Published On: Thu, Feb 14th, 2019

Groundbreaking Israeli Study May Help Irreversible Hair Loss in Black Women

Hair plays a central role in our personal and social lives. The study found the cause of concern for many black women - baldness and irreversible hair loss.

 

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An international research group led by Prof. Eli Sprecher, director of the skin department at Ichilove, the Tel Aviv Medical Center, discovered at the end of a seven-year study that a defective protein called PADI3 is at the root of the disease which affects one in 20 black women of African origin.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the disease is a result of a combination of aggressive hair styling techniques and a genetic defect previously unknown.

Sometimes the disease, known as central scar deformity, and in its medical name, Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is passed between family members, indicating the importance of genetic factors in causing the disease.

Professor Sprecher told Ynet News: “To design hairstyles that include much smoothness, pulling hair back tightly and many intensive treatments can have a direct and permanent effect on the growth of hair in people with a certain genetic predisposition. Although our hair is not an essential organ, it plays a central role in our personal and social lives. Therefore, baldness, especially when irreversible, like this disease, can be seen as a life event with many negative consequences. ”

Liron Malki, a senior researcher in the study added: “Patients with the disease carry a defective shape of the protein, so when their hair is exposed to physical or chemical damage, hair follicle growth stops and the skin becomes scarred, a process that prevents renewed hair growth.”

“The identification of the genetic defect that causes CCCA may bring us closer to finding a therapeutic solution in this disease,” said Prof. Sprecher. “The role of PADI3 in other forms of baldness is unknown and is arousing a great deal of interest among the dermatologist community in the world”.

In June 2018 the American actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, the wife of actor Will Smith, has discovered in a Facebook post that she has a severe hair loss problem. Her thick black hair was cut by Pinkett-Smith for a short boyish haircut, and she tended to hide it with kerchiefs.

In light of the many questions that arose around the change in her appearance, she said that she decided to come out and tell about the problem she has been dealing with for some time.

“I did not talk about it, it’s not easy for me to talk about it, but I’m going to do it,” the actress declared bravely, exposing one of the less feminine problems in the world. “They ask me a lot why I go around with these kerchiefs, so I’m dealing with a problem of hair loss, it was scary when it started, and one day I was in the shower. It was one of the times in my life that I just trembled with fear.

My hair was a significant part of me. Cultivating it was a wonderful ritual. And one day it became clear to me that I might have no choice but to have a short haircut. ”

In her statement, Pinkett-Smith broke one of the most powerful feminine taboos: female baldness. It turns out, almost half the women, but no one is reluctant to run to talk about it.

Another actress who recently said frankly about dealing with the loss of her hair is 27-year-old Sarah Highland, the star of “Modern Family”, who suffers from severe kidney disease. A month ago, Highland revealed in Instagram that the drugs it was taking had caused her hair to thin. “Help save him,” she wrote. “What hair care products do you know for thinning hair?”

In 2012, paparazzi were revealed by supermodel Naomi Campbell, then 42, who showed an unusually high hairline.

Five years later, Campbell explained that her hair thinning was due to hair extensions that accompany her entire career as a model.

The English actress Kira Knightley discovered two years ago that she has been wearing wigs for years because of hair loss, as did country singer Dolly Parton.

Lady Gaga, only 31, whose platinum hair is one of her hallmarks, confessed in 2011 that she was losing her hair because of hypocrisy. The singer, who had brown hair at first, said she missed her natural hair. Three years later she published a picture in Instagram revealing the sad state of her hair. The image clearly showed clear hair withdrawal at the front of the scalp.

It is estimated that 40% of women suffer from baldness at one point or another in their lives.
Female baldness remains one of the most troublesome and least talked about problems in medicine. The American Hair Loss Association has defined the problem in women as a “serious and life-changing condition” that damages self-image and emotional state and can cause real psychological damage.

Hair loss may be temporary or permanent, caused by hormonal imbalance, illness or other condition, or temporary and transient conditions including stress, pregnancy, and certain medications. Other conditions may also cause permanent and irreversible changes in hair growth patterns.

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