Live Healthy

African-Americans

Every racial or ethnic group has specific health concerns. Differences in the health of groups can result from

  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Access to care
  • Cultural factors

The Center for Disease Control has statistics to show that African Americans are at higher risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Sisters Together is just one site with resources specifically for African American women who have much higher rates of overweight (78 % vs 59% of Caucasians) and obesity (51 % vs 33% for Caucasians).

Certain hairstyling practices can result in serious hair and scalp diseases for some black women, according to expert¬†Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford Hospital’s Multicultural Dermatology Clinic in Detroit.¬† “Hair is an extremely important aspect of an African American woman’s appearance.” Proper hair care can help prevent diseases such as alopecia (hair loss) and an inflammatory skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis,

Tips to reduce the risk of developing a hair or scalp disease:

  • Wash hair weekly with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner; Wash braids or dreadlocks every two weeks.
  • Limit the use of blow-dryers, hot combs and other heated hairstyling products to once a week.
  • To detangle hair, use a wide-tooth comb while conditioner is still in the hair.
  • Use natural hair oils with jojoba, olive, shea or coconut oils.
  • Allow two weeks between relaxing and coloring.
  • Don’t wear braids too tight and don’t wear them longer than three months.
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