Millions Of Black Women Lose Their Hair To This Fairly Common Disease

black girl with curly hair looking off into the distance
Briona Lamback
April 8, 2022

 Alopecia is a hair loss medical condition that can affect the scalp, eyelashes, and other facial hair. At the same time, alopecia is a disease that can be age-related, autoimmune-related, or genetic.  

But there's a sinister reason it affects SO many Black women – by some estimates, as many as one in three!

There are various types of alopecia; one of the most common forms affecting Black women is “traction alopecia.” The disease is caused by hairstyle practices that place extensive tension on the hair, causing hair loss over time. 

Chemical hair processors like relaxers or perms have also been linked to alopecia. But this is MUCH deeper than any hairstyle.

Historically, Black women have suffered from “occupational traumatic hairstyling” in an attempt to fit into Eurocentric beauty standards forced onto us by white supremacy. These racist standards are why many are fighting to pass The CROWN Act, which would outlaw hair discrimination.

When actress Jada Pinkett-Smith was recently the subject of a cruel joke regarding her baldness resulting from alopecia, many Black women began sharing their experiences with the disease. 

Black women are not to blame – anti-Blackness is at the root!

Rejecting European beauty standards designed to erase our Blackness is a part of fighting white supremacy. Black women deserve to feel beautiful and not be shamed for beauty standards never meant for us!

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