What Causes Black Women's Hair Loss? Tips to Curb Hair Loss & Encourage Regrowth for African American Women
Many of us consider our hair to be an integral part of who we are. But even if you don't have this type of relationship with your hair, it's alarming when you start noticing it fall out.
Maybe you're noticing more hair in your sink or shower flower than usual. Or, perhaps your forehead is a bit more prominent than you remember when you look in the mirror or look at pictures. Either way, you're wondering what causes black women's hair loss. And you've come to the right place.
Allurium Beauty is here to empower African American women everywhere along their journey to stop hair loss and restore new hair growth once and for all. We have the products you need along with educational resources to set you up for success and make your hair woes disappear for good. So - what causes hair loss in black women exactly?
From stress to diet, genetics to toxins in your hair care products, we'll evaluate all the likely suspects today and help you nail down the root cause of your hair loss. First - let's talk about black hair...
Understand That Your Black Hair is Unique
We recently wrote an article discussing how black hair is different from white hair. But in actuality, black hair is also different from Asian hair, Indian hair, and any other type of hair for that matter. The coarse, textured hair type you've grown up from is prone to dryness and breakage - so you're already at a disadvantage.
Similarly, many of the haircare recommendations and products on the market today are specifically tailored to a white audience. Thus, you'll end up disappointed following most advice and using most hair care products. Maybe you've already experienced that yourself.
You don't have to stress any longer though. You're here with us - and as black men and women ourselves, we're equipped to talk about African American hair more than anyone! Below, we're going to help you gain an understanding of what causes hair loss in black women specifically - then we'll teach you how to fix the problem once and for all.
What Causes Black Women's Hair Loss?
So - what causes black women's hair loss? Unfortunately, the answer isn't one size fits all - it seems there is an endless list of things that can contribute to hair loss. The hard part is figuring out which is the root cause of your hair woes - you'll have to think about your lifestyle and which is most likely.
With that said, here are all the common causes of hair loss in black women - starting with the most unfortunate. Genetics.
Hair growth is genetic - at least, to some extent. If your mother or grandmother had thinning hair, it's very likely that you may too. This is why it's important to pay attention to the patterns in your family and ask questions if anyone else has experienced the same issue.
To understand the specific role your genetics play in hair health (and to adequately fight the problem), we need to explain DHT. This compound is the primary cause of hair loss in both men and women. DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone. It's a powerful hormone that contributes to male characteristics like facial hair and deep voices - but it causes shrunken hair follicles when there's too much of it. Thus, leading to hair fall.
There is nothing you can do to change your genetics. You can't choose your family, after all! However, don't fret - all hope is not lost. While you are fighting an uphill battle, there are ways you can slow - or perhaps even stop - your hair loss despite unfavorable genetics.
You'll just have to work a bit harder and take extra good care of what remains on your scalp to make it last longer - we'll discuss more on that later. For now, let's take a look at another increasingly common culprit of hair loss in African American women: stress.
No matter what type of hair you have, stress is a major contributing factor for women everywhere - including black women. It's no different than any other ethnicity really - when we're stressed out, our bodies simply respond in various ways - one being shedding more than usual.
It's important to find ways to banish the stress in your life. There are many creative outlets such as art and exercise that can help you release tension and look forward to a brighter future. You can also consider therapy to help come up with strategies that work best for you. Learn more in our article about the relationship between stress and hair loss.
You're familiar with this one - we all know hairstyles like tight braids, extensions, ponytails, etc. can cause breakage in our hair - especially when we don't give it a chance to rest in between styles. It's important to pay attention to the tightness of your ponytails or braids and how often you're wearing them.
You might even want to try protective hairstyles as well - such as wigs, sew-ins, etc. These are great alternatives for longer-term style changes that won't cause breakage or traction alopecia (the medical term for hair loss due to styling).
If you want to find some hairstyles for black pregnant moms, in particular, we have a complete guide for you! For now, let's talk about the role your diet plays in hair health.
The food options you choose can have just as much impact on your hair health as your stress levels. Your diet needs to have plenty of proteins, vitamins, and minerals if you're aiming for thicker, healthier tresses. Additionally, the food you eat should be balanced and include more of what your body needs rather than just empty calories.
You'll want to add plenty of healthy fats such as avocados and nuts, as these are essential for hair growth. Sunflower seeds and walnuts are great choices. Similarly, eggs, fish, lentils, and quinoa can also help with providing enough protein to ensure optimal hair health. Other foods you can consider adding to your diet include beets, strawberries, pomegranates, blueberries, and other anti-inflammatory foods packed with antioxidants.
We have a complete list of foods that promote hair growth which you should round your diet out with. But just as important as the foods you do eat is what you avoid. Avoid inflammatory foods - particularly those that contain gluten, sugar, and other processed ingredients. These can create inflammation at the scalp preventing the hair follicles from reaching their full potential - and in some cases, killing them off altogether.
Toxic Hair Care Products
What you put on your scalp matters just as much as what you feed it internally - if not more. The harsh chemicals present in a lot of hair care products tend to strip away the natural oils from our scalp, leading to dryness which then leads to breakage and thinning.
