Hair Weaves Can Lead To Scarring Hair Loss Among African American Women

African American women suffering from scarring hair loss may have weaves, braids and other hair-grooming traditions at least partly to blame, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The condition, called central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, is a type of hair loss that spreads from the middle of the scalp outward. The hair loss spreads as hair follicles die and are replaced by scar tissue.  It appears to be especially prevalent among African American.

To better understand the condition, Cleveland researchers surveyed 326 women about their medical history and hair care, among other things.

They found that those with little or no sign of hair loss were less likely to have used hot combs to straighten their hair than those with significant hair loss and less likely to have had braids, extensions or weaves.

These hairstyles, which are generally maintained for long periods of time, can put stress on the hair and lead to hair loss and scarring.  It can turn into a vicious cycle, researchers said, because women begin turning to the hairstyles to hide hair loss, and the hairstyles in turn cause more hair loss.

Researchers also found a link between the scarring hair loss and type 2 diabetes and say the condition may serve as a useful warning to physicians to tests their patients for diabetes and other metabolic dysfunction.

Click here to read more from the LA Times.