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Jun 1, 2009

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a common cause of hair loss due to pulling forces exerted on the scalp hair. This excessive tension leads to breakage in the outermost hairs. This condition is seen in children and adults, but it most commonly affects African American women.


The 2 types of traction alopecia are marginal and nonmarginal. Traction alopecia is unintentionally induced by various hairstyling practices (eg, use of braids, ponytails, hair rollers, weaves, twists, locks, or "cornrows"). If you are currently wearing a loose natural or relaxed style. Be leery of using the "black gel" (Ampro protein) and the brush to "lay" the hair down against the scalp. In the initial stages of traction alopecia, this hair loss is reversible. With prolonged traction, alopecia can be permanent. Physicians, especially dermatologists, must recognize this condition early to prevent irreversible hair loss.

As loc and twists wearers we are all prong to this condition unless we adapt healthy twisting practices. One thing is to ensure that you are not twisting the root too tightly when coiling, twisting, and locing the hair. Especially if you are using a locing tool. Take care to twist toward the scalp. If you are noticing some thinning of your locs close to the roots, do not twist that area. Simply combine it with a stronger loc for added protection.

The joy of wearing your hair natural is to embrace your texture, not to twist so tightly that there are no traces of your texture left at the scalp. If you do not want any of your curl pattern to show then wearing locs may not be for you.

Try and wear your hair down as much as possible, if you must pull your hair back make sure to be careful of your edges. Avoid pulling too tightly. Take care when using hairpins. I know from my old hairschool days how they can cause scalp damage. I can't count the number of girls I knew who wore those darned weaved ponytails so much in the same spot that they started to bald in the areas where they donned bobby pins.

Make sure to massage Vitamin E, carrot oil, or avacado oil around your edges regularly.

10 comments:

ORGANIC said...

Those pictures look so familiar. That's because they both resemble teh sid eof my head. I lost a lot of my hair from braids and weaves. it is starting to graw back now with the help from a dermatologist. Thanks for posting these pictures. I do not feel so alone now. :)

Laquita said...

Great info :o)

Writing Addict said...

Organic, sis you are never alone. Remember that you are beautiful, and when the hair grows back be very gentle to those areas, and to the rest of the hair too.

Love & Light,
Writing Addict

Kicukalah said...

Great info as always and love the new look of the blog.

Writing Addict said...

Thank you beautiful! Its only as good as its readers! You Queens inspire me soo!

Enchantress said...

Great post!!! I absolutely hate having to wear my locks in a ponytail for this reason. I don't have any hair loss, but my edges just feel too stressed...so during my break for the next 3 weeks I will be wearing my locs down almost everyday.

Hugh said...

i believe i have a case of traction alopecia although i don't believe my case was as bad as the beautiful girl in the picture. My question is, did her hair grow back? and if it did, was it through natural measure or was she medically treated. what was the treatment?

Writing Addict said...

Hi Hugh,

If your case isn't as bad as the pics above chances are your hair can and will come back. It depends on how you treat your sides. Try and avoid manipulation if at all to those areas. Only thing you should do is massage lightly with olive oil to promote hair growth. Also, its suggested to visit a dermatologist to ensure your hair can and will grow back with treatment.

Hugh said...

Thankyou. but my case is on the top of my head. (had dreads...i recently cut them off) the top of my head has less hair than the rest of my head. it look like a thinning bald spot. but i notice peach fuzz growing. however, the peach fuzz doesn't grow as long as the rest of my hair so i gotta keep getting a air cut to even out everything. will that peach fuzz grow into full length hair? and what about the girl in the picture. did she get treated and if so how? and is the treatment working? I figure if i keep track of her condition, then i can estimate what would happen to me

Jaz said...

The treatment of hair meshes art, fashion, and science, and with all three, change is as constant as the next trend or innovation. Continual education is a must,” says Nadine Branch, multicultural hair specialist and entrepreneur.

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