Return to Help Index
Poor scalp health can cause or worsen hair shedding for a lot of people. The following are some of the most common scalp conditions to be aware of:
Traction alopecia is a common cause of hair loss among black women. It's caused by hair follicle inflammation, which occurs when the hair is pulled too tightly for too long such as when it's combed and brushed too roughly or when it's styled in tight cornrows or braids.This causes the hair, especially along the hairline, to break off. Tightly coiled hair is naturally more fragile and prone to breakage due to the lack of sebum to coat its strands so extra care is needed to keep it strong and resilient. To avoid experiencing traction alopecia, drench the hair in a slippery conditioner like our Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee before combing and always comb using a wide tooth comb starting from the bottom up. Follow up by applying a rich, porosity appropriate moisturizer like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream or Burdock Root Butter Cream to your hair to keep it soft and supple for days without the need to remoisturize. To heal damaged follicles and boost growth, use either our Tea Tree & Lavender Therapeutic Pomade or our Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. It causes the immune system to attack healthy hair follicles because it mistakes them for foreign invaders. This, in turn, leads to hair falling out in small patches initially and can progress to larger patches across the scalp. This condition is most common for ages 35-50 and can result in total hair loss. This type of alopecia can also be genetic. For most people, alopecia areata is not a permanent condition. Once they're able to address their overactive immune system and quell the follicle inflammation, their hair can grow back.
Scalp psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition. Like other types of psoriasis, it increases skin cell turnover rates and causes pile-ups of skin that are known as plaques. If you have bright red patches on your scalp that also have a silvery sheen, you are likely dealing with scalp psoriasis. In dark skinned people, scalp psoriasis lesions can appear violet or dark purple and appear as areas of darker, thicker skin. This condition can lead to hair loss, itching, and bleeding if it's not treated.
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can make hair and scalp health worse and exacerbate hair loss. If you're dealing with any of these nutrient deficiencies, your hair shedding might accelerate:
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can cause excessive shedding and thinning for a lot of people. It is estimated that 53%-76% of Black Americans have Vitamin D deficiency.Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicles to grow, so when the body is lacking in this essential nutrient, the hair may be affected. Vitamin D plays an important role in a healthy immune system, so a deficiency in it may also make people more prone to autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata. Research shows that women aged 18-45 who experienced alopecia and other forms of hair loss were more likely to have low vitamin D levels than those who did not experience hair loss. Vitamin D deficiency can be resolved through sunlight exposure and Vitamin D supplements.
Nearly 20% of Black and Hispanic women in the US have iron deficiency anemia. Many Black women of child bearing age have uterine fibroids which can lead to iron deficiency. Iron is necessary for healthy blood cells. It also keeps the hair healthy and strong. If your iron levels are being depleted and you aren't getting enough replacement and maintenance iron in your diet, you may notice your hair starting to thin and fall out more. You may also develop brittle nails or find that your skin has become pale or taken on a yellowish tint. If you suspect that you're iron deficient, it's a good idea to get your iron levels checked, especially if you have heavy periods.
Hormonal fluctuations can contribute to all kinds of symptoms, including hair loss. The most extreme hormonal changes tend to take place during and after pregnancy, as well as during menopause:
When you're pregnant, your hair actually may appear thicker and fuller. This is because certain hormones prevent and minimize hair loss. When you give birth, though, more hormonal changes occur, and the extra hair you've retained will start to fall out. Many people notice significant hair thinning and loss after giving birth, but things tend to balance out after about 3-6 months.
You may be more prone to hair loss when you start going through menopause, too. As hormone levels shift, hair shedding can increase. It typically subsides after about 6 months, though.
Our Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade may help jump start hair growth after pregnancy or menopause related shedding.
Hair shedding is a symptom of several different health conditions, including the following:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (or PCOS for short) occurs when the ovaries become enlarged and cysts develop on the outside of them. This condition causes your body to produce excess androgens.10 This, in turn, may result in extra hair growth on your face and body as well as increased hair thinning on your head. In addition to hair thinning, PCOS can also be accompanied by weight gain, acne, and trouble ovulating and getting pregnant.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the neck and produces hormones that keep your metabolism functioning properly. When your thyroid is underactive (this is a condition known as hypothyroidism), it can slow down the hair growth cycle. 11 This, in turn, can cause your hair to become thinner. If your hair thinning and loss are caused by hypothyroidism, you'll likely experience other symptoms like weight gain or increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop alopecia areata.12 The stress of living with this condition may contribute to hair loss, too, and it can interrupt the hair growth process. As a result, it may take longer for hair to grow back after it's fallen out. Approximately 11.4% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
Black American women are disproportionately affected by lupus. People with lupus can experience significant symptoms, such as pain, extreme fatigue, hair loss, cognitive issues, and physical impairments that affect every facet of their lives. 13 Lupus causes hair loss by increasing inflammation around the hair follicles. Lupus may also cause lesions on the scalp, damaging the follicles and interfering with normal hair growth patterns.
