The top 10 causes of Traction Alopecia

Trac­tion alope­cia is a form of grad­ual, non-genetic hair loss that is the result of con­tin­u­ously wear­ing the hair in styles that are too tight. Below you’ll find the top ten causes of trac­tion alopecia.

1. Draw­string ponytails

These hair pieces have a comb and draw­string to secure them on top of the head. Draw­string pony­tails are attached to the hair after the hair has been pulled back into a tight bun. Hair gel is some­times applied to achieve a sleek and smooth fin­ish to the nat­ural hair that is held in a bun. The draw­string pony­tail is then attached by pin­ning it in place with the comb and using the draw­string to secure it. Although they are a con­ve­nient way to style your hair, fre­quent and con­stant use can cause trac­tion alope­cia, par­tic­u­larly in the area where the pony­tail is attached.

2. Tight buns

The hair is twisted, rolled tightly and then fas­tened with pins or ties. The con­tin­u­ous effect of twist­ing and rolling the hair can weaken the strands and dam­age the fol­li­cles, result­ing in trac­tion alopecia.

3. Weaves

This is a style very pop­u­lar among black women, but is not restricted to them. It involves human or syn­thetic hair wefts being attached to nat­ural hair, often sewing it on to corn-rowed tracks. Wefts are some­times also attached by using an anti fun­gus adhe­sive called bond­ing glue. Weav­ing is often used to stop the appear­ance of thin­ning hair, but unfor­tu­nately it can also cause thin­ning and hair loss itself, as the corn­rows the exten­sions are attached to are very tight to make the weave last longer. Bond­ing glue can also cause hair loss when a proper remover isn’t used to break the glue’s bond com­pletely before removal.

4. Braids

Hair is braided into thin, tight braids, some­times with the addi­tion of dec­o­ra­tive items or with hair exten­sions braided into the hair (remem­ber Brandy’s sig­na­ture braids?). Apart from the pulling action caused by the tight braid, the hair line suf­fers because the hairs the exten­sions are attached to are usu­ally weak and not able to cope with the weight of the addi­tional hair.

5. Corn­rows

These are a type of braid where the hair is braided close to the scalp. This style Cornrows cause thinning hair or traction alopeciais favoured for being a low-maintenance, aes­thetic hair­style, but can lead to trac­tion alope­cia if the corn­rows are too tight because they place undue pull on the hair, espe­cially around the hairline.

6. Clip-on hair extensions

These hair exten­sions are made by cut­ting machine-made hair wefts into dif­fer­ent lengths and attach­ing clips to each piece. They can be clipped onto the nat­ural hair in var­i­ous places, includ­ing the back and the sides of the face, etc.. They are com­monly used to add colour to the hair or to give the appear­ance of fuller hair. Improper appli­ca­tion, by clip­ping the exten­sions too tightly or allow­ing the clips to dig into your scalp con­stantly, can lead to trac­tion alopecia.

7. Weight of hair extensions

Hair exten­sions can be glued or woven onto the hair, but either method will increase ten­sion of the nat­ural hair because of the weight of the hair exten­sion. Clip on hair extensions can lead to thinning hairIt’s impor­tant to avoid using too much hair because it will lead to thin­ning hair and hair loss.

8. Tight sleep­ing caps and scarves

Often worn to main­tain hair­styles while sleep­ing, tight sleep­ing caps and scarves can restrict blood flow to the area they are tied around, thereby depriv­ing the hair of essen­tial nutri­ents and slowly suf­fo­cat­ing the follicles.

9. Sleep­ing in rollers

Rollers are used for curl­ing the hair, and many women wear them in bed, as the curl­ing process can take a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time to work. Tight rollers can cause the hair to fall out in clumps.

10. Tur­bans

This is a cause that mostly affects Sikh men. When the tur­ban is worn too tightly, it can cut off the blood sup­ply to the fol­li­cles, result­ing in hair thin­ning and hair loss.

The first step in treat­ing trac­tion alope­cia is to stop the cause of ten­sion or pulling on the hair and heal­ing the scalp in order to grow new, strong hair.


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