Alopecia is a medical word that relates to hair loss. Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by straining your hair regularly. If you frequently style your hair in a bun, tight ponytail, or braids, you risk developing this condition, particularly if you apply chemicals or heat for hair styling.
If you restrain from styling your hair firmly, you may be able to reverse the hair loss condition known as traction alopecia. However, if you wait too long to take action, the thinning of your hair may become irreversible. In the early 1900s, medical professionals in Greenland were the first to recognize the condition. Women who regularly sport high ponytails were shown to be at an increased risk of hair loss at the front of the scalp.
In its earliest stages, traction alopecia may manifest itself as little bumps on the scalp that have the appearance of acne. The primary sign of the condition’s progression is hair loss and the frequent occurrence of broken hairs. Most of the time, the condition will only affect the hairs along the sides and front of your head. Nevertheless, depending on how you style your hair, you might also lose hair in other parts of your scalp. The following symptoms may accompany hair loss due to traction alopecia:
- Hair and scalp redness
- Discomfort or a burning sensation on your scalp
- Blistering, pus-filled sores on your scalp
Traction alopecia has its unique set of symptoms, distinct from those associated with other types of alopecia. Typically, only the hair that has been pulled is lost due to traction alopecia. In other cases, the thinning hair is distributed evenly across the scalp in discrete patches.
Wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or braid might cause traction alopecia. Repeatedly tugging on the hair causes the hair shaft to dislodge from its follicle. For instance, you might experience hair loss if you frequently:
- Put your hair in a ponytail or a bun, then tie it back tightly.
- Adorn your head with cornrows, braids, or dreadlocks that are pulled very tight.
- Make use of weaves or extensions in your hair.
- Roll the hair in rollers and sleep on them.
Because of the thickness of the hair and the way it pulls on the scalp, individuals with extremely long hair are also susceptible to developing traction alopecia. Even though it can afflict persons of any ethnicity, this illness is more prevalent in African-American women. People who work in professions in which they constantly pull their hair back into a tight bun, like ballerinas and gymnasts, are more likely to experience this condition.
Backcombing And Teasing Your Hair
This look has the potential to be both sultry and elegant if it is executed properly. However, doing so frequently can strain the hair significantly, resulting in brittle, fragile hair that is easier to break. Experts advise you to steer clear of this hairstyle if your hair is already dry and brittle or if you notice several split tips. At the very least, you should consider investing in a good brush with boar bristles because they allow you to tease your hair without breaking it while also pumping up the volume of your hair.
Wearing your hair down can help you avoid getting traction alopecia. If you absolutely must pull it into a bun or ponytail, do so while keeping it as low and loose on your head as possible. The following are some additional measures that you can take to avoid getting this condition:
- Alter the way you wear your hair every two to three weeks. Try switching between wearing your hair in braids and letting it down occasionally.
- Don’t use any band, whether it’s made of rubber or elastic, to keep your hair in place as you pull it in a ponytail. They can pull your hair out.
- If you wear weaves or braids in your hair, you should avoid having your hair chemically processed. The chemicals may cause harm to your hair, increasing the likelihood that it may break.
- If you wear weaves or extensions in your hair, you should only wear them for brief periods and give your natural hair a break in between each time you use them.
- Make your braids or dreadlocks thick when styling your hair. A thinner braid will pull more firmly than a thicker one.
- Avoid using hair relaxers at all costs.
- Maintain a low heat setting on the flat iron and blow dryer at all times.
- Don’t lie in rollers. Instead, you should wrap your hair.
- If you use a wig, you should look for one that has a satin cap. It won’t exert nearly as much pressure on your scalp.
Your scalp is going to be examined by the doctor. Consult a dermatologist if you want to treat traction alopecia. To investigate additional potential reasons for hair loss, the individual may do a procedure known as a biopsy, in which a tissue sample is removed for examination.
Altering your hairdo is the primary therapy option available for traction alopecia. Avoid pulling your hair back into a ponytail or other tight style, especially while you sleep. If it causes you pain, then it’s probably too tight.
Reduce the length of your hair if it is excessively long. Reduce the heat and chemical products used on your hair because both might cause damage. If you suffer from traction alopecia, your physician may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Medicines to ward against infection in any wounds that are already open
- Steroids are applied topically to the scalp to reduce any edema there.
- Antifungal shampoos
- Using minoxidil (Rogaine) to encourage hair growth
- Doses of biotin to help your hair retain its strength
- A hair replacement operation could be an option if you’ve lost a significant amount of hair and it isn’t growing back.
You can reverse traction alopecia, but treatment needs to begin as soon as possible. Your hair will return to its regular growth pattern after you refrain from wearing it in the constricting hairstyle that was the root cause of the problem. However, if you continue to style your hair similarly, you can experience irreversible hair loss.