Prof. Adebola Ogunbiyi, a lecturer and Consultant Dermatologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, says Nigerians do not have adequate knowledge about their hair.
Ogunbiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Thursday that hair loss was common condition that affects most people at some time in their lives.
She said many men and women noticed mild physiologic thinning of hair from mid 30s and 40s due to illness, emotional trauma, pregnancy, puberty and menopause, which were some major causes of hair loss.
She explained that hair loss from breakage of hair shaft was different from hair loss from decrease in hair growth, while hydro-genetic hair loss was common both in men and women.
She added that hair problems in Nigerian women had become worrisome as most hair stylists were not properly trained and equipped in hair and scalp management.
Ogunbiyi said thyroid disease, anemia, protein deficiency and low vitamin levels were major medical causes of hair loss.
She pointed out that alopecia areata (Thinning of frontal hair) was a relatively common cause of hair loss.
She noted that “the lack of knowledge about hair management and improper training of local hair stylists are major causes of hair loss in Nigerian women.
She said: “Most of these local stylists do not adhere to instructions from experts and as a result, the hair and scalp are damaged when applying chemical and braiding the hair.
“This is because of the nature of the African hair, which is shorter and breaks easily; various grooming methods have become difficult and painful.
“Traction should be avoided when doing weaving, braiding and corn- rows styles, as this may cause inflammation and breaking in future, particularly the frontal hair.”
Ogunbiyi advised that hair should be washed thoroughly with water through shower, which applied pressure that pushed the chemicals out, after applying chemicals.
She said good hygiene, regular shampooing and good nutrition, medical health screening for hair loss, high iron level, vitamin B were good for the prevention of hair loss.
She said medications indicated for hair re-growth was useful in managing hair loss, adding that these drugs were available over the counter at most pharmaceutical shops.
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