Research shows that COVID-19 may lead to long-term hair loss. One study revealed that 32 percent of COVID-19 patients experienced hair loss after recovering from the virus. Another one following hospitalized patients showed that 22 percent were still losing hair 6 months after being discharged. Hair shedding is common after major health events, anytime you have a shock to your system, it can shunt the hair into a shedding phase.14
Finally, many medications list hair shedding as a side effect, especially prescription drugs used to treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems and high blood pressure.If you're dealing with excessive hair loss, the following medications may be the culprit.
High Blood Pressure
Many beta-blocker blood pressure medications are associated with hair loss, including the following:15
ACE inhibitors, including these, cause the hair to thin, too:
Oral contraceptives (also known as birth control pills or just "the pill") can cause hair thinning and hair loss for some people. This is because oral contraceptives suppress hormones that cause ovulation, and these same hormones also contribute to hair growth. Birth control pills cause the hair to move from the growing phase to the resting phase too soon and for too long. This form of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. Large amounts of hair can fall out during this process. Those who have a family history of hair loss are more likely to experience it when they start taking birth control pills.16
Anti-inflammatory steroids (such as Prednisone) can cause hair loss during the telogen, or resting, phase.17 Some people also experience hair loss after they stop taking steroid medications. If someone's hair loss is caused by an inflammatory condition, such as an autoimmune disease, steroids may help to reduce symptoms and improve hair thickness.
Crash dieting and rapid weight loss can cause hair thinning and excessive shedding. This has to do, in part, with nutrient depletion and malnutrition, which can occur when you aren't consuming enough calories and nutrients. If you lose a lot of weight very quickly with diet pills like phentermine, you may also be prone to hair thinning and hair loss.15
Chemotherapy, a common cancer treatment, often causes hair loss. These drugs are designed to destroy the fast-growing cancer cells in your body, but they also attack and destroy other cells that grow quickly, like the roots of your hair. Regrowth will occur after treatments have ended.Generally, cancer treatment-related hair loss is not permanent. Once the treatment is over, the hair typically begins to grow back.
Combating Hair Shedding
As you can see, many health related conditions can trigger hair loss and shedding, from vitamin deficiencies and hormonal imbalances to blood pressure medications. Many of the natural ingredients in Qhemet products possess potent anti-inflammatory, healing, analgesic and anti-microbial properties and have been used for centuries to mitigate hair loss and boost growth but if your hair shedding hasn't been helped by the use of better styling practices and traditional herbal treatments, the next step would be to consult a qualified health care professional.
|How do I contact you?|
|Please click here for our company contact information.|
The 3 Steps to Moisture
By Qhemet Biologics
Your beautiful kinks and coils soak up all the moisture you put in,
especially if you have high porosity hair. Whether you're brushing your hair, creating a bomb twist-out or using another protective style, your natural hair needs to stay moisturized at all times. Dryness may stem from a lack of water, unhealthy diets, using low-quality products that contain drying ingredients to not sealing in moisture once it's applied. Naturals know that moisture is the key to length retention and achieving the best looks for your kinks and coils. Here are 3 steps to keep your hair lusciously hydrated at all times.
1. Hydration is Key (this is why your hair is dry)
We don't know who came up with the idea that naturally curly women shouldn't use water or humectants as a moisturizer, but we are busting that myth right now! If water and/or a humectant isn't one of the ingredients in your conditioners or moisturizers then you're doing it wrong. It's okay though sis, we've got you covered!
Products like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream uses potent natural ingredients like olive and castor oils, water, glycerin and botanical infusions to promote extreme moisture and hydration. Now, water alone won't keep your hair as moisturized as it needs to be as water evaporates so if you want those kinks to really pop you are going to have to seal the water in with an oil or butter. Remember that moisturizing also starts from the inside out. Drink tons of water to keep your hair moisturized too!
