Is Medical Community Qualified to Treat Black Hair and Scalp Diseases?

Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford's Multicultural Dermatology Clinic in Detroit, Mi., says that medical community needs to get culturally aware of dermatology issues in African American community.

The African American community, especially black women, take special care to make sure their hair looks good.  But, to get those hot looks, there are too many “processes” needed to achieve it. The expression “Fried, died, and laid to the side” is exactly what is happening to the hair rather than being a compliment to the tresses.

Medical Express reports that “African-American women are known to shampoo their hair less frequently than other ethnic groups, and an estimated 80 percent of them use chemical relaxers.”  The processing of the hair is killing it fast.  Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford’s Multicultural Dermatology Clinic, was interviewed and she has detected the lack of cultural knowledge it takes for the medical community to properly treat African American dermatological issues:

“Yet, many women who have a hair or scalp disease do not feel their physician takes them seriously. Physicians should become more familiar with the culturally accepted treatments for these diseases.”

The consistent use of heat combined with hair weaves, braids and dreadlocks, stress the hair and contribute to scalp diseases like “alopecia, or hair loss.”  Check out a list of Dr. Jackson-Richards’ self-help treatments that include:

— Avoid wearing braids too tightly; don’t wear longer than three months.
— To detangle hair, use a wide tooth comb while conditioner is still in the hair.
— Use natural hair oils with jojoba, olive, shea or coconut oils.

Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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