[Skip to Navigation]
December 1950


Author Affiliations


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

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


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

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
Add or change institution