In the April/May 2009 issue of Sister 2 Sister, dermatologist Melanye Maclin broke down hair loss in the Black community. Now, Gerard Dure (stylist to celebrities like India.Arie, Toni Braxton and Tyra Banks) offers up tips for styling around a balding scalp.
Here are your options:
If you’re suffering from hair loss from tension, "which is a condition that is usually when people have their hair pulled out, braided too tight, weaved too tight," according to Gerard, the most important styling option is to keep it natural. Gerard told S2S, "There are many, proper ways to weave where you can actually braid your hair and give your hair the break it needs from chemicals as your scalp repairs itself, but to throw a chemical back on is usually not recommended."
Beyond weaving, Gerard recommends playing with wigs until your balding areas begin to fill in. "There are fantastic wigs. As far as American wigs, I like Drury, Sensationnnel wigs," explained Gerard. "But a wig is really how it looks on your head. It can look fantastic on the mannequin, but most people’s heads are not that size. You have to stretch it and it has to shape to your face."
Another thing to remember before buying a wig is the quality of the hair. Gerard’s clients normally go for the handmade, Indonesian variety (we’re not even going to go there with you: we’re in a recession, homie), but look for human hair varieties at your local beauty supply store or visit Sensationnel’s store on Amazon.com.
Another common form of hair loss is alopecia areata, "where your hair can fall out in patches for no apparent reason," said Gerard. The strange occurrence can be attributed to everything from having a baby to taking a certain medication. Gerard’s answer for this is similar: "Weave it up!" he told S2S. "Find a good stylist who really knows how to weave you well. [It's the] same thing, [to] not go and irritate the scalp with chemicals."
Gerard also recommends experimenting with your natural hair or with braids. "There are so many things you can do with your hair," he said.