According to a study done by Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center, carried out on almost 6,000 women of African descent showed that almost 48% of respondents had suffered hair loss on the crown or the top of the head – mostly caused by traction alopecia.
Given the topic tends to be shrouded in silence, the true figure may be higher.
This condition is said to be caused by years of styling, braiding, pulling, relaxing and sewing of weaves which now affects one-third of women of African descent.
And some estimates suggest women across Africa spend an estimated $6bn (£4bn) on weaves and hair chemicals that leave them bald.
Medical practitioners say while hairstyling contributes to the majority of alopecia cases, for some there is also a genetic component.
For example, hair loss can be a symptom of problems with the thyroid or gall bladder.
Also Childbirth, being on the pill and stress can also make women lose their hair, though such hair loss is mostly temporary.
Women learning to embracing their Africanness in addition to a healthy balanced diet containing vitamin C, vitamin B and selenium, found in fresh fruit and vegetables, has been proven to help nourish the hair root and also help combat traction alopecia and avoiding stress can prevent hair loss too.
But more crucial is for girls and younger women to reassess the way they style their hair. Avoid trying to do too much to your hair. Don’t put too many chemicals, don’t continually braid your hair. Let it rest, give it time to recover and do different styles at different times.