September is National Alopecia Awareness Month
as declared by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF)
Statistically, about one-third of African American women will experience Alopecia at some point in life. Alopecia affects men, women, and children of all ages and ethnicities. However, it is most commonly seen in women of African descent. Yes, that is 1 in every 3 Black women.  Those numbers are alarming!
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss or balding in areas of the body where hair normally grows. There are several types of alopecia, but traction alopecia is the most common to affect Black women. Traction alopecia occurs in individuals having hairstyles that produce a continuous pulling force on the hair roots. It usually occurs in women of African descent who have tight and curly spiral hair. Traction alopecia is preventable, with appropriate education, it could be eliminated.
Of course, there are some genetic and medical conditions, type 2 diabetes for example, that contribute to Alopecia that makes prevention a bit more difficult. Even in these instances, discontinuation of potentially damaging hair-grooming practices is encouraged to prevent further damage to the follicle.
Wash N Fro, a local hair salon, with the desire to help reduce the number of people who suffer from alopecia through education, preventative hairstyles and healthy haircare techniques. The founding owner, Jasmine Lowe, a licensed hair stylist, noticed there were a lot of people with natural hair, but not enough hair stylists that catered to healthy natural hair maintenance. After Jasmine realized this, she quickly made it her mission to provide the natural hair community with a solution, so Wash N Fro was born.
Wash N Fro is Hampton Roads’ first shampoo bar for natural hair. By offering moisturizing hair washes and low tension styles such as wash n go’s, flat twists and 2-strand twists, Wash N Fro hopes to decrease the alopecia statistics surrounding naturally textured hair and help bring a happier hair journey to the natural hair community in the Hampton Roads area.
 Eliza Balazic, Kelly Hawkins, Janet Choi, Hailey Konisky, Anna Chen, Kseniya Kobets, Traction alopecia: assessing the presentation, management and outcomes in a diverse urban population, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Volume 48, Issue 9, September 2023, Pages 1030–1031, https://doi.org/10.1093/ced/llad154
 Haskin A1, Aguh C2. All hairstyles are not created equal: What the dermatologist needs to know about black hairstyling practices and the risk of traction alopecia (TA). J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 [Epub ahead of print].
 Larrondo, Jorge, and Amy J. McMichael. "Traction Alopecia." JAMA dermatology (2023).
 Summers, P., Kyei, A. and Bergfeld, W. (2011), Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia – an approach to diagnosis and management. International Journal of Dermatology, 50: 1457-1464. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05098.x