How Ethnicity Can Affect Hair Loss

It is a lovely sentiment to believe that no matter the color of our skin or where our ancestors or we came from, we are all the same on the inside. While that may be true in many respects, it isn’t the case when it comes to hair loss. People from all ethnic backgrounds lose hair and develop pattern baldness, but not in the same way or to the same degree.

Different Patterns of Pattern Baldness

Most cases of hair loss are genetic, like androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness. There isn’t an ethnic group on earth that is immune to this condition. But genetic differences between ethnicities lead to individuals from different backgrounds losing their hair in different patterns.

For example, studies suggest that hair loss in men from Latin and Mediterranean backgrounds tends to start at the hairline and the crown of the head. For men with Semitic heritage, pattern baldness is more likely to begin at the hairline and keep moving back from there. Hair loss in men from Nordic countries often leaves a small tuft of hair at the center of the hairline while the hair loss happens around it.

Caucasians Lose The Most Hair

In terms of which ethnicity tends to experience the most hair loss, Caucasians are the undisputed leaders. That is why it is no surprise that countries with the most people suffering thinning hair were all European: the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom lead the list, with the U.S. coming in sixth.

After Caucasians, people of Afro-Caribbean heritage tended to experience the next highest levels of hair loss, with Asian men having the lowest hair loss rates.

Unique Challenges for African-American Women

Although women from all ethnic backgrounds can and do struggle with hair loss, a unique combination of factors has led some experts to refer to hair loss in African-American women as an “epidemic.”

In 2016, a study specifically looking at the nature and extent of hair loss issues in African-American women found that 47.6% of survey respondents reported hair loss on the crown or top of their head, but 81.4% of those women had never seen a doctor about their hair loss issues.

The study identified a condition called central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) as the number one cause of hair loss in African-American women. CCCA causes hair follicles to become inflamed and destroyed, leaving behind scarring and permanent hair loss.

In addition to largely genetic conditions like CCCA and androgenetic alopecia, common ways that African-American women treat and style their hair can also contribute to hair loss.

Traction alopecia is a specific type of hair loss that occurs when a person applies tension to their hair for an extended period. Unfortunately, many of the hairstyles popular among African-American women involve that exact kind of tension. Techniques that make hair particularly vulnerable to traction alopecia include:

  • Braids
  • Ponytails
  • Cornrows
  • Buns
  • Weaves
  • Chemical hair relaxers

Hair Restoration Solutions For Everyone

No matter your background or the nature and extent of your hair loss issues, the world-renowned hair transplant surgeons at the Miami Hair Institute can help. We offer a wide range of innovative and effective surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

Schedule an appointment with the Miami Hair & Skin Institute today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.