Popular styles among black women may cause something called traction alopecia. All hairstyles are not created equally, according to Dr. Crystal Aguh.
“Traction alopecia it’s a very common cause of hair loss and it’s directly associated with the type of hairstyles that people are wearing,” Aguh said.
Aguh said braids, dreadlocks and weaves are high-risk, especially on chemically treated hair.
“Hairstyles that pull at the edges of the scalp are going to lead to traction alopecia so you really only see it around the crown area and occasionally around the back of the scalp as well,” Aguh said.
If it’s caught early it can be reversed, but in some cases the hair loss is permanent.
“We know from various studies that hair loss of all types has a very significant psychological impact on men and women,” Aguh said.
Marquia Parnell has alopecia.
“Hair is really important to a woman, and once you start to lose it, you feel like you’re losing a bit of yourself,” Parnell said.
Growing up with a single father, Parnell wore a lot of braids. She started losing her hair in the sixth grade, and thinks the style could be responsible.
“I would love to just rock a bun one day, but I can’t bring myself to do it around my peers,” Parnell said.
Steven Thomas helps Parnell, and other women cope with the effects of hair loss.
“I take my responsibility very serious. I like to educate my clients as well as servicing them,” Thomas said.
Thomas is known as the @thehairdoc on Instagram, where he has more than 55,000 followers. Thomas often showcases stunning transformations.
Gayle Harris has been featured on his page.