Why Do Black Women’s Hair Fall Out so Easily?
Think about some of the prominent black women in your life - it’s likely at least one of them has suffered from hair loss at some point. Maybe you’re starting to notice the early signs of female hair loss yourself.
Why do black women’s hair fall out so easily? And is there anything you can do to reverse the curse of hair loss once and for all, encouraging new growth in its place? If you’ve had either of these questions on your mind, this article is for you.
The reason black women are plagued by hair loss seemingly disproportionately can be attributed to the hairstyles we’ve come to know and love, genetics, stress, hormonal changes, poor hair care - or a number of other causes.
Below, we’ll highlight all these and many others to help you gain a better understanding of what causes black women’s hair loss. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll discover tips to curving hair loss and encouraging new growth - so you can regain confidence looking in the mirror or seeing yourself in photos once again. Let’s dive in.
Why Do Black Women’s Hair Fall Out so Easily?
In comparing white hair vs black hair, it’s easy to notice a few key distinctions. African American hair is very coarse and tightly coiled. The very nature of our hair is prone to dryness - which can lead to breakage. Furthermore, many of the hairstyles in our community are detrimental to hair health - as they create tension at the scalp.
But our genetics and hairstyles are just a few reasons why black women’s hair falls out so easily. In this section, we’ll cover all of them - starting with damaging hairstyles.
Tight, Damaging Hairstyles
Tight hairstyles such as braids, cornrows, or ponytails can put a lot of stress on the hair shaft, leading to damage and breakage. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. To prevent traction alopecia, it is important to avoid tight hairstyles and opt for looser, protective styles instead.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear your hair how you want - but consider giving it a break every now and then. Moreover, you can consider a new look that doesn’t require the use of harsh protectants or styling agents. If you want to learn more, we have an article on hairstyles for black pregnant ladies - any of the hairstyles mentioned are considered safer and less damaging.
You’ve likely heard that hair loss is genetic - and to a certain extent, that is true. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to hair loss, which can make their hair more susceptible to damage and breakage.
But that doesn’t mean that if your mother, grandmother, or aunts suffer from hair loss you are stuck with the same fate. If hair loss runs in your family, it is important to be aware of this. Then, you can work to take extra good care of your hair and act preemptively.
Our article on how to prevent hair loss for black women is a good starting point. The sooner you start, the lower the risk you’ll experience the same reality your other family members have.
Medical Conditions or Medications
Certain medical conditions, such as lupus and thyroid disease, can lead to hair loss. If you suspect that a medical condition may be causing your hair loss, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to diagnose and treat the condition.
Similarly, certain medications you take can affect your hormones - which leads to hair loss, as you’ll discover below. These include blood thinners, antidepressants, birth control, cholesterol-lowering drugs, acne medication, and more. It’s worth looking into the side effects of any medication you’re taking.
You’re probably aware that some relationship exists between stress and hair loss. But how exactly are the two intertwined?
When a person experiences a significant amount of stress, the hair growth cycle is disrupted. Normally, hair goes through a growth phase, a rest phase, and a shedding phase. However, when a person is stressed, hair that is in the growth phase can be pushed prematurely into the shedding phase. This leads to increased hair shedding, which can lead to hair loss.
All of this is to say that minimizing stress is paramount to keeping more hair on your head. Look to eliminate sources of stress from your life and come up with helping coping mechanisms. For what it’s worth, stress-related hair loss (Telogen Effluvium) is usually a temporary condition that can be reversed by taking steps to eliminate stress.
Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can lead to hair loss. The hormones in question here are androgen and estrogen. When either of these hormone levels drops, your hair health suffers.
If you suspect that your hair loss may be caused by hormonal changes, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to diagnose and treat the condition. Both of these hormones can be supercharged through hormone replacement therapy.
The traditional African American diet is not necessarily conducive to hair growth. In fact, the foods you eat could be the root cause of your hair loss woes.
You should fill your diet with foods that contain powerful antioxidants and key vitamins - like berries, citrus fruits, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pomegranates, beets, and more. Then, assess your protein intake. Proteins - like biotin - are key for stimulating hair growth. You can get these through fish, eggs, meat, etc.
And, on the other hand, there are certain food groups you should eliminate from your diet - because they are contributing to hair loss. These include foods containing gluten, sugar, and dairy. Most processed foods have no place in your diet. Stick with whole foods from natural sources.
This right here is one of the biggest culprits of hair loss. Poor hair care practices, such as overuse of heat styling tools or harsh chemicals, excessive hair washing, or toxic hair care products all contribute to hair fall.
The good news? You can overhaul your hair care routine and start your journey to healthier hair today. Start by reading our full guide on how to take care of natural black hair. This resource contains key tips for promoting black hair growth, including how to treat dry scalp in African American hair.
From there, you should take note of how often you wash your hair - and what you wash it with. As you’ll learn in our article on how often should black people wash their hair, less is usually more - shoot for 1-3 washes weekly depending on how dirty your scalp gets. And, eliminate any harmful shampoo, conditioner, or serums from your life. There is so much stuff in shampoo that causes hair loss which could be holding you back. Use natural products only.
Finally, take a more active approach to care for your hair with regular hair serum treatments. What is hair serum, though? This is a concoction of all-natural ingredients that your hair desperately needs. By pairing the best hair growth products for African Americans with daily scalp massages, you can slow hair loss to a halt and encourage regrowth.
The formulation we have in store for you at Allurium Beauty has helped countless black women restore their hair, and it can do the same for you. Learn more about how it works - and what’s possible once you add it to your arsenal - by taking a look at the product over on our website. You won’t regret it when you look back a year from now and see how far your hair has come - trust us.
Reversing the Curve of Hair Loss & Encouraging New Growth
As you can see, the answer to the question - why do black women’s hair fall out so easily? - is not one size fits all. There are quite a few potential culprits you’ll need to consider to determine the root cause of your hair loss woes. From there, you can take steps to eliminate the issue and restore healthy hair growth. Our guide on how to treat hair loss in black women can provide more information on this topic.
We just want to provide you with one more word of advice before we bring this discussion to a close: be patient. This journey is going to be long and filled with ups and downs. In fact, things may get worse before they get better - as your hair fall may speed up after making the changes we’ve described above. This is actually a good thing, as the old hair is being kicked out to make way for a stronger, healthier hair strand.
When considering how long does it take black hair to grow, we encourage you to give your new lifestyle a minimum of 3 months before making changes or arriving at conclusions. Take some progress pictures from day 1 and retake them at month 3. Then, take more progress pictures at month 6. By month 12, you’ll be astounded at how far you’ve come. You’ve got this - just be consistent with the tips provided above!
Parting Thoughts on Why Black Women’s Hair Falls Out so Easily
Now that you know why black women’s hair falls out so easily, the only thing left to do is take careful consideration of what could be the issue in your life. From there, you can take steps to reverse the curse of hair loss once and for all.
If you want to learn more about taking care of your hair, read our articles covering topics like - does hair grow faster in the summer? Am I experiencing new hair growth or breakage? What increases hair growth and thickness in African American women? We’re here to empower you along this journey with detailed educational resources like these and many others.
And when you combine knowledge with our tried and true hair growth serum, you’re well on your way to making the hair of your dreams a reality!