If you're suffering with this painful problem you need to know the main causes of hair loss in black women and some solutions to re-grow and thicken your hair.
As black and African American women, we pride ourselves in the beauty and health of our hair and losing it is a crushing blow to our self-esteem.
When I was a teen I lost my edges to too tight braids so I know how traumatizing it is.
I grew my hair back completely and I've never had to deal with the embarrassment of bald patches again. You can do the same.
The first step in how to thicken black hair is to understand the root cause.
Why Did My Hair Break Off and Thin Out?
I read a study years ago that said thinning temples, edges and thin hair in general is a major problem that affects 2 out of every 3 black women at some point in their life.
If you've worn braids or weaves a lot or had your hair over processed you've probably had issues with hair loss and thinning. Our edges in particular are vulnerable because the hairs are very delicate.
Major Causes of Thinning Hair in Black and African American Women
What causes thinning hair and hair loss in black women and what are the solutions for how to thicken black hair?
Tight Braids and Weaves
The major cause of thinning temples for black women.
Medically known as traction alopecia.
Your hair has a better chance of growing back if the trauma wasn't severe or for a long period time.
Wearing braids and weaves constantly tends to cause this issue.
Solution: Catch the problem early and recovery is as simple as not wearing the tight braids or weaves until the thinning areas grow back in.
Over-processing with Chemicals
Relaxers, curly perms and all permanent hair color can weaken your hair and lead to thinning.
These chemicals break down the inner structure and change the PH of your hair strands.
One bad service can leave you with lots of damage and over-processed edges that disintegrate with the slightest touch.
Solution: Toss the chemicals! It might be hard to imagine going without a relaxer or hair color, but do it for the health of your hair. Experiment with styling that doesn't involve processing. If you give your hair a break it will bounce back over time.
Stress, Medication And Poor Nutrition
Stress and medication are major causes of hair loss.
The quality of your hair is directly connected to the quality nutrition you eat.
If you have poor nutrition thinning, dullness and hair loss aren't unusual.
Solution: Be sure to get at least 10-15 minutes of quiet time each day. Stress not only affects your hair but your overall health as well.
If you've been prescribed medication that's causing hair loss and thinning consult your doctor as soon as possible to talk about the problem and what steps you can take to reduce the side effects.
If you have a hard time eating right, think about supplementation with a Multi- vitamin formulated to support hair growth.
Using too much heat on a regular basis damages your hair leading to weakness and shedding.
Combing and brushing too hard and too often causes thinning of the hairline since it's the most susceptible.
Solution: Resist the temptation to over use the flat iron or brush your edges into submission when you're due for a relaxer. There more gentle and effective ways to flatten your edges.
Use a light gel and a soft bristle brush to smooth them down.
Tie your edges down with a silk or satin scarf for at least 30 minutes to encourage them to lay flat.
Stop fighting the texture of your hair as it grows out and experiment with hairstyles like braid out's and twist out's that hide the new growth.
If your scalp is itchy, flaky and sore it could be a sign of a bacterial or fungal infection taking over.
Left untreated it can lead to serious hair loss and other issues.
Solution: If you notice dampness, bleeding, strange smells or pain please see a doctor who can examine the area, provide treatment and save your hair and scalp.
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy and menopause cause some women to lose hair.
Female pattern baldness is caused by low estrogen levels. It usually affects the crown of the hair and is hard to treat without medical intervention.
Solution: If pregnancy is causing your hair loss, after you give birth your hormones should balance themselves out and your hair will grow back. If it doesn't, visit your doctor and have it checked out.
If your hair loss is menopause related visit your doctor to investigate options like hormone therapy, topical products like Rogaine or referrals for African American hair transplant specialists.
Tips to Thicken Black Hair
If you're battling with hair loss or alopecia you can grow and thicken it back up if you act quickly. Here are some steps you can take to thicken black hair.
Take Hair Vitamins - Healthy bodies produce healthy hair. If you can't eat right all the time take a good hair vitamin as insurance.
Use Thickening Shampoos and Conditioners - They won't make your hair thicker permanently but can give it more volume by coating it with protein.
Get Regular Trims - If your problem is thick roots with thin ends clipping regularly will help your hair maintain the same thickness along the whole length.
Get a Blunt Cut - Always go for a blunt cut. Hair that's all one length looks thicker than layers.
Wear Curly Styles - Curls add volume and give the illusion of thickness. Braid outs, twist sets, rod sets and roller sets are all good styling options for thin hair.
Keep Your Hair Short - Lots of length makes fine thin hair look limp and holding on to damaged ends brings your hair down with 'dead' weight.
Products to Thicken Black Hair
If you want to thicken black hair naturally, there are two popular products to use; castor oil and biotin.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil For Hair Growth
Castor oil is one of the best kept secrets and home remedies to growth and thicken black hair. The first time I heard about it was through one of my clients. She had recently lost a lot of hair to damage and shedding and she sent off to Jamaica to get a bottle of what she called 'di real ting' which was handcrafted by an artisan.
The dark murky not so great smelling liquid had me wondering why on earth she'd go through the hassle of getting it when she lived all the way in Chicago.
Does castor oil thicken black hair?
The answer is a big fat yes! When I saw her a year later her once broken off damaged hair had transformed and was thick, lush and healthy. She gave all the credit to using the castor oil on her scalp daily.
Always keep a bottle of Jamaican Black Castor Oil on hand for when you notice thinning and shedding in your hair. The natural ingredients encourage hair growth by stimulating the scalp at the cellular level. Just massage it in 3-4 times a week and always get dramatic results in no time.
Biotin for Black Hair Growth
Biotin is an over the counter supplement that lots of black and African American women swear by for hair growth. Deficiencies in this B vitamin cause hair loss and shedding. Women who take biotin in 2500 mcg and higher doses report that their hair always grows faster and breaks a lot less.
This supplement is water soluble which means you can't overdo it. Anything that your body can't use or doesn't need will process right out. Biotin taken in combination with other vitamins and minerals in a product like Hairfinity, a supplement that promises to increase hair growth by 200%, produces the best results.