Traction Alopecia Causes and Cures
April 14 2022
Hair loss has many causes, and millions of people experience it every day. Traction Alopecia is one common factor in hair loss, but many people don’t understand what causes it or what can be done about it. At the Hair Restoration Institute, professional hair loss experts have years of experience dealing with traction alopecia, and we’re here to help.
What is traction alopecia?
It’s easy to understand traction alopecia by breaking down the name. Alopecia means hair loss, covering hair loss causes of all types. You’ll often see the term next to another word that is usually used to describe the cause of that hair loss. In this case, it’s traction – or tension and tightness.
Traction alopecia is the hair loss you’ll experience if your hair is subject to repeated, continual pulling.
What causes tension or tightness in your hair?
There are a few factors that can cause traction alopecia.
- Ponytails and tight updos. Tight buns and ponytails are popular styles, and they look great! Unfortunately, putting your hair into these tight hairstyles often can be a cause of traction alopecia.
- Braids and twists. Braids are also a popular style, and they’re so versatile that they’ve been a top hairstyle trend for several years. But tight twisting and braiding can cause stress that may lead to traction alopecia.
- Rollers. If you use rollers at night to get great curls in the morning, that extra tension may be a cause of traction alopecia.
How do tight hairstyles lead to traction alopecia?
It all comes down to the follicle, where your hair grows. At the bottom of the follicle deep in your skin, your body produces hair cells that push outward, forming the hair strand.
It’s crucial to keep those follicles healthy because when something upsets the balance, you can lose hair. Follicles work through regular stages of hair growth, rest, and hair shedding – yes, even healthy follicles shed hair. The problems occur when something happens to the health of the follicle that makes the hair come out sooner than it needs to, or where so many follicles are in the shedding stage that hair loss becomes noticeable.
Constant tension on the hair strands puts a lot of strain on the follicles, and hair loss can result, especially as we age and as hair follicles become more sensitive.
What can I do about traction alopecia?
The first step is usually prevention – stopping traction alopecia from ever getting started. Since the cause is usually tension on the hair, the best solution is to avoid tight hairstyles that put stress on the follicles. There are plenty of steps you can take to try to stop traction alopecia in its tracks:
- Switch up hairstyles. Always choosing the same hairstyle means that tension is regularly placed on the same hairs and same follicles. Alternating between different styles can help.
- Avoid chemical processing – perms, coloring, and straighteners. Chemical processing can help further weaken already vulnerable follicles, causing traction alopecia. Avoid processing your hair whenever possible, and always avoid doing too many processes at the same time.
- Choose larger braids. The smaller the braid, the more it pulls on the scalp and follicles. Whenever possible, choose braid styles with larger braids.
- Avoid other causes. Depending on the cause of your traction alopecia, you may be able to try other strategies to reduce tension in your hair, such as not sleeping in rollers. Your hair loss professional at the Hair Restoration Institute can give you suggestions for your individual hair loss causes.
What happens if prevention doesn’t work for traction alopecia?
Sometimes, prevention measures don’t work, so it’s time to try some hair growth strategies. At the Hair Restoration Institute, our hair loss experts will assess your individual hair loss and develop a personalized plan to help you regain thicker, fuller hair. Your personalized plan may contain one or more of the following treatments:
- HRI hair growth formulas. The Hair Restoration Institute’s researchers have developed professional-grade shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and serums that treat your scalp directly and encourage healthy hair growth.
- PRP hair growth treatments. PRP treatments use your body’s own growth factors to jumpstart hair growth on your scalp. This effective treatment helps encourage healthy hair growth.
- Low-level laser hair growth therapy. Low-level lasers can be amazingly effective for stimulating hair growth. This safe and effective treatment is used to restore thicker, fuller hair.
No matter what the cause of your hair loss, the caring professionals at the Hair Restoration Institute can help. Make your free consultation appointment today to get a full assessment of your hair loss causes as well as a personalized hair restoration plan to help you regain the full head of hair you were meant to have. You can find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 817-854-HAIR (4247) for a complimentary consultation.