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.