Ethnicity and Hair Loss
11 / 21 / 22

Ethnicity and Hair Loss

Hair loss affects people of all ages, races, and demographics. For example, research suggests that nearly 40% of men will experience noticeable hair loss by 35 and almost 80% of women by age 60.

While we would like to think that no matter what our ethnic background is, we are all the same on the inside, some ethnic groups experience thinning hair and hair loss at greater rates. While we may all be the same in many respects, hair loss impacts people from various ethnic backgrounds in different ways and varying degrees.

Distinct Patterns of Pattern Baldness

The most common cause of hair loss is genetics. Genetic hair loss, such as androgenetic alopecia, also called pattern baldness, affects every ethnic group on the planet. However, genetic differences among different ethnicities cause individuals from different backgrounds to lose their hair in different patterns.

For instance, research shows that hair loss in men from Latin and Mediterranean backgrounds usually starts at the hairline and the crown of the head. For men of Semitic heritage, pattern baldness is more likely to start at the hairline and move back from there. Men from Nordic countries often have a small tuft of hair at the center of the hairline while hair loss occurs around it.

Caucasians Experience the Most Hair Loss

When it comes to determining what ethnic group loses the most hair, Caucasians are the undisputed leaders. Because of this, it's not surprising that most people that experience thinning hair and hair loss come from European nations. The Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom top the list, with the United States placing sixth. Following Caucasians, people of Afro-Caribbean heritage tend to experience the next highest levels of hair loss, and Asian men have the lowest rates.

Unique Challenges for African American Women

Women of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds can and do struggle with thinning hair and hair loss. While anyone can experience hair loss due to a unique combination of factors, hair loss is a common issue experienced by African American women.

A survey performed in 2016 by the American Academy of Dermatology looked at the nature and extent of hair loss problems experienced by African American women. Researchers discovered that over 47% of survey respondents reported hair loss on the top or crown of their heads. In addition, the study found that over 80% of the women with hair loss had never consulted a doctor or sought treatment for their condition.

The study found that the primary cause of hair loss in African Americans is a condition called central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA). CCCA affects the hair follicles, causing them to become inflamed. This inflammation can cause scarring and damage and permanently damage the hair follicle, leading to hair loss.

In addition to genetic conditions, such as CCCA and androgenetic alopecia, some treatments and hairstyles can also contribute to hair loss. For instance, traction alopecia is a hair loss condition associated with tension applied to the hair for a prolonged period. The tight hairstyles commonly worn by many African American women place this type of tension on the hair, which can lead to traction alopecia. Hairstyles that make you more vulnerable to this condition include:

  • Weaves
  • Cornrows
  • Braids
  • Ponytails
  • Buns

Hair Restoration Solutions for Everyone

At New Look Institute, we can help regardless of your ethnic background or the stage of your hair loss. Our compassionate team of hair experts offers clients a wide range of innovative and proven treatment options. Contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation to learn more about the role your ethnic background plays in thinning hair and hair loss.