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Alopecia: Why Hair Isn't 'Just Hair' to Black Folk

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themighty.com

There’s been a lot of conversation recently about alopecia in mainstream media. As a Black woman who has a strong genetic link to alopecia, I have a lot of mixed feelings, as I’m happy people are finally talking about alopecia since it’s very common in the Black community, but I’m unhappy to see how much misinformation is out there about the condition and how little people know about how race interferes with both having and managing the condition.

For Black folk, our hair is everything, so this is important. Let’s break this down: What is alopecia? Alopecia is a non-contagious autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss due to the body targeting and damaging its own hair follicles.

It can create hair loss anywhere on the body, and while it can sometimes grow back, it’s not guaranteed to. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, there are three main types of alopecia: Alopecia areata Alopecia totalis Alopecia universalis Alopecia areata is a patchy baldness that can happen anywhere hair grows, such as the scalp, eyebrows, facial area, etc.

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