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Food For thought.....

Lucky's Mom

New Member
This was on BHM a while back....

and I thought it would be good to post here as well....

Take good care of your hair Ladies!

I haope we can all find safer alternatives to beautiful Locks!

If I were to relax again ( I do't think that will ever happen) I would look into relaxing 2 x a year.....

Blessings to you....................





APRIL SAUL / Inquirer Staff Photographer
Kimberly Clement's bald spot is the result of using relaxers since she was 12. Ignoring a dermatologist's advice to shampoo frequently, "I kept relaxing my hair and figured it would grow back." It didn't.



Posted on Sun, Feb. 10, 2008



Mirror, Mirror: Tresses in distress from care and chemicals
By Elizabeth Wellington

Inquirer Fashion Writer

We know hair trends quickly come and go.
But these days, some African American women switch up the look and texture of their manes so fast, they damage the hair at the follicle. Which means they find out, one hairstyle too late, that their next look is permanent - baldness.

Both salon owners and dermatologists say that, in the last 10 years, as fashionable hairstyles for black women have involved more fake hair and chemicals, they've been treating an increasing number of women with significant breakage and hair loss. Some of it is reversible. Some of it is not.

"I can see up to 10 women a day," said Susan Taylor, a dermatologist based in Society Hill. Her practice has treated women of color losing their hair as young as 17 and as old as 70.

"People think they are alone. They don't realize how many women this is happening to."

The culprits are many: overprocessed color-treated hair, braids that have been put in too tight, lace front wigs that have been glued in along the hairline and ripped out. Ouch!

And the reasons that women turn to the products are many. Some crave the versatility of the colorful looks they see in glossy magazines such as Black Hair or music videos starring the glitzed-up Ciaras and Keyshia Coles.

Many simply like wearing their hair straight. Others suffer from socially insidious messages that lead some African American women to believe that they must have straight hair to look presentable at work and at home.

No matter what the reason, it isn't until the problem grows visible that most women adjust their ways.

"When I realized I couldn't wear a ponytail anymore, I knew I had to change," said Linda Jordan-Lord, 45, who wore $1,200 lace front wigs for two years. (Lace front wigs are the magical creations that give Beyoncé and Tyra Banks their long, luxurious hair.)

Jordan-Lord has stopped relaxing her hair and no longer wears the lace front wigs. Her stylist braids her hair and Jordan-Lord wears regular wigs on top of it. Her hairline, she says, is starting to grow back.

The most common type of hair loss among black women, Taylor said, is called central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA). The hair loss starts at the crown and spreads outward in a circular pattern. The area can be as small as a dime or as large as a pancake.

There is a chance, Taylor said, that black women have a gene for CCCA. However, straightening agents - whether a chemical relaxer or a hot comb - can accelerate the damage. While Taylor has seen the condition in black women with all types of curly hair, she's never seen it in black women with naturally straight hair.

Usually, patients come to Taylor with hair loss accompanied by a tingling scalp. A sample of the scalp will reveal scarred hair follicles and inflammation of the white blood cells in the area.

In some cases, Taylor said, she prescribes oral and topical antiobiotics that calm the inflammation. In addition, she may administer a topical cortisone. That kind of treatment, Taylor said, can cost up to $200 without insurance.

"It's a devastating medical condition that people don't talk about for cultural reasons," Taylor said. While the dermatological community hasn't studied the issue much, the staggering number of black women experiencing this type of hair loss is generating response now, she said.

I'll spare you the I-love-my-nappy-roots speech, as black women have been talking about fashion options for natural hair beyond the Afro since the mid-1990s.

But any time a woman loses her hair - whether it's from chemotherapy, female pattern baldness, or stress - it's traumatic. And when we realize that the very things we do to promote healthy hair make it fall out, it can be even worse.

Just ask Kimberly Clement, a 40-year-old insurance auditor in Mount Airy.

Clement started relaxing her hair when she was 12. She often pinned up her shoulder-length hair in a shiny, ultra-spritz French roll.

About 12 years ago, Clement noticed some hair loss and went to a dermatologist. He suggested that she wash her hair three times a week with a medicated shampoo, but she resisted.

"I knew that treatment would never work for me," Clement said. Black women - especially those who use relaxers - generally wash their hair every two weeks. "I kept relaxing my hair and figured it would grow back. I just didn't think about it."

But two years ago, her hair reached its breaking point - literally, as her bald patch began to spread. She switched hairdressers and stopped relaxing her hair. Now she presses her hair and wears it in all-over curls to camouflage the hair loss.

"I think it got worse because I didn't address it and do anything about it for a long time," Clement said. "I wasn't wise enough to realize what could happen to my hair long-term."

