What is Traction Alopecia?


Traction Alopecia is a condition marked by bald patches appearing on the sufferer’s head – and it’s not linked to other issues such as male pattern baldness or stress.

The main cause for traction alopecia is because the hair follicles have been pulled tightly from things like braids, corn rows and even pony tails being too tight. This tension leads to hair to loosen from its follicular roots.

This gradual hair loss can be reversed but action has to be taken as soon as the problem becomes noticeable.

Bald patches are a symptom of traction alopecia
Bald patches are a symptom of traction alopecia


It affects both men and women – though women more often since they tend to have a fashionable hairstyle which may include hair extensions which use clips to keep the pieces in place.

Dreadlocks and single extension braids can also have the same effect on the follicles.

It’s this constant pressure to the hair follicles which causes the problem and traction alopecia is one of the most common causes of hair loss in African American women (sometimes the diagnosis is so severe that it is referred to as traumatic traction alopecia).

Bald men who are using hair weaves kept in place with clips to cover bald patches may find they start to suffer too and will notice that the hair follicles on their temples and hairline starting to die off.

It should be noted too that traction alopecia can also occur through the use ofchemical treatments such as hair dyes, bleaches and even hair straighteners. The issue here is that the hair can become fragile and can fall out with brushing and combing.

Traction alopecia needs to be tackled early on before any hair loss becomes permanent.

You may have to consult a doctor or a trichologist to confirm the diagnosis.

And beware – losing your hair isn’t the only symptom of traction alopecia.

People using false eye lashes have been known to suffer too since their natural eyelashes will die off with their extensive and continued use.

And the owners of small dogs need to be aware too that using barrettes to keep the hair out of their pet’s faces could also lead to traction alopecia.

Traction alopecia can be a very upsetting condition to have but it can be treated.

Traction alopecia – Dr. Diane M. Hoss, MD discusses Traction Alopecia Hair Loss

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