Hairstyling Practices to Prevent Hair Damage and Alopecia in Women of African Descent

Amaris N. Geisler, BS; Oyetewa Oyerinde, MD; Deborah A. Scott, MD


Cutis. 2022;109(2):98-100. 

In This Article

Techniques for Other Hairstyling Practices

Low-hanging ponytails or buns, wigs, and natural hairstyles generally are considered safe when applied correctly.[1,5] The following recommendations can be made to patients who have a low-hanging ponytail, bun, wig, or other natural hairstyle:

  • Before a wig is applied, hold the hair against the scalp with a cotton, nylon, or satin wig cap and with clips, tapes, or bonds. Because satin does not cause constant friction or absorb moisture, it is the safest material for a wig cap.[5]

  • Achieve a natural hairstyle by cutting off chemically processed hair and allowing hair to grow out.[5]

  • Hair that has not been thermally or chemically processed better withstands the stresses of traction, pulling, and brushing.[5]

  • For women with natural hair, wash hair at least every 2 weeks and moisturize frequently.[5,12]

  • Caution patients that adding synthetic or human hair (ie, extensions, weaves) to any hairstyle to increase volume or length using glue or sewing techniques[1–4,11] can cause problems. The extra weight and tension of extensions and weaves can lead to alopecia. Glue can trigger an irritant or allergic reaction, especially in women who have a latex allergy.[1,4,5,11]


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