Ethnic hair disorders

Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015:47:139-49. doi: 10.1159/000369414. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


The management of hair and scalp conditions is difficult in any patient, especially given the emotional and psychological implications of hair loss. This undertaking becomes even more challenging in the ethnic patient. Differences in hair care practices, hair shaft morphology, and follicular architecture add complexity to the task. It is imperative that the physician be knowledgeable about these practices and the phenotypic differences seen in ethnic hair in order to appropriately diagnose and treat these patients. In this chapter, we will discuss cultural practices and morphologic differences and explain how these relate to the specific disorders seen in ethnic populations. We will also review the most prominent of the ethnic hair conditions including acquired trichorrhexis nodosa, traction alopecia, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, pseudofolliculitis barbae, dissecting cellulitis, and acne keloidalis nuchae.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Keloid / ethnology
  • Alopecia / ethnology
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Asian People*
  • Black People*
  • Cellulitis / ethnology
  • Hair
  • Hair Diseases / ethnology*
  • Hair Diseases / etiology
  • Hair Follicle
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Scalp Dermatoses / ethnology
  • Traction / adverse effects
  • Trichothiodystrophy Syndromes / ethnology
  • White People*

Supplementary concepts

  • Pseudofolliculitis Barbae
  • Trichorrhexis nodosa syndrome