Hair Talk: Before You Get Braided Up This Season, Read This

In the African-American community, many live by the mantra, “hair is your wealth”. Many frequent the hair salon religiously, every 2-weeks, and are always on top of the latest hair in trend. However, black women who like to wear their hair pulled back tightly, in braids, or weaves may be increasing their risk of hair loss, according to a new research study.

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore reviewed 19 studies and found a “strong association” between scalp-pulling hairstyles and traction alopecia, which is gradual hair loss from damage to the hair follicle from tension at the hair root.

Traction alopecia is the most common type of hair loss among black American women, affecting about one out of three, the researchers said.

The study did not prove a definitive cause-and-effect connection. But, styles linked to this type of hair loss include braids, tight ponytails, dreadlocks, weaves, and extensions, especially if the hair has been chemically straightened, the review said.

So, what does it look like?