What is Traction Alopecia?

By CysterWigs Contributor

There are many different forms of hair loss and just as many reasons for each one. Alopecia is the catch all name for hair loss and includes a type caused by traction – or a pulling force. You may be under the assumption that traction alopecia only occurs after wearing a super-tight style that causes the hair to be pulled from the roots. You might also think that traction alopecia is a quick and painful process. However, it can be a very slow burner, gradually eroding the hairline due to years or months of wearing the same tight style.

Signs of Traction Alopecia

● Bumps at roots
● White hair follicles showing
● Redness
● Itchy scalp
● Sores and broken skin
● Thinning
● Hair loss from root especially around hairline and nape
● Widening parts

Prevention

Avoid tight styles or heavy hair pieces. You’ll also want to refrain from wearing the same style consistently for extended periods of time. If you have fine hair, don’t use heavy gels or wax. You’ll also want to stay away from hair pieces that clip in because they could affect the scalp or pull your hair out. Use a soft brush or fingers to style delicate edge hair.

Treatment

Treatment for traction alopecia depends on the extent of hair loss. If caught quickly and the offending styles are halted, then there is a great chance that the hair will return to its normal density and length.

As with most types of hair loss, if it’s not caught early, the follicles can be irreversibly damaged will no longer produce viable hair cells. In this case, there may be permanent bald areas and scarring of the skin depending on the severity.

Depending on the position, traction alopecia can be covered by:

● Surrounding hair
● Wigs
● Or using hair fibers to fill in the area

Traction alopecia is a common condition that doesn’t have to have permanent effects. If you noticed that your hairstyle is too tight or you have significant thinning in particular areas, always seek the help of a professional before it’s too late.

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