You have been diagnosed with CCCA. This is a type of hair loss that is seen most commonly in African-American women. The cause of this condition is unknown. However, it is generally believed that hair weaves; cornrows or other braided hairstyles; hair extensions; thermal straightening (hot combs or pressing); and chemical relaxers damage hair follicles and lead to the hair loss. Continuation of these hair care practices can eventually lead to scarring and the hair loss will be permanent.
If you are unable to stop getting perms, please have them done no more frequently than every 8 to 10 weeks. Ask your hair stylist to apply a petrolatum base (such as Vaseline) to your entire scalp prior to relaxer applications and to leave the chemical on for a maximum of 20 minutes. Also ask that the relaxer chemical be applied only to the hair at least ½ inch above the scalp. The goal is to keep all chemicals off the scalp itself. Relaxers should never be done in combination with coloring agents.
Your treatment for CCCA will likely include a topical corticosteroid which you will apply once or twice a day until your hair loss is stable and then 3 days a week. You may also take tetracycline or doxycycline by mouth twice a day. These are antibiotics, but you are taking them to help reduce the inflammation in your scalp. Remember that tetracycline should be taken on an empty stomach and doxycycline should be taken with meals. These medications can make you more sensitive to sunlight and can lead to sunburns. Other treatment options include Rogaine for Men which you apply twice a day and steroid injections into your scalp.