Please note that our Thinning Dreadlock insights are based on our experiences with our clients, we are not medical experts. Consult a healthcare professional or trichologist for personalized advice. (A trichologist is a specialist in hair and scalp health, who studies hair and scalp conditions, including hair loss).
Have you ever found yourself pondering questions like, “Why are my dreadlocks thinning at the root?” or “Why is my hair full, but my dreads are falling out?” If so, you’re part of a select few facing a truly unique and puzzling issue. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into this distinctive hair growth challenge, explore its causes, and provide valuable insights into potential solutions. Additionally, we’re at your service to help those dealing with this rare problem and can link you with a skilled service provider.
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What you’ll learn in this article (nav links):
Defining This Specific Topic
Common Scalp Thinning Issues
Who this problem affects most
Probable Causes of Thinning Dreadlocks
Dreadlock Thinning Solutions
Managing Expectations & Reattachments
Gain Access to Local Service Providers
Thinning Dreadlocks at the Root – A Stunted Hair Growth Scenario:
In this unique scenario, the hair on the scalp appears to be thick and healthy, showing little signs of thinning. However, the issue arises when the root of the dreadlock tapers and thins out. The roots of the dreadlocks become thinner and thinner, and may even detach from the scalp. What is interesting about this issue is that most of the hair from the scalp seems to only grow out 1 to 2 inches and either stops growing or breaks off. We’ve seen this happen regardless of the method being used, and even with freeform dreadlocks, however palm twisting seems to make this problem worse. Therefore, as some of the hair grows longer and not others, the dreadlocks have less and less hair to support the roots, resulting in a thinning of the dreadlock roots while still appearing to have a full head of hair.
This is the specific topic we’re exploring in this article.
Understanding the Distinctive Causes of Thinning Dreadlocks:
Before we dive further into this topic, let’s clarify the distinctions between this condition and the two most common dreadlock-related thinning issues:
Male Pattern Baldness:
- Male pattern baldness typically manifests as a receding hairline or a bald patch in the middle of the head.
- It follows a gradual and predictable pattern of hair loss over time.
- This can lead to dreads falling out
- Importantly, our focus here is not on male pattern baldness, as the stunted hair growth issue differs significantly.
- Traction alopecia occurs when hair is constantly subjected to tension, often due to tightly-styled hairstyles like braids or ponytails.
- This type of hair loss predominantly affects areas above the ears and along the hairline.
- It is essential to note that the root thinning issue we’re discussing in this article is not caused by external tension but appears to be linked to internal factors.
Stunted Hair Growth Issue (Focus of this Article):
- The stunted hair growth issue presents a scenario where the hair on the scalp maintains fullness, while the roots of dreadlocks are thinning, and, in some cases, detaching from the scalp.
- Hair growth appears stunted, typically reaching only 1 to 2 inches from the scalp.
- This is the specific issue we’ll explore in detail, including its causes, probable triggers, and potential solutions, to provide valuable insights for those facing this distinctive challenge.
Who is Most Affected by This Dreadlock Thinning Issue?
While this issue seems to be quite rare, it also seems to predominantly affects individuals of African descent. Though occurrences in other ethnic backgrounds are entirely possible, our experience with this problem has been exclusively with our clients of African descent, as you can see by the photos in this post.
Dreadlock Root Thinning: Probable Causes:
The underlying causes of this rare issue appear to be closely connected to hormonal factors. Here are some potential triggers:
Chronic Stress or Stressful Events: Stress exerts a unique influence on the issue of dreadlock root thinning. Elevated stress levels can disrupt the hair growth cycle by triggering hormonal responses, particularly the release of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” This disruption can lead to premature hair shedding and thinning, which may become especially noticeable within dreadlocks. Additionally, the hormonal imbalances induced by stress can affect the distribution of nutrients to hair follicles, potentially impairing their ability to grow and maintain healthy hair. As a result, ongoing stress can contribute significantly to the thinning of dreadlock roots.
Dietary Factors and Nutritional Imbalance: Nutritional deficiencies stemming from dietary choices, like a diet heavily reliant on processed foods or veganism without careful nutrient consideration, can significantly influence hair growth. Cholesterol, often misunderstood as harmful, is actually an essential building block in the body and plays a crucial role in hormonal balance, including hormones related to hair growth. Therefore, consuming a vegan diet void of Cholesterol may be harmful to some individuals. (if you dig into this topic you may find that *oxidized* LDL causes plaque buildup, and the LDL becomes oxidized with high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids which often come from seed oils. Cholesterol is not the problem, it’s the oxidation of the LDL that is the problem. Reference Video if you want to geek out – Here). Ensuring a well-balanced diet that includes an appropriate intake of essential nutrients, including healthy fats like cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals, is vital for sustaining healthy hair.
Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or menopause: Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or menopause can have a significant impact on hair growth. During pregnancy, some women experience thicker, fuller hair due to elevated hormone levels. However, after childbirth or during menopause, hormonal fluctuations can lead to hair thinning or shedding. This can affect the overall health and thickness of dreadlocks, contributing to root thinning.
Medical conditions affecting hair growth: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, alopecia areata, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss or thinning. These conditions can affect the scalp hair and the hair within dreadlocks, potentially contributing to root thinning.
Medications or treatments with hair-related side effects: Some medications or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or certain prescription drugs, may have hair-related side effects. Hair thinning or loss can occur as a result of these treatments, affecting both scalp hair and dreadlocks. Managing these side effects and maintaining dreadlocks may become a challenge for individuals undergoing such treatments.
Please note that these are potential factors and not an exhaustive list. Consultation with a healthcare professional or trichologist is advisable for a personalized assessment.
Solutions to Dreadlock Root Thinning:
Addressing this rare issue can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to alleviate and potentially reverse the thinning of dreadlock roots:
Identify the Root Cause: The first step toward resolution is identifying the underlying issue. Consult with a healthcare professional or trichologist to determine if hormonal imbalances or other health factors are contributing to the problem.
Consider a Carnivore Diet: This may sound crazy, but some individuals have reported improved hormone balance and hair growth after adopting a carnivore diet. This seems to be directly correlated to consuming fats and nutrition can positively impact hormonal health. And cholesterol is not the bad guy here, it’s a building block of many important hormones.
Avoid Palm Twisting: Excessive palm twisting can exacerbate the problem. In some cases, thinning may worsen due to this method. We’ve seen this with a few situations with our clientele.
Reattach Dreadlocks or Attach Extensions: If your dreadlocks are falling out or thinning excessively, consider reattachment or attaching extensions. Our service can help you with this process.
Managing Expectations for Reattachments and Extensions:
We want to emphasize that if the hair doesn’t continue to grow out, the roots will continue to thin over time leading to dreads falling out yet again. While some hair may grow long enough to hold the dreadlock, other hair may be stunted, necessitating reattachment again at a later time. If the root of the issue is not corrected you may anticipate thin roots to develop again over time, with reattachments becoming necessary approximately 6 to 24 months after the initial reattachment or extension attachment appointment.
The issue of dreadlocks thinning at the roots, dreads falling out, and experiencing stunted hair growth is rare and unique. By addressing potential hormonal imbalances, maintaining a balanced diet, and taking proper care of your dreadlocks, you can work towards healthier and fuller locks. If you’re currently dealing with this issue and require assistance, we’re here to help. Please visit our service page or directory (coming soon) to find experienced service providers near you. This blog post serves not only as an informative resource but also as a way to connect you with the solutions you need. Take the first step toward healthier dreadlocks by exploring our services today.