Hair Loss Types & Causes – Traction Alopecia

How to Know if You Are at Risk for Traction Alopecia

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TRACTION ALOPECIA

Photo Credit: Wilbert A. Minier, PD via Wikimedia Commons

Traction Alopecia – Causes & Prevention

Traction Alopecia (TA), unlike Trichotillomania, is caused by tight hairstyles that pull on the strands of a person’s hair which cause repeated and prolonged tension on the hair follicle. Over time, damage to the hair follicle and scalp occurs resulting in bald spots. Typically, traction alopecia occurs around the temples, but can occur anywhere on the scalp.

The condition is most prevalent among African American women because of the popularity of particular hair styles. However, traction alopecia can occur in anyone who styles their hair in a manner that puts prolonged tension or traction on their scalp and hair follicles.

Traction Alopecia can present in a variety of ways ranging from non-scarring, reversible alopecia to more severe chronic irreversible hair loss. Other causes of hair loss around the peripheral area of the scalp include alopecia areata.

Treatment of Traction Alopecia

In its early stages, traction alopecia is best treated by simply eliminating or significantly reducing the use of any hairstyles that put tension or traction on your hair follicles and scalp. Reducing the amount of heat and styling chemicals is also recommended.

TA can be difficult or impossible to treat if the person has had hair loss for a lengthy period of time, since it can cause scarring and irreversible hair loss. If you suspect that you have traction alopecia, consult with your primary care physician, dermatologist, or other qualified medical professional and follow their advice.

Treatment & Solutions

The first thing anyone should do who is experiencing hair loss of any kind is to consult with their primary care physician, dermatologist or other qualified clinical healthcare professional to determine the cause of their hair loss and carefully follow any medical advice they may provide.

Whether it be Traction Alopecia, alopecia areata, or male or female pattern baldness, hair loss in all its forms can cause profound emotional and psychological anxiety since it affects a person’s physical appearance and how they present themselves to the world. Many people consider their hair to be an integral part of their self-identity. Such anxiety can lead many to withdraw from normal social interaction due to self-consciousness and a loss of self-esteem.

High quality medical grade hair prosthetics, hair replacement systems, and human hair wigs specifically designed for people suffering from alopecia or for those with little or no hair can help those suffering from hair loss and thinning hair to regain a positive self-image and self-confidence, allowing them to feel comfortable participating in normal social and professional situations with family, friends and colleagues.

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References:

Science Direct: Traction Alopecia

UIHC: Traction Alopecia – A Type of Hair Loss

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