, as this opens up blood vessels, thereby allowing hair follicles to grow more rapidly. Scalp Med offers a non-surgical solution to hair loss through a unique two-step process. Scalp Med is a proven effective regimen that begins with the application of NutriSol®, a proprietary product that fosters an ideal environment on the scalp from which to regrow lost hair. The second phase of the process uses Vitadil®, which contains Minoxidil, and is the only product that is FDA-approved ingredient clinically proven to regrow hair. Scalp Med can regrow lost hair without the pain of surgery and without causing the itchiness and irritation commonly associated with topical hair loss treatments. In addition, Scalp Med is paraben free, sulfate free, and is not tested animals.
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