Thinning hair is an equal opportunity problem. When you first notice thinning hair, visit a dermatologist familiar with black hair. While, thinning is commonly due to styling pressures, there are serious medical conditions that need to be ruled out. Hormonal disorders, Eating disorders, Thyroid disease, Anxiety, Ringworm, Autoimmune conditions, Tumors, and Anemia can all cause hair loss. While most of these disorders can be treated, some lead to permanent baldness if left untreated and others may be deadly.
Traction Alopecia, hair loss from pressure, is easier to prevent than treat. The longer you experience Traction Alopecia, the higher your risk of permanent damage to the follicles leading to baldness. Locs are heavy at longer lengths putting pressure on the crown and front of your hair line. Tight styling can add addition pressure.
10 tips for Preventing and Treating Thinning Locs
1) Don't twist, palm roll or latch your locs too tight. Tight maintenance can cause thinning and bald spots throughout your hair.
2) Trim your locs with an angled cut. A 45 degree cut releases pressure from the crown while maintaining a long look. Here is a video of me doing a 45 degree cut on myself.
Damianjw84 explains how it works on long locs.
3) You don't have to avoid cute styles! Add a pompadour or basket weave to the front of a ponytail. When creating updos or flat twisting hold the hair away from the scalp to make them looser.
4) Speak up. Locticians often create tight styles so they last longer. If your head hurts when you leave your stylists chair, ask for a looser updo or curl set. While your styles won't last as long, your hair will.
5) Take a break from color. It is possible to be allergic to hair dye and hair dye can cause breakage. Take a break and if it helps with your thinning, switch brands or adjust how you care for your color treated hair.
6) Change your style often. Frequently changing your style, rotates pressure to different areas of your scalp. If you wear a ponytail Monday, try an updo on Tuesday, braids on Thursday and waves the rest of the week!
7) Eat real food. Any nutritional deficiency can cause hair to grow slower and thinner. Eat a variety of vegetables including several different colors each day to ensure you get enough vitamins. Protein is important! Include meat, fish and fowl. If you're vegetarian, make sure you eat beans, greens and lots of iron rich foods. Lastly, don't be afraid of good fats rich in Omega-3's and medium chain saturated fats. Fish and coconut oils are great for your hair.
8) Try some MSM in your coffee. No, it won't make your hair grow faster but what it does do is more interesting. It appears to lengthen the growth cycle of your hair and improve brilliance while you're taking it. Make sure your MSM is pure and you are taking a sufficient amount.
9) Massage your scalp. Massaging your scalp is relaxing. Gently massage with your fingers or try loc bushing to distribute natural oils and increase blood flow. Here are two videos on loc brushing:
10) Make sure your locs are the right size. If your locs are too big for your hair type, the weight will put too much pressure on your scalp. If your locs are too thin, there isn't enough base to maintain the length. A good loctician will be able to tell you what size your scalp and hair can handle, even if it's not the size you want. Think about combining your locs or growing a smaller set if needed.
What are some of your tips for thinning locs and dreadlocks?