Charlotte duo using beauty clinic to create safe haven for women who deal with hair loss

CHARLOTTE — Two Charlotte women have created a safe haven for women who deal with hair loss.

Claricea Mundo has areata alopecia, which is an umbrella term for any hair loss. There are dozens of types of alopecia with different causes, treatments and severities.

“It was just thinning in one spot. It was the size of like a quarter,” Mundo said. “It was hard. It was hard.”

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation says around 6.7 million people in the United States will have alopecia areata in their lifetime.

Mundo has a genetic type of alopecia and after years of trying to cover the loss with braids with wigs, she shaved it all off.

“For me, because I did cry and, you know, all of those things, the emotions and things like that,” Mundo said. “But I decided to just embrace it and there was nothing else that I could do.”

The journey has led Mundo and her co-owner, Yolanda Sanders, to the creation of Designer Beauty Clinic on Beatties Ford Road. They take all clients, but specifically have a heart to help people with the personal struggle.

The co-owners go through a specific process to help their clients.

“We come up with treatment plans. We want them to be consistent,” Sanders said. “We use a product line to stimulate the scalp.”

Sanders had worked in women’s health and had always had patients wondering why they were losing their hair. She started to research the issue.

“I started doing some research and seeing that there was at least 150 different medications that cause hair loss, autoimmune disorders,” Sanders said.

Dr. Alyssa Daniel, a dermatologist at Metrolina Dermatology, specializes in hair loss. She said 30 to 40% of her patients started coming to her because of hair loss. She says it’s just like any other medical condition and getting to a doctor early is important.

“Clearly if it’s a small patch and it can become bigger, it’s always easier to treat it when it’s small,” Daniel said. ‘And then when we’re talking about scarring alopecia, I call it almost like a forest fire. So once those trees are burned down, we can’t get them back.”

Daniel warns that a subtle change in hair texture, breakage in a certain pattern, pain or itchiness can be early signs of hair loss. Another form of alopecia is commonly called “CCAA.” It primarily impacts Black women regardless of hair style and starts with thinning at the crown of the scalp. That can make it hard to detect without help .

“A lot of women, Black and white, suffer in silence, but in particular Black women, they’re more likely to have things like inflammatory or autoimmune processes happen on their scalp that just have gone undiagnosed,” Daniel said.

An alopecia diagnosis doesn’t mean you’ll end up boldly bald. You should always have your hair stylist help you monitor changes to your hair.

(WATCH BELOW: Studies find chemicals used to straighten hair linked to higher cancer risk)

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