Clinical and anthropological perspectives on chemical relaxing of afro-textured hair

S. A. Aryiku, A. Salam, O. E. Dadzie, N. G. Jablonski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The culturally engrained practice of «relaxing» afro-textured hair has been linked with hair and scalp disorders. Herein, we discuss the evolution of human hair types, focusing in particular on afro-textured hair. We explore the biological features of this hair type, and discuss the different methods employed to straighten afro-textured hair, focusing in particular on chemical straightening. We also examine clinical, anthropological, and psychological issues associated with this latter practice. Examples of common scalp pathologies associated with chronic hair relaxing, such as alopecia, hair breakage, caustic burns and irritant contact dermatitis, are also highlighted. The data presented herein should enable clinicians to engage in culturally appropriate discussions with their patients about issues of appearance and conformity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1695
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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