Afro-Ethnic Hairstyling Trends, Risks, and Recommendations

Sara Asbeck, Chelsi Riley-Prescott, Ella Glaser, Antonella Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hairstyling trends among Black women fluctuate with social, cultural, and environmental pressures. Dermatologists should be aware of current trends and their associated risks in order to provide the best care to this population. In order to summarize the updated trends and associated health risks for the most common hairstyles worn by Black women, a literature review was performed. PubMed and EMBASE were used to identify articles related to hair styling practices, studies on the effects or risks of various styling practices, and magazine articles citing current styling trends among women of African descent. All hairstyles were found to have associated health risks; however, natural styles had the fewest adverse associations of all styles reviewed. Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) is the most cited hair disorder in this population, possibly linked to both chemical relaxants and traction styles. Additional studies are needed to further establish causality between these styles and CCCA. Additionally, while acceptance of natural hairstyles is on the rise, there is more work to be done throughout society to help protect and encourage women who choose to wear Afrocentric styles. Dermatologists should be well versed in these hairstyles and ready to lend appropriate advice to patients when it is requested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • African-ethnic hair
  • Afrocentric hair
  • Central Centrifugal cicatricial alopecia
  • Chemical hair relaxing
  • Hairstyle trends
  • Traction alopecia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Aging
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Dermatology


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