After using a water-based conditioner, you'll need to seal the moisture in or else your strands will be left feeling dry and tangled. I know what you're thinking. Why should I seal moisture into my hair? Simply because water alone isn't heavy enough to keep the moisture in those curls. All natural hair queens want their crown to look bouncy, shiny, and lively. The only way for some people to achieve this look is with a butter or oil (depending on your hair type). This method is sometimes referred to as the LOC method. L= Leave-in (water-based product) O = (oil) C = cream.
Instead of being stuck on how others treat their hair, use different methods and see which ones work best for your naturally coily hair. While your hair is still wet or damp after using a water-based conditioner like our Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee, apply a serum to your hair. Our Castor & Moringa Softening Serum is perfect for sealing moisture into high porosity hair. Lastly, make sure the moisture doesn't evaporate. Keep your hair soft and hydrated without the need to reapply products by reinforcing the conditioner and serum with a heavy moisturizing cream like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream or the lighter Burdock Root Butter Cream. Start from the ends and hydrate all of those coils. Remember, the ends of your hair are the most fragile, oldest pieces of hair so you need to keep them hydrated and protected. Before you say it, I know what you're thinking, what about low porosity girls? Our Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum is the perfect oil to lock moisture into low porosity hair.
Look at the labels of some of the products in your natural hair collection right now. If these ingredients are listed anywhere on the labels get rid of them. These ingredients aren't healthy for our hair let alone our body. Using natural ingredients that stem from the earth is the best bet for achieving a healthy, hydrated mane.
Your Hair is Ready to Flourish
Now that you have these tips, check out the healthy hair collections below to begin your journey towards maximum moisture, health and growth!
Determining Hair Porosity & Finding Your Best Products
By Qhemet Biologics
Porosity refers to how readily your hair absorbs moisture. Knowing the porosity of your hair matters because it'll help you choose the products best suited to your hair's unique characteristics. Afro/coily hair can be either high, medium or low porosity, however, it is possible for hair to contain strands with all 3 characteristics.
You have low porosity hair if leave-in conditioners, butters and creams sit on top of your hair and weigh it down instead of being absorbed. This is because the hair cuticles tightly hug the hair's cortex which prevents moisture from easily penetrating. Because of this, low porosity hair will need light yet penetrating moisture, like our Burdock Root Butter Cream, to keep it soft throughout the day without it feeling heavy or greasy.
Characteristics of High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair readily absorbs moisture but also releases it quickly due to its raised cuticles, which causes hair to feel dry again shortly after product application. You'll need to use products that are not only capable of adding moisture to the hair but of locking it in as well. Use a rich oil blend like our Castor & Moringa Softening Serum to trap moisture in and keep it from leaking out. An intense moisturizing cream like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream also works wonders on high porosity hair, keeping it soft and hydrated for days. There's one way to determine your hair's porosity with certainty once and for all: drop it into a glass of water and watch if it sinks or floats. Sinking hair indicates high porosity while floating hair indicates low porosity. Hair the hovers in the middle is medium porosity hair.
3A? 4B? 4A? Which one am I? Type 1 and 2 hair is straight to wavy. Type 3 hair refers to hair that has a slightly tighter wave or curl pattern. Type 4 hair is clearly kinky and coily.
Curly hair is described as hair that contains bends. Each letter that describes curly hair refers to how close each bend is along the hair strand. For example, a strand of 4C hair will contain numerous, closely spaced bends and twists along its length while the bends and twists along 4A hair will be spaced further apart. The closer and more angular the bends, the kinkier the hair will be.
Products that Work for Your Hair
You're not destined to have dry hair. In fact, knowing the porosity of your hair can help guide your product selections and help you reach your hair goals more quickly.
If you have low porosity hair, the trick is to get the products past tight cuticles so they can do their job. For this, you'll want to stick with products that attract moisture (humectants), and avoid products that have a low pH as these will seal the cuticle even more. Products containing vegetable glycerin and olive, coconut and moringa oils offer softness, slip and lubricity and moisturize hair without being too heavy. Applying products while your hair is wet will also provide some additional moisture to lock in. The use of our Burdock Root Butter Cream, Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee and Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum will give your low porosity hair the pampering it needs. All three products contain the nutrients and moisture ratios best suited for low porosity hair.
