Understanding Traction Alopecia (Treatment, Cure, Regrowth)

Understanding Traction Alopecia (Treatment, Cure, Regrowth)

 

Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia is one of the many forms of hair loss and alopecia. It is one that can affect a great number of people and one that can do serious damage to their hair. But just what is traction alopecia, what are the cures (if any) and are there any ways you can limit your chances of getting it in the first place?

In this guide we will answer those questions, targeting the following frequently asked questions as well:

  • What is Traction Alopecia?
  • How to Treat Traction Alopecia?
  • Will It Last Forever?
  • How to Reverse Traction Alopecia?
  • How to Grow my Edges Back from Traction Alopecia?

If you have your own questions about this condition that are not listed above, they may still be covered below. If not, feel free to get in touch through our Contact Page. We are always look to advise and inform and these questions and answers are one of the ways in which we do that.

What is Traction Alopecia?

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that occurs through trauma, as opposed to anything happening within the cell or the body. It is the result of direct pressure applied to the hair, as opposed to the immune system response that is alopecia areata and the (potential) genetic cause of alopecia universalis.

Traction Alopecia Causes: Hairstyles

Traction Alopecia Causes

In most cases, traction alopecia occurs a direct result of something that the patient has done to their own hair. Therefore, preventing this condition is as simple as following proper haircare regimes and avoiding the use of tight hairstyles.

The most common hairstyle that causes traction alopecia is a tight ponytail. This is a hairstyle that many women have adopted since they were young. In some cases it is a hairstyle that was forced upon them by a parent; one that they have simply grown accustomed to. In other cases it is done because neat and tidy hair is considered to be better suited for the professional world or for playing sports.

Other hairstyles that can cause traction alopecia include braids, corn-rows and pigtails. It is also very common in women who wear weaves. In this case the hair is often pinned down in order to keep it out of sight. All of these styles apply constant pressure to the roots of the hair and that pressure, over time, can lead to follicle damage. The hair becomes weaker, it falls out, and the hair follicle suffers damage.

Traction Alopecia Causes: Headgear and Chemicals

If you use a lot of chemicals in your hair then you may also be putting yourself at risk for this condition. There is a related condition known as central cicatricial centrifugal alopecia that is very common in African American women who wear tight hairstyles and use a lot of chemicals such as dyes and relaxers. This combination causes serious traction alopecia and can present with more serious and considerably more visible signs that those that present following tight ponytails and pigtails.

There is also a risk in people who regularly wear tight-fitting headgear. Contrary to the old wives’ tale, your hair will not suffer greatly through a lack of the open air getting to it, so baseball caps and other hats are rarely a problem. However, helmets and other tight-fitting headgear are. They can rub the scalp and tug at the hair. If this happens over an extended period of time then symptoms of traction alopecia can present.

How to Stop Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia Cure

The good news is that you can still wear a ponytail while avoiding traction alopecia. The same goes for the other hairstyles that may trigger this condition. It is not the styles that are the issue, but the way they are applied. For instance, there is nothing innately wrong with a ponytail providing the hair is loose and not tight.

By putting your hair into a tight ponytail you may be limiting stray hairs and the chance of it coming undone. But you’re also putting your roots under a lot of stress and that’s what can lead to traction alopecia.

Traction Alopecia Symptoms

Small, localized hair loss is the main thing to look out for. This often occurs in the area of most pressure. Where ponytails are concerned, it might be the hairline. Because the hair loss is forced, the bald or balding region may also be red and sore, which means it is possible for it to be mistaken for a bacterial infection.

To make sure this is not the case, anyone who suspects that they have traction alopecia and is presenting with red/sore spots, should first consult with an expert.

Traction Alopecia Treatment

Prevention is the best cure in this case. Make sure you don’t wear tight headgear or hairstyles; keep the use of chemicals to a minimum. If you do this then you are eliminating the possibility of traction alopecia.

Traction Alopecia Cure

Of course, the above information is no good if you have already done the damage and the traction alopecia is already presenting with symptoms. If this is the case then there are a few things that you can do to help. There are no medications that can reverse traction alopecia, so things like Minoxidil will not likely work, but you should still dose on hair vitamins and natural oils in order to strengthen the hair and to nurture the damaged follicles.

The most effective cures for traction alopecia are localized hair transplants. These basically remove hair from one place (often the back of your head) and transplant it into the bald spot area. Because they take the full follicles and not just the hair, it will continue to sprout hair and grow as normal over time.

There are other treatments that may also be able to help, including the PRP hair loss treatment. However, it seems that hair transplants are the way to go.

Is Traction Alopecia Reversible?

Is Traction Alopecia Reversible?

If you stop doing damage to your hair, nurture the bald spot back into growth, then you should be okay. But you may have done serious damage to the hair follicles and it may take a very long time for them to heal and for hair to grow back. Still, it is unlikely that the damage done would last for a lifetime, unless you have another hair loss condition or unless you continue to do damage to your hair.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Traction Alopecia

One of the best oils out there for protecting and nourishing your hair to the root is Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Like all castor oil this is rich in Vitamin E and the oil itself can also protect and lock in moisture. It is by no means a magic cure. Nothing is. However, it should be able to help in some way and at the very least it will speed up the process of hair growth.

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