Hair loss is a major issue. The most common form is commonly known as Male pattern baldness (or Female pattern baldness) and is generally genetic related. In this type of hair loss, once the hair has shed, it doesn’t grow back. There is however, another type of hair loss that can be avoided and that is, in most mild cases, reversible: Traction Alopecia.
What is Traction Alopecia?
As the name suggests, it is a form of hair loss that results from the physical stress/trauma on the hair follicles. The constant tension causes hair to be pulled out and causes the follicles to become inflamed. Thinning is usually observed in those areas.
In the initial stage, removing the stress will usually restore the follicles’ health and hair will grow back over time. However, continuous long term stress on the follicles can damage them permanently. When that happens, hair will not regrow even if the external source of pressure is removed.
Causes of Traction Alopecia
There are several causes for this type of hair loss. The common ones are due to tight braids, very tight pony tails, weaves and extensions, tight hair accessories worn everyday, etc. In some instances, constant rubbing from tight helmets, or other head gears can also create traction alopecia. Combined effects of tight hair styles with chemical treatments such as relaxers, can make matters worse causing irreversible damage to the follicles in the long run.
Signs that hair follicles are stressed
Often times, the body tells us when something is wrong. One way that the scalp responds to too much tension is by hurting at the areas where the hair was pulled. Have you ever released your pony tail and found a sense of relief? It’s probably because the hair was being held too tight for too long. Some other symptoms include itching, head aches or other discomforts on the scalp. So the next time, you style your hair or have your extensions placed, watch out for these symptoms. If they do occur, then you are probably torturing your hair follicles!