The trick to moisturizing high porosity hair is to keep the moisture in once you've applied it. Whether your cuticles are naturally raised or raised due to heat damage or chemical processes, you'll want to choose hair products that have a lower pH to flatten the cuticle. Thick butters and oils help serve as an additional protective layer. Our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream is ideal for high porosity hair as it contains heavy oils like olive and castor that attract and retain moisture. Our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream also contains nutrient rich botanicals that support healthy hair growth and help grow out brittle and damaged hair. You'll also need a rich, creamy detangler to help flatten your cuticles and make detangling with a wide tooth comb easier and painless and our Castor & Moringa Softening Serum to lock in the moisture and keep your hair soft and supple, even overnight. Pure castor and moringa oils are perfect for high porosity hair and are rich in fatty acids.
Is Shea Butter right for you?
By Qhemet Biologics
Shea butter is often touted as a beneficial hair dress, especially to naturals who struggle with chronic dryness and breakage, but is shea butter right for you? Most products for natural hair contain shea butter because of the one sized fits all industry approach to natural hair care. At Qhemet, we recognize the diversity in afro/coily hair and have chosen to create shea butter-free formulas that contain better healthy hair ingredients such as castor, olive, green tea and moringa oils and cocoa and mango butter instead. Here's why:
Out of the range of plant butters available, many naturals choose shea because it's in everything and many aren't aware that there are alternatives. Unfortunately for some naturals, shea butter can leave hair feeling stiff and greasy instead of soft and supple. Its heaviness can also weigh down hair, decreasing flexibility and causing the hair to feel coarse which can ultimately lead to dull, drab hair that's much more prone to brittleness and breakage.
Shea is heavy and waxy butter so it can build up quickly and leave a gunky residue on the hair and scalp. Removing product build-up necessitates more frequent shampooing which in turn leads to drier, duller hair and the use of harsher shampoos. Removing shea butter from your hair care routine will allow you to avoid the waxy build up and make the switch to a gentler shampoo or co-wash possible.
While shea butter can be beneficial to the skin, naturals who use shea butter in their hair with disappointing results know that it can create an occlusive barrier that keeps water and nutrients out. Your hair may feel soft initially because of its oiliness but you'll notice that the softness doesn't last for long. Naturals who use shea butter often find themselves in a frustrating and repetitive cycle of reapplying products or spritzing their hair with water multiple times a day just to keep the dryness at bay. While some naturals can achieve healthy hair with shea butter, others cannot and find that it can actually cause more dryness, breakage and an inability to retain length in the long run.
Qhemet products contain a balanced and effective combination of water, humectants, oils and butters that retain and draw moisture to the hair and lock it in, preventing moisture loss across several days. Qhemet is unique in that we recognize the diversity in afro/coily hair and have identified ways to keep it hydrated and healthy using nourishing ingredients that are more effective than shea butter and yield better short and long term results. So if you've ever wondered why shea based products give you stiff, waxy hair instead of the luscious mane you expected, you are not alone. Nature has gifted us with a myriad of other healthy hair butters and oils to choose from and we use the most effective ones in our products!
Shop This Post
Shop our exceptional shea-free moisturizers below to begin your journey towards maximum moisture, health & growth!
Hair Care for Thinning Edges
By Qhemet Biologics
There are a number of factors that can influence how full a persons hair is. In this article, we'll be discussing the density of hair, not the thickness* of each strand.
What Causes Thinning Hair?Thinning hair is characterized by hair that has fallen out and does not regrow. Many women will experience thinning hair or thinning patches, particularly around the edges, at one point or another in their lives. Here's why:
The Right Products
Natural hair is beautiful and even more so when you're using premium, plant based products to support it. Qhemet products look to the tried and true remedies our forebears created to nourish their scalps and keep their hair healthy and full. Check out our moisture collections below to begin your journey towards maximum moisture, health and growth!
* If you have fine hair, you may in fact have a lot of it, but it may look stringy or sparse. Fine hair requires extra care too because it tends to respond differently to moisture than a thick strand of hair. If your hair doesn't hold curls well, breaks easily and is prone to fly-aways, you might have fine hair. People with fine hair should use the lightweight yet moisturizing products in our L.O.C. Method Collection for Low Porosity Hair to strengthen and hydrate their fragile strands. Getting regular trims to stay on top of split ends will help your fine hair grow longer and stronger too.