Some of the most commonly found toxins include sulfates, parabens, phthalates, aerosols, and formaldehyde. You should also avoid colors, dyes, and artificial fragrances. All of these can be detrimental to your hair health. And unfortunately, it's incredibly common to find these in shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, and other hair care products. We have a complete guide covering the stuff in shampoo that causes hair loss if you want to explore the full list of offenders.
It's important to only use natural hair care products that are free from any of these potentially harmful ingredients. At Allurium Beauty, for example, our premium plant-based products are designed specifically for black women with all-natural ingredients proven to nurture and protect your scalp - helping you keep what hair you have and even restore new growth. More on that later. Finally, let's talk about dryness and how to manage it properly.
Another common cause of black women's hair loss is dryness - which can be caused by environmental factors, genetics, hair care products, or even personal habits.
Whatever the root cause of your dryness is, it all results in the same thing: lack of moisture & buildup residue on the scalp. The issue is unfortunately quite widespread among us - and dry hair can quickly lead to breakage if not treated accordingly. There are a few points we want to make here.
First, consider how often to wash black hair. Most of us are guilty of overwashing our hair - thinking that "cleaner" is "better". That's not the case. In fact, washing too frequently is doing more harm than good - starving your scalp of natural oils. 2-3 times a week is more than enough for most women. If you live a more active lifestyle, maybe you need more - but daily is often overkill.
Secondly, consider adding regular moisture treatments to your scalp to combat the dryness caused by cold weather or genetics. Just remember that the products used should be natural and tailored to black hair. And lastly, you should look into protective hairstyles and wigs to prevent weather damage.
These are all effective strategies for managing dryness - and if done correctly, will result in strong, healthy hair that's resistant to breakage and other signs of damage. We have a complete guide on how to treat dry scalp in African American hair if you'd like to learn more. We also have an article discussing scalp eczema & black hair if your dryness has manifested itself in this condition.
Which of These is Causing Your Hair Loss?
Now that we've gone over what causes black women's hair loss, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on your unique situation.
Which of these causes do you think is likely causing your hair loss? Genetics or hormonal imbalances? Stress and/or diet choices? The wrong hairstyles or toxic hair care products? Or perhaps dryness - either from the environment or through improper scalp maintenance.
Only you - and perhaps the help of a dermatologist near you - can nail down the root cause of your hair loss for certain. And to be honest, it's likely that more than one of these causes is contributing to your hair loss.
Fortunately, you can take actionable steps right now to stop the problem and restore new hair growth - regardless of what's causing your hair woes. Keep reading for some tips on promoting black hair growth.
Tips for Making Hair Loss a Thing of the Past
The first step is recognizing that within every damaged strand of hair lies a hidden potential - one that can be unlocked with the right treatment. With this in mind, how can you slow your hair loss to a halt - and perhaps even restore new hair growth?
First, take a look at your diet. For many women, this can be a powerful lifestyle adjustment that doesn’t just transform your hair health. It creates incredible change throughout your entire body - resulting in better skin, weight loss, more energy, and an overall healthier, happier you!
Step two is coming up with a hair care regimen based on your unique needs. We have a complete guide explaining how to take care of natural black hair - this article will be a great resource along this journey. But really, the basics of creating a hair care regimen are simple: figure out what your hair type is, and learn how to take care of it!
Maybe your hair needs more moisture than other types. If so, wash less frequently and do regular moisture treatments. If your hair is greasy and your clogs are constantly clogged, you should wash more frequently and do scalp exfoliating treatments.
And no matter what type of hair you have, you should be feeding the scalp the ingredients it needs to grow healthy hair. Think about it like this: if you don't fertilize your lawn, what happens? The grass slowly starts dying. The same is true for your hair. Instead of fertilizer, though, you need to regularly apply serum treatments. What is hair serum, though? It's a powerful blend of ingredients proven to slow hair loss and even restore new hair growth.
And we have just the thing for you at Allurium Beauty: the best hair growth products for black women. Our serum features powerful ingredients like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and other ancient organic herbs and natural vitamins proven to stimulate the hair follicles. It's specially designed for women of color, and the results speak for themselves - take a look over at our site and see some of the transformations yourself!
This powerful product - paired with the rest of the advice we've provided - will have you well on your way to growing healthier hair and making your hair loss woes a thing of the past!
Next, we recommend you read our guide on how long it takes black hair to grow. This will help you set your expectations along this journey. You won’t see results overnight - and it’s easy to get discouraged. Be patient - the results will come! You should also learn how to discover the difference between hair breakage or new growth - as many women confuse the two.
Final Thoughts on What Causes Hair Loss in Black Women
There you have it - you now know what causes hair loss in black women. As you can see, there are countless potential causes - but you should have a better understanding of which is most likely the reason you're struggling with excess hair fall. And now, you know what to do about it, too!
If genetics is the cause of your hair loss, you need to focus on keeping your scalp and individual strands clean and moisturized. And if styling habits are the culprit, then it's time to switch up those hairstyles and rely on gentler alternatives such as protective styles. It’s also important to use organic products made for black women with natural ingredients that won't damage your hair. Also, keep in mind that diet plays a role in maintaining strong healthy hair - so make sure you get enough vitamins & minerals from your food sources (or supplements).
Above all else, though, you need the best hair serum. And you needn't look any further than the formulation we've created at Allurium Beauty - for black women, by black women. Get yours today and jumpstart your hair journey.