Traction Alopecia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that is caused by repetitive tension on the follicles of the hair. It is commonly caused by tight hairstyles, such as braids, cornrows, tight ponytails, and extension styles. Other contributing factors may include environment, such as heat, and certain medical conditions. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for traction alopecia.

Causes of Traction Alopecia

The primary cause of traction alopecia is stress on the hair and scalp due to tight hairstyles. The hair is pulled taut and held in place with a strong force, putting stress on the follicles and preventing new hair from growing. Tight hairstyles are not the only cause; other factors include chemical processing of the hair and environmental factors. Heat is particularly damaging to the hair and scalp, weakening the hair and stressing the follicles. Certain medical conditions can lead to traction alopecia, such as psoriasis and lupus.

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Symptoms of Traction Alopecia

The symptoms of traction alopecia include thinning of the hair in the front of the head and along the hairline, along with a decrease in the fullness of the hair. In advanced cases, hair may be lost along the sides, back, and nape of the neck. In some cases, the traction alopecia may be accompanied by inflammation or irritation of the skin.

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Treatment Options for Traction Alopecia

The first step in treating traction alopecia is to stop wearing tight hairstyles. Looser hairstyles, such as tsaving and weaving, are less damaging to the hair and scalp. Chemical processing and heat styling should also be minimized as much as possible.

Medications may also be prescribed to treat traction alopecia. Common medications include steroid creams and oral medications, such as minoxidil. A doctor may also recommend light sources, such as LED therapy, to stimulate hair growth and reduce inflammation of the scalp. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend a hair transplant or scalp reduction surgery.

Health and Prevention of Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a preventable form of hair loss, and there are many measures that can be taken to prevent it from occurring. Minimizing tight hairstyles and chemical processing is the most effective way to prevent traction alopecia. Wearing proper protective styles, such as a silk scarf or cap, and avoiding heat styling tools can also help reduce stress on the hair and scalp. Drinking plenty of water and taking a multivitamin can help to keep the hair and scalp healthy.

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Taking proper care of the hair and scalp is important for both the prevention and treatment of traction alopecia. Staying away from tight hairstyles, minimizing chemical processes, and maintaining healthy hair practices will help ensure the health of the hair and scalp.

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