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Black Hair and Skin Fundamentals

The secret to beautiful black hair and skin is understanding how unique it really is. Even doctors who are not trained in dermatology can be confused by all the misinformation out there!

Beautiful hair starts with healthy hair – and scalp!

Certain hair conditions that are more common among African Americans.  People of color are prone to certain medical hair disorders that if diagnosed can be treated early and prevent permanent scarring.

Conditions Specific To Black Hair And Skin

One of such conditions is called Perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens, or dissecting cellulitis of the scalp. Hard to pronounce and hard to treat! This is an inflammatory condition of the scalp that can lead to hair loss with scarring. It is a very hard to treat disease where the scalp forms pus pockets and after severe inflammation, scarring can form. Black males in their 20s-40s are more likely to experience this condition.

Black hair and skin is also more susceptible to fungal infections, called Tinea capitis. This can start off as a small red bump around a hair shaft on the scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes. This is caused by superficial fungal infection of the skin of the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. If left untreated, there is potential for scarring and permanent balding of the affected area.

Black women also face another type of hair disease called traction alopecia.  The constant pulling over tension over a long period of time can damage the hair follicle resulting in hair loss. This can happen with wearing tight braids, especially “cornrows” that lead to high tension, pulling and breakage of hair. This can also cause permanent balding!

Ethnic Skin And Hair Removal

There is another condition, called pseudofolliculitis barbae, where shaving causes ingrown hairs – very common with the curly thick coarse hairs such as African American, Latino or Middle Eastern hairs.

So why not use try laser hair removal? There is also the issue of laser hair removal among women with black hair and skin. Ethnic skin is more prone to discoloration with traditional lasers, and extra care has to be taken to avoid post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.

We can’t control the role genetics plays in health and beauty. By controlling and modifying our grooming habits, and seeking professional help early, we can prevent permanent damage to our hair and skin.

Don’t risk permanent damage to your hair or skin, schedule a consultation with a dermatologist who specializes in ethnic hair and skin. We look forward to hearing from you soon!