inflammation,” Lenzy says.
2. Get a real diagnosis.
Types of alopecia are different diseases with different causes and treatments so a professional diagnosis is vital to stopping hair loss.
“Alopecia isn’t a diagnosis; it just means hair loss in Latin,” Lenzy says. “So it really depends on the type of hair loss because there are different frequencies [of hair loss] that we see based on the type.”
3. Don’t trust pretend experts.
Be careful who you listen to. Don’t get your advice from friends, family or pretend experts on social media. Although people may offer suggestions that worked with their hair loss, they don’t know the cause of yours.
“The time that you’re taking to try all of these things, the hair loss is progressing,” Lenzy says. “You know how they say the adage: time is money? Well, time is also hair. If you’re trying [a home remedy like] Jamaican castor oil and you have an inflammatory condition, it’ll still progressing.”
If you think you’re experiencing hair loss, get off of social media and get to a certified dermatologist that specializes in hair.
READ: 15 Things You’re Doing All Wrong To Your Natural Hair
4. Damage is irreversible.
When your hair follicles are damaged and scarred, that hair loss cannot be healed.
“CCCA is a scarring condition,” Lenzy says. “What that means is that once those follicles become scarred, you can’t grow hair back in that spot. That’s why we want to pick it up early before it’s had a chance to continue.”
5. Early treatment is key.
Treating CCCA sooner than later prevents the condition’s detrimental effects and stops further hair loss.
“You can have an area the size of a dime that won’t grow back versus the size of a grapefruit, and it’s hard to cover,” Lenzy says. “Many women have hair loss and get styles to try to cover it up, not realizing that it could be making it worse.”
Despite the controversy at the Oscars, there is a silver lining. Hopefully, more Black women will learn about alopecia and take the initiative to see a dermatologist who can perform a biopsy and officially diagnose them. Dr. Dina Strachan, a board-certified dermatologist at Aglow Dermatology in New York City suggests Black women seek a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in treating Black hair loss because everyone doesn’t have equal expertise.
“I think it’s important that Black women in general can have these visual images of beautiful Black women feeling happy and being successful, despite their experience with hair loss,” psychologist Afiya Mbilishaka says. “I think that it’s really important for people to show up as their most authentic self — and I think with the celebrities, it normalizes the everyday person to also show up in that way.”
There is no cure for alopecia, however, there are many treatments available including topical or injected steroids to treat alopecia areata. For more severe cases, some patients may use Janus kinase inhibitors. Other treatment options include Rogaine, an over-the-counter hair growth product, anti-inflammatory medications, and platelet-rich plasma, which stimulates hair growth. Patients who are experiencing significant hair loss and have exhausted the other options may opt for a hair transplant, which is suitable for traction alopecia. She also suggests eating a well-rounded diet with adequate protein.