Alopecia areata and the African American woman

My journey with alopecia has definitely been long, hard, and lonely. As an African American female (which I am sure this may be true for other cultures) I have found it very hard to find a beautician who actually understands the considition of alopecia itself. I have been through my fair share of beauticians and most of them I have found do not understand the condition/disease itself. I have had numerous Africann American beauticians ask me how this happens, what am I doing to damage my hair, etc. This has been a heartbreaking experience because most women go to the beautician to feel good and boost their self esteem with a new do and of course good conversation. Instead I have ended up frustrated and feeling like I have lower self esteen than I have when I am at home doing my thing as a kitchen beautician ( I have no real training, but being raised by my father I had to learn how to make my hair look nice). I am a little disappointed with the training or lack of training that may be happening in these beauty schools. From my perspective it seems like all they learn about alopecia is that the client will have bald spots. They do not seem to understand that I am not pulling out my hair, my immune system attacks my hair follicle. I end up providing them with more information than they knew before I sat in their chair. This is such a frustrating experience and then they make me feel as if I am the only African American with alopecia areata. Which unfortunately is something that I have beleived for a long time. I am grateful to this site for allowing me to see I am not the only African American woman with AA. I just wish I could find a beautician who really understands. If anyone knows of a beautician in the Atlanta area who is actually educated about alopecia areata and does a good job (with decent prices!) Please let me know.

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Comment by Tallgirl on July 18, 2012 at 1:33pm

As I typed to a hairdresser on this site who has alopecia, I think beauty shops should have on hand not only info sheets and links to www.naaf.org, but also lists of knowledgeable dermatologists in alopecia in the area. Beauticians working at all shops should have continued training in the progress of alopecia research, and sensitivity training, because that first life-changing hour of bald-spot awareness may be in their hands...literally. Anyone want to spearhead this on a national level, including at cosmetology school trainings?

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