Guest contribution for 4cHC by Tyra Robinson
Many 4c Hair Chicks are familiar with hair loss. In fact, there are a number of 4c hair chicks that have decided to return to natural hair due to hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by many things, including tight hairstyles, stress, and common medications. For example, Traction Alopecia is a common form of hair loss derived from tight hairstyles that damage the scalp and hair follicles. Another cause of hair loss this not often discussed is hair loss from medications. There are many medications on the market that can cause temporary and permanent hair loss, including some blood thinners, acne medications derived from vitamin A, some anti-depression drugs, and some high blood pressure medications can cause temporary hair loss.
2 Types of Drug-Induced Hair Loss
Drugs that cause thinning interfere with the normal cycle of scalp growth. There are two types of drug induced hair loss: Telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium. During the telogen phase, your hair rests and does not grow for 3-4 months. In the Anagen phase, your hair grows.
Telogen effluvium (TE)
Telogen effluvium is the most common type of drug induced hair loss. This condition causes the active follicles to go into a state of rest. Shed hairs can be recognized by a small bulb of keratin on the root end. This increases shedding, leads to thinning, and even baldness rather quickly. Within weeks, those suffering from the effects of TE notice a difference in their hair density.
Anagen effluvium is hair loss that occurs during the anagen cycle, when the hairs are actively growing. It prevents cells from dividing, thus eliminating new hair growth. When the lack of new growth is combined with daily shedding, the result is eventual thinning, and baldness.
For medication induced hair loss, there are several steps 4c hair chicks can take to counteract hair loss or thinning. If you are experiencing drug induced hair loss, be sure to express your concerns to your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine to stop the hair loss. You may also want to try herbal remedies like garlic supplements, topical treatments, and biotin supplements. However, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning a herbal regimen.
Another great way to spur hair re–growth is scalp messages. Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO), Lavender, or rosemary oil to gently message your scalp daily. These oils have been known to increase blood flow, thus stimulate hair follicles and increase re-growth.
Those fighting cancer have tried a controversial method called scalp hypothermia to limit hair loss. Scalp hypothermia uses tools like ice packs on your scalp to slow blood flow (Mayoclinic). There are serious concerns with this technique, including cancer recurrence in the scalp, but there needs to be more studies done. As always, be sure to consult your physician before beginning this method.
Another way 4c hair chicks are fighting drug induced hair loss is with another drug, Minoxidil. Minoxidil was originally intended to treat another condition, but doctors noticed their bald patients were re-growing their hair while on Minoxidil. This medication slows hair loss and stimulates hair growth, but it comes with its own side effects. Be sure to discuss any new medications with your doctor for a full understanding of its possible side effects. For some medications, the side effect of hair loss is unavoidable. The good news is that for most cases, thinning, and hair loss are easily reversible once you stop taking the drug.
Often times, busy doctors will not go over all of the side effects of prescribed medications. If you are on a prescribed medication, do research in addition to what your doctor has told you. For some medications, the side effect of hair loss is unavoidable. In this post, we dive into drug induced hair loss and how to recover and grow your curls back.
- Talk To Your Doctor : She/he may prescribe you an alternative Medication, or a medication to counteract the thinning
- Work Those Fingers: Scalp Messages with Healing Oils each night
- Don’t Stress: No, really. Stress can bring on hair loss as well. In most cases, drug-induced hair loss or thinning is only temporary.
MayoClinic. Chemotherapy and hair loss: What to expect during treatment. Web. 2012 Mar 6.