Faith Amour Hair Care

Traction Alopecia

Posted on: August 23, 2012

Traction Alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by damage to the dermal papilla and hair follicle by constant pulling or tension over a long period, is most common in African-American women and men who braid or pull their hair too tightly.

Tight braids, especially “cornrows”, or ponytails can lead to high tension, pulling and breakage of the hair. Traction alopecia is reversible if diagnosed early, but may lead to permanent hair loss if it is undetected for a prolonged period of time. In traction alopecia the worst hair loss is in areas where the hair is pulled the tightest, usually the forehead and temples, but varies depending on the hairstyle. It can be subtle at first, but becomes apparent over years as the hair line recedes from ear to ear starting farther and farther back on the head. The hair is lost because the tension from pulling damages the hair follicles beneath the skin. Over time, pulling the follicle damages it and eventually the damaged follicle can no longer make hair. Because you cannot develop new follicles, as more and more follicles are damaged, more and more permanent hair loss results. Many products suggest that conditioning the hair follicles and cleansing the scalp will revitalize damaged hair from traction alopecia. This is not always the case; hair loss sustained by constant abuse remains damaged for life. This form of alopecia might be able to be corrected, but prolonged abuse without proper care can be irreversible. The key to stopping traction alopecia is detecting it early! Hair styles that put unnecessary strain on the hair root must be changed for “looser, gentler hair styles. Those who suspect they may be vulnerable to traction alopecia should take action immediately to change their hair style or treatment methods to lessen or possibly eliminate long-term damage.


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August 2012
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