Avoiding Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is the involuntary loss of hair that results when we continuously wear our hair in very tight hairstyles. These hairstyles include pigtails, pony tails, braids, and buns. This condition often results in an obviously receding hairline. Many women are often embarrassed by the thinning hair, especially since this occurs in a very obvious location on the head; right above the face. Thankfully, the condition is often treatable and does not always result in permanent damage.

Likely Patients

Statistics indicate that there are four main groups of individuals who often suffer from this condition. The first is African American men and women. Many of these individuals often pull their hair back towards the apex of their head in order to make elaborate braided or ponytailed hairstyles. Over time, this whittles away at the fragile hairline.

Individuals who wear weaves or hair extensions are also quite likely to suffer from traction alopecia. The additional pressure of the hair extensions can weaken the hairline and cause it to recede. This condition is also common among ballerinas who are required to constantly have their hair in sleek buns.

Last but certainly not least, traction alopecia is also common among people who are bound by their religion to avoid cutting their hair. This includes Rastafarianism, a religion characterized by the wearing of a hairstyle known as deadlocks. As the hair grows, it becomes heavier and its immense weight slowly eats away hair from the hairline.

Reversing Traction Alopecia

The first and most important step to reversing alopecia is to avoid any hairstyle that puts additional pressure on the hairline. Wash and go hairstyles, as well as minimal manipulation are the most recommended option for individuals who suffer from traction alopecia. The next step is to promote hair growth. Take a look at one of our previous blogs that discussed how to promote hair growth. In short, eating nutritious food, drinking sufficient water, and massaging your scalp are three of the best ways to start seeing real results.

In some severe cases, a surgical procedure may be the only way to reverse the effects of traction alopecia. Unfortunately, there will also be times when the hair follicles become so damaged that it becomes impossible for the hair to grow back. Don’t let this happen to you. Take heed and avoid those elaborate hairstyles that always tend to be a bit too tight.