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Grow, Baby, Grow: My Hair Is Falling Out. Help!

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Hair loss amongst African-American women is an epidemic. Yes, I've said this a million times in the pages of ESSENCE, but the fact is the problem exists, which means the word hasn't traveled far enough. So if you're suffering from hair loss, listen up. Dermatologist Dr. Brooke Jackson, head of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, skinwellnescenter.org, shares a few factoids that can help you find a winning solution to your hair loss.



What's the Easiest Thing I Can Do to Counter Hair Loss?
Get properly diagnosed so you can be treated correctly. It's a good idea to see a dermatologist that has a positive tract record treating AA women and hair loss.  Proper diagnosis should include a physical exam and may include blood work and/or a biopsy.
 
Gentle hair care is also critical. If you want the loss to lesson, you need to curtail the heat, tension and chemicals.


Why Is My Hair Falling Out?
It could be a number of reasons, including...
--Nutritional Deficiencies (which could be caused by anemia, crash dieting or weight loss surgery)
--Stress (which could be caused by major surgery or death of a loved one)
--Styling Practices (abuse of heat, chemicals or too much tension from braids, weaves or pulling the hair too tightly)
--Hormonal Imbalances (elevated testosterone levels, childbirth)
--Medical Conditions (lupus, thyroid disease)
--Scalp Inflammation (seborrheic dermatitis, fungal infections)
--Medications
--Genetics


Does Rogaine Work?
Rogaine is effective if the hair loss is genetic. This medication helps you hold onto the hair you have.  It does not help your hair to grow.  You also have to stick to it to see the benefits. You have to use it consistently for three months to see if it works. And if it works and then you stop using it, you will then lose the hair you would have loss had you not stopped.

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