As Black men we take a lot of pride in our appearances and this includes our hair. As such, most of us fear losing our hair and do everything we can to stop this from happening.
The fact is, hair loss is a part of life and a part of the aging process, meaning it is an inevitability. However, this does not mean that there aren’t ways to slow down the process and in some cases completely prevent early hair loss. Depending on the causing factor, there are different techniques that can be applied.
It is worth noting that for this post, we are focusing on hair-loss causes that are not linked to the genetic condition known as Alopecia, we will cover that in its own dedicated post.
So what causes premature hair loss in Black men?
Stress is a huge contributory factor to hair loss. We all get stressed out, but the way we deal with that stress differs from person to person, meaning the impact of stress on our health also varies.
Telogen Effluvium and Trichotillomania are the stress related conditions that lead to hair loss.
Telogen Effluvioum is reversible and does not normally cause total hair loss, more so thinning of the hair and increased shedding. The positive thing to note is that this is a reversible condition and the hair normally grows back. Ways to treat it include improving on your diet and addressing the root cause for stress
Trichotillomania also known as the “Hair Pulling Disorder” is another side effect of stress and anxiety for some people. This can lead to longer term damage to the scalp and hair follicles.
Scalp conditions and certain disorders can lead to partial hair loss. Issues like dry scalp, dandruff, eczema and dermatitis are not necessarily direct causes of hair-loss but the subsequent itchiness can lead to excessive scratching. This then leads to damage on the scalp and hair follicles which can result in partial hair loss.
These are all treatable conditions and can be managed by using the correct products. Avoid products that contain Sulphates and SLS as these are ingredients that strip your hair of its natural oils further, causing it to further dry out. Instead opt for natural products that are free from toxic ingredients
Diet and lifestyle
Your diet and lifestyle has a big impact on the health and subsequent strength of your hair. Never forget that it all starts from the inside. Hair, just like the rest of your body, depends on specific vitamins and minerals to grow and remain healthy. A poor diet mixed with lifestyle habits like smoking, which restricts blood flow and can deprive your hair follicles of much needed oxygen and nutrients, and excessive drinking, which causes dehydration and dries out the hair follicles making them brittle, all help to speed up the hair loss process.
The solution to this is as simple as being mindful of what you consume and making sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
With all the above, bear in mind that hair-loss is inevitable with age. However, with the above tips you will be able to avoid losing your hair before its time.