Traction Alopecia 101

Aug 19, 19 Traction Alopecia 101

Most of us are familiar with alopecia, but did you know there is a variant of alopecia called traction alopecia. I came across the term while surfing the Internet the other day, and spent some time learning more about it online. Check out what I found below:

What is traction alopecia?

Traction alopecia is an offshoot of the main disorder — alopecia areata — which causes gradual hair loss in those living with the condition. While alopecia areata is believed to be largely caused by genetics, traction alopecia is prompted by force applied to the hair. This force leads the hair to fall out gradually.

Causes of Traction Alopecia

While force applied to the hair is the overarching cause of traction alopecia, that force can be applied to the hair in many different ways:

  • Hairstyles. Hairstyles that are very tight and pull back on the scalp and hair are the most common culprits of traction alopecia. Such hairstyles include cornrows, braids, dreadlocks, and very tight ponytails.
  • Head Gear. Those who wear a significant amount of headwear may notice their hair falling out at a concerning rate. Helmets or elastic headbands pull down on the hair, causing it to thin over time.
  • Chemical Treatments. Treatments such as hair relaxers and keratin treatments alter the structure of the hair follicle, possibly making the hair fall out easier. These treatments shock the scalp to conform in an unnatural way, which can also accelerate hair loss.

If you’ve noticed your hair falling as a result of any of the above, consult with your dermatologist about the next steps you can take. Pills and topical treatments can help hair regrow, but these results aren’t immediate. Scalp micropigmentation services like Team Micro are a great resource for those looking for quicker results. Either way, you have a wide range of options at your disposal!

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