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What Every Black Woman Needs to Know About Hair Loss: Part 1

Dr. Susan C. Taylor is a Harvard trained dermatologist, clinical researcher, and world renowned expert in treating skin of color.

 

When I lecture to groups of dermatologists, I often say that hair loss is an epidemic among black women. In the twenty years that I have been in practice, I have gone from seeing five women with hair loss each week to seeing 25 or more. No one knows for sure if African-American women are experiencing more hair loss or if more are visiting the dermatologist to find out why they are  having hair loss.

Hair loss can be absolutely devastating, particularly for women. Hair is so strongly tied to our beauty, sense of worth and self-confidence. Often when we  loose  our hair, we attempt to camouflage the loss by frequently utilizing  hairstyles that make the problem worse. Sadly, we wait too long to see the dermatologist.

Most women have no idea that there are many causes of hair loss. Some think that hair loss is a normal part of aging. Others do not realize that their hair care practices may lead to or contribute to their hair loss. Still others do not realize that something can be done to stop the hair loss. Since hair loss is such a major problem for our community and it has such devastating consequences, I have decided to devote three blog posts to this extremely important subject.

Over the next few weeks, please read about the different types of hair loss that black women typically experience. I think that it is very important for you to comment and share your experiences with hair loss. Comment after each hair loss blog post and tell me if you have, had or currently have the type of hair loss discussed and what your personal story is. Remember, you are not alone. Your dermatologist may be able to help you. You won’t know if you don’t go. If we are unable to help you grow new hair, we may be able to stop the progressive loss, allowing you to keep the hair that you have. Finally, there are hair loss support groups available where you can share your story in more detail and truly understand that you are not alone.

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