Professor Adebola Ogunbiyi, Consultant Dermatologist at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, on Tuesday stated that hair problems among Nigerian women had become worrisome, stressing the need for hair management and hygiene.
She said that hair loss was a common condition that affects most people at some times in their lives.
Many men and women may notice mild physiologic thinning of hair starting in their mid-30s and 40s due to illness, emotional trauma, pregnancy, puberty and menopause as may causes of hair loss.
She said that hair loss from breakage of hair shaft was different from hair loss from decreased hair growth, noting that hydro-genetic hair loss was common, both in men and women.
She said 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 that thyroid disease, anemia, protein deficiency and low vitamin levels were major medical causes of hair loss.
She added that ‘alopecia areata,’ a medical terminology for hair loss, was a relatively common cause of hair loss that usually resolves on its own.
She said apart from the major factors mentioned above, lack of adequate information and knowledge to those, who handle the hair professionally was a major cause of hair loss experienced by Nigerian women.
“Lack of knowledge about hair management and improper training of the local hair stylists are the major causes of hair loss among Nigerian women.
“Most of these local stylists do not adhere to instructions from manufacturers and as a result the hair and scalp are damaged when applying chemical and braiding the hair.
“Because of the nature of the African hair, which is curly, 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 to the frontal hair,” she said.
Ogunbiyi, who made this assertion while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on health issues in Ibadan, said Nigerians do not have adequate knowledge on how best to manage their hair.
She advised that, hair should be washed thoroughly with water through a shower which applies pressure that pushes 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.