What is CCCA?
This is a form of permanent hair loss which is more commonly seen in black women. However, it can rarely be found in men and people with other hair types. Women in their middle years are most commonly affected. Hair loss is seen typically at the top of the head, and the hair loss spreads outwards across the top of the scalp. The scalp may appear shiny. While some people don’t have symptoms, tenderness itch and burning are common. Hair breakage may also be an early sign seen in this is most serious condition for black women, and it is really important to take action quickly.
What causes CCCA?
The exact cause of CCCA is unknown and is likely to be due to a number of reasons. Hair care practices, such as the use of excessive heat in the hot comb or hair straighteners, relaxers that damage the hair shaft, tight extensions and weaves, have been implicated for decades, but studies have not shown a consistent link. There is also thought to be a genetic link.
How can Crewe Hair and Skin Clinic help?
The clinic director has been keeping abreast of international evidence on this topic, so can advise on the best hair care practices to employ as well as which shampoos and medications are needed.
This condition may affect 1 in 20 black women. If you are not sure whether you have this condition, please make an appointment. Photographs of your hair and magnified images of your scalp will be taken to help to monitor the condition.
This condition is not well known among GPs at the moment, but hopefully this situation will change as awareness increases about the condition. The clinic director has written an article for the Primary Care Dermatology Society about this condition to help educate GPs.
it is important to be referred to a dermatologist with experience in treating this condition, and you will receive advice on the best way to ensure this.
Evidence is emerging from the USA about the potential use of Platelet Rich Plasma. The aim of treatment is to stop or slow down progression of the disease. In some cases there is a small chance of regrowth if the hair follicle is not permanently damaged.
There may be other ways the clinic can help including sources of information, advice on medication, hair care, scalp camouflage and bespoke custom made wigs.
Crewe Hair and Skin clinic offers protein and moisturising treatments for Afro-textured hair.
Finger Prick Blood Tests
The hair loss check fingerprick test can be done at home. It is a test to investigate the possible causes of thinning hair and hair loss. Includes tests for testosterone and SHBG as well as thyroid health and iron status. Hair loss is an inevitable part of life. On average we have around 100,000 hair follicles on our heads and losing between 100-120 hairs per day is a normal, natural part of the hairs’ growth cycle. However for some people, the amount of hair they lose is much greater than normal and not understanding why can be a difficult and worrying time.
There can be many different causes of hair loss including age, genetics, which can lead to male or female pattern baldness and autoimmune conditions such as alopecia areata. Our Hair Loss Check is an ideal profile to help identify any health issues that could be causing hair loss. This profile includes tests for testosterone, SHBG and the free androgen index to check for any imbalances, TSH and T4 to monitor your thyroid health and ferritin to investigate your iron status.
Please ensure your sample is collected in the morning. If you are tracking your results over time then it is vital that you always have your blood taken at the same time.
Additional blood tests
Diabetes (HbA1c) Blood Test - £39
Hair Loss Check skin prick Blood Test - £59