Jourdan Dunn is one of the most envied women in the world when it comes to how she looks; as a Victoria’s Secret angel and high-end model, she’s rarely seen looking anything less than perfect. However, while her grooming regime might leave her flawless for the cameras, a recent admission from the mother-of-one shows the effect that over styling her hair has actually had.
Speaking to Hello Magazine, Jourdan confessed “My hair has been so damaged with heat and styling because most hairdressers still don’t know what to do with Afro hair”, explaining that excessive weaves and the constant use of heat had left it almost beyond redemption. “I mean, I had no hair around my hairline – it was like baby hair, it was so damaged” she explained, continuing that a more knowledgeable stylist had told her to wear wigs and have frequent conditioning treatments – “finally, my hair is growing back” she commented, but it certainly wasn’t an easy process.
The supermodel isn’t alone. At The Private Clinic we see hundreds of women affected by something called traction alopecia – where hair thins and disappears due to the stress of extensions and accessories on the scalp. Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle about fellow model Naomi Campbell’s experience of the condition, The Private Clinic’s Hair Surgeon Dr. Raghu Reddy explained that, as well as stress placed on hair from the extensions themselves, the accessories had “starved Naomi’s own hair of vital nutrients, due to the glue which is likely to have been applied to the roots. The overall result of all of this is the gradual thinning of the hair, causing permanent hair loss over time.”
Unfortunately, as Jourdan explained, there are very few specialists who understand the unique requirements of Afro-Caribbean hair. Unlike Caucasian hair, the shaft of Afro-Caribbean strands has a twisted structure with a thin diameter. A bit like when you bend or twist a straw, these turns are the weak points in the hair – making it break easier. Likewise, as curly hair is often prone to becoming tangled, traction loss can occur through poor brushing and lack of care.
In terms of treatment and addressing the problem, the first piece of advice is always to stop putting unnecessary stress on your hair; remove extensions and weaves, and avoid putting heat on them where possible. If you wish to carry on straightening or curling your natural hair make sure you always protect it with adequate heat spray, and start using intense conditioning treatments regularly to restore moisture. Sometimes damage to certain areas can need more serious treatment, which is when you’ll need to meet with a hair expert who may recommend anything from medication, to a hair transplant to restore your hairline. It’s here where the importance of experience and knowledge really comes into play and you should ensure you only work with the best to make sure you address the problem properly.
We know understanding your hair can feel like an impossible task. If you’re experiencing thinning, it can be hard to know whether it’s simply due to inadequate care, or whether there’s a more serious underlying problem. At The Private Clinic our trichologists are there to help you understand what has caused your hair loss and to find the best method for you. We are one of very few clinics specialised in FUE Hair Transplants for Afro-Caribbean hair, owing to the expertise and experience of our industry-leading restoration team. Whatever the cause of your hair loss, we believe in finding the real reason behind it and only going ahead with any form of treatment if we think it will be beneficial to you. Click here for more information.