The problem puts stylists in a bind. They want to give their clients the most up-to-date coifs, but they know the hair - which, in many cases, is suffering from breakage as well as follicle damage - can't take the pressure.

Some stylists, including Germantown-based Anika Thompson of Ryan Foster, have stopped using chemicals on clients' hair. That means no relaxers and no colors that aren't natural. As an alternative to chemically straightening the hair, Thompson applies an oil and blows the hair out from the root to the tip.

"A lot of times I have to cut all of the hair out and start from scratch because the hair that is left is so damaged," she said.

"Sometimes I have to sew in a weave. . . . But the most important thing is that they get on a regimen that I regularly shampoo and condition the hair to stimulate growth from the scalp."

Stylist Kimberly Nesmith, co-owner of Endless Creations of You, has turned her Upper Darby salon into a hair-loss center where she gives clients private consultations, followed up by weekly steam treatments and pressure-point massages to stimulate growth. The steam treatments cost $30 and the massages are part of the shampoo.

Many of her clients still insist on getting lace front wigs, however. Instead of applying an adhesive, Nesmith cornrows the client's hair in tiny braids, then custom-fits the wig and stitches it on.

Still, she said, she recommends natural alternatives that include curly twists and blown-out styles.

Nesmith says that the women are receptive.

"By the time they get to me, they want a healthy head of hair and they know what I'm saying is true," Nesmith said.

The transition isn't easy. For years, fashion and cultural norms have dictated that black women wear their hair in straight-based styles. Even for those of us trying to embrace our hair's kink, the sight of fuzzy edges can drive us to gel, silk scarves and hot combs.

But we've got to accept our beauty as is because the very things we are doing to accentuate our crowning glory are killing it at the root.
 
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ladylibra

New Member
man, reading this just made me think of my mom. she ALWAYS complains of tingling in her crown. maybe it's nothing to worry about, she only relaxes 2-3 times a year... but still... :perplexed
 

tiffers

Whisper "bleep boop" to yourself when you're sad.
Her problem wasn't relaxers, her problem was ABUSING relaxers. That along with not washing her hair and wearing tight, gelled, spritzed styles all the time. I'm sure her stylist also used TONS of heat.....

The doctor tried to warn her :ohwell:
 

Lucky's Mom

New Member
Her problem wasn't relaxers, her problem was ABUSING relaxers. That along with not washing her hair and wearing tight, gelled, spritzed styles all the time. I'm sure her stylist also used TONS of heat.....

The doctor tried to warn her :ohwell:


I agree that she abused her hair and scalp....
Remember - some people still do this! They don't think they have to do anything to their tresses - Natural or relaxed! So it is important to talk about.........
 

SparklingFlame

New Member
Her problem wasn't relaxers, her problem was ABUSING relaxers. That along with not washing her hair and wearing tight, gelled, spritzed styles all the time. I'm sure her stylist also used TONS of heat.....

The doctor tried to warn her :ohwell:
I agree Tiff. Ignorance of proper haircare is the blame 99% of the time.
 

ajoyfuljoy

Well-Known Member
She really thinks that most black relaxed ladies wash their hair every two weeks. I couldn't even get with that when I was a child. My scalp would always itch. When I got older (pre-LHCF) and told family members that I liked to wash every week cuz my scalp got itchy they thought it was weird. I also never understood how people could keep a hairstyle for 2 weeks. After 2-3 days I'm ready to wash my rollerset out.

Also, I saw this lady in Walgreens yesterday with a bald spot in the crown twice as big as the ladies in the pic. I felt bad for her b/c I could tell her hair was super straight like she was still relaxing :nono:

PS $30 for a steam treatment!!! Man. I paid $10 for it back in the day and I consider that a rip off. Too bad they don't know about Samanthajones67's Home Grown Steam Treatment.

BTW, I am always SO thankful that I found LHCF!!!
 

chebaby

Well-Known Member
i know plenty of women that go months without washing their hair. it may seem like most women wash alot because of this board but you'd be surprised. infact none of my friends wash before two weeks is up and if they get a really cute style its longer than that.
when i started washing twice a week(and i started about a month ago) people called me crazy. they say my hair will dry out. why would i wash my pretty press out? if my hair isnt itching then whats the problem?
i didnt know this was bad. now i wash my hair twice a week and i love it.
but you have to remember that we all made mistakes before finding this board and many women feel they dont have the time to waste it on hair(that may sound crazy to you but.......to each his own).
we all have to learn
 

Cichelle

Well-Known Member
Yikes. That's sad.

Sometimes I think of the way I treated my hair before I knew better and I wonder how I had as much of it as I did. Thank Gd nothing like this ever happened to me. I was not exactly gentle with my hair.
 
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