Hot Comb Alopecia

A rare form of alopecia characterised by centrifugal scarring of the scalp; it was originally described in women who straighten their hair and was thus linked to the use of hot combs. The aetiologic role of the hot comb in this form of alopecia has been challenged given the poor correlation between hot comb use and the onset or progression of disease.
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It is almost exclusively used to describe hair loss in African American women and replaces previously used terms such as hot comb alopecia and follicular degeneration syndrome.40,41 Hot-combing was a method of straightening curled hair; it is now replaced by chemical methods.
DiscussionCentral centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is the term adopted by the North American hair research society (NAHRS) to encompass the previous terms of hot comb alopecia" follicular degeneration syndrome" pseudopelade" in African Americans and central elliptical pseudopelade in Caucasians.1
In other cases, particularly those involving hot comb alopecia, doctors recommend changing to a simple hairstyle to help the scalp heal, in addition to taking prescribed doses of antibiotics to reduce inflammation in the hair follicles.
The spiral hair is characteristic of the Congoids, the hair is straight in Mongoloids, and in the Caucasoids the hair may be straight, wavy or helical.3,9 Few elastic fibres anchor the hair follicles to the dermis in black skin; their hair is more susceptible to breakage and spontaneous knotting than the hair of fairer skin.1 The spiral hair of the Congoids has a tendency to develop pseudofolliculitis barbae and acne keloidalis.1,9 Traction alopecia, hot comb alopecia and follicular degeneration syndrome are common in Afro-Caribbean's because of their hair styling procedures.