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Article
December 1950

ALOPECIA FROM HAIR STRAIGHTENING

Author Affiliations

NORFOLK, VA.

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1950;62(6):910. doi:10.1001/archderm.1950.01530190144013

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Abstract

Dermatologists in the South and other areas with a large Negro population are seeing increasing numbers of a curious type of alopecia, which, for lack of a better term, I have been calling "hair straightener alopecia.'' As I was unable to find any reference to it in the literature, I thought it might be worth while to describe it.

Many Negroes are resorting to a hair-straightening process consisting in the application of a hair dressing followed by combing with a hot comb. A check on several brands of the dressing showed these preparations to be essentially a mixture of sodium hydroxide in some greasy base, usually petrolatum. This dressing is liberally applied to the hair and scalp, and then the hair receives a brisk combing with a heavy metal comb which has been heated to a rather high temperature.

A typical case of hair straightener alopecia consists in a variable

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