Skin of Color – Hair & Nails

Hair

People of African descent have hair that is unique in its shape and structure. Combing and brushing often causes hair breakage. Many styling practices such as tight braiding and repeat use of excess heat, may also lead to hair loss. If you notice your hair falling out or breaking off, dermatologists recommend the following:

If you use a hair straightener, follow package directions. Most products do not cause problems when used as directed and in moderation.

  • Do less brushing and backcombing.
  • Use curling irons less often.
  • Loosen tight hairstyles, such as braids or weaves to prevent hair loss.
  • If these tips do not help, talk with our board certified dermatologist as soon as possible. By scheduling a consultation here, our expert clinical team can offer individualized guidance as well as customized treatments. 

Nails

People of color often have dark streaks or bands on their fingernails and toenails. Most are harmless. If your nails change in any of the following ways, you should see our board certified dermatologist:

  • Skin around the base of a nail gets progressively darker
  • A new, single dark band , streak or line
  • The size, shape, or color of an existing band, streak, or line changes

These could be signs of malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can be deadly. Found early and completely treated, melanoma has a high cure rate.

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Seattle, Washington | Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle