Traction Alopecia

By . - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What is it?

  • Traction alopecia is caused by damage done to the hair follicle by continual pulling and tight tension for very long periods to the hair. This type of hair loss has been on the rise as people continue to damage there hair. It occurs in people who wear tight braids, locks and hair extensions applied with glue or thread.

Who is affected?

  • African-American women seem to be affected more and men who braid their hair or have dreadlocks. Chemical processing of your hair can cause traction alopecia that can be irreversible if prolonged damage has occurred. The early sign of hair loss means that you need to chat with your doctor. Extreme heat from blow dryers is also a factor in traction alopecia. Heat being too intense and too close to hair follicles can damage them and you may find yourself losing hair without a cure.
  • Women and men wearing sewn in hair weaves that are too tight and worn for too long will also experience traction alopecia. If you insist on wearing these tight hairstyles, you will need let them lose weekly as a preventative measure.

What treatments are available?

  • If there is irreversible damage done to the hair follicle, then there is nothing you can do besides consider hair transplants. The hair transplants may not be abused the way your natural hair was, otherwise you'll most likely be bald again in the same places.
  • If the damage is caught early enough your doctor may prescribe you a dose of minoxidil. It takes a minimum of one year for any results to show. This process may not work to help stimulate hair growth. The best route would be to abstain from all styling. The hair follicles will need to rejuvenate so that 'baby hairs' can start growing in.
Decide whats more important to you, your hair for a lifetime or a hairstyle that lasts a couple weeks.

Have a Good Hair Day!

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