Alopecia Awareness - Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA)
As part of Alopecia Awareness Month here at Black Venus Beauty, we are raising awareness of the different forms of alopecia. We believe that more awareness should be raised so anyone suffering from alopecia does not feel ashamed and knows that help and various solutions are available.
As we mentioned before, we are not professional experts, so we advise you to contact a GP or professional expert if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned below.
In this post, we will continue with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA).
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
It is a form of scarring alopecia where the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue causing permanent hair loss. It usually starts between the ages of 25 & 65 and primarily affects women of African descent.
How does it look like?
People who experience CCCA will notice a large portion of their central scalp balding with a few solitary hairs remaining. In some cases, hair loss is associated with itching, burning, tenderness, pain, or a tingling sensation.
What are the causes?
There has been no exact cause recognised however it has often been linked to hair styling practices such as tight ponytails, braids, cornrows, weaves, chemical relaxers (especially lye relaxers), and heat styling.
How is it diagnosed?
Experienced dermatologists can suspect the diagnosis of CCCA based on your clinical history, a scalp examination, and a scalp biopsy.
How is it treated?
Treatments include anti-inflammatory medications to decrease inflammation and prevent permanent follicle destruction.
Early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention can prevent further or permanent damage to the hair follicles before it is too late. Getting an early diagnosis will determine the best treatment plan for you as regrowth can be possible with treatment options.
Alopecia Story: Louisa and her experience with CCC Alopecia
Louisa, a healthcare practitioner has been living with alopecia for the past 6 years. She noticed she was losing her hair when she was an University student and thought it was down to stress. She didn’t feel it would be long term hence why it took so long before she sought professional help. Once she saw it was progressing, she started to feel worse.
Before noticing her hair loss, Louisa was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis which causes flaking, irritation and redness. Years later, she self-referred to a trichologist. The test showed that she had scarring alopecia/query CCCA.
“After finding out, I felt relieved and reassured.”
While making her own research, she found out that seborrheic dermatitis can also be related to CCCA. Louisa tried many products but didn’t get any results.
“Alopecia is not just a physical condition; it can have a huge effect on a person’s self-esteem, especially as a woman hair is part of your identity. I have experienced many different phases and emotions throughout my alopecia journey. From keeping it a total secret to being ableto talk about it with confidence.”
In 2016, Louisa began buying wigs to hide her hair loss. Unfortunately, she wasn't satisfied as they didn't look right and didn't feel right.
She made her research on hair loss, alopecia and wigs and started to make her own wigs.
In 2019, she created LouStylez to support other women suffering from alopecia/hair loss just like her. Her wigs are created with women of color in mind.
“When making and wearing my own wigs I became more comfortable within myself. It was also a great confidence boost. Being able to support others, gives me a sense of joy and fulfilment. By creating quality wigs, I can help give back a little of what we lost."
Afro Kinky Curly Wig from LouStylez
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, we recommend contacting your GP straight away. Please note we are not professional experts so there may be additional symptoms which are not listed above.
Here at Black Venus Beauty we pride ourselves on providing the best quality products for curly and afro hair. We want to unlock the potential of your hair and provide products specific to the needs of your hair, including preventing types of alopecia.
If you are interested in learning more about alopecia check our next post on Traction Alopecia.