Causes of Traction Alopecia and how to prevent it

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by your hair follicles being pulled. The most common way people develop traction alopecia is by always wearing a tight ponytail, bun or braids. It’s also very common if you use an excessive amount of chemicals or heat on your hair.

Traction alopecia is temporary hair loss that can be reversed if you stop pulling on your hair. However, if you don’t act fast enough, the hair loss can become permanent.

In this guide, we will investigate the symptoms and highlight the causes of traction alopecia. We will then analyse how you can spot the signs of traction alopecia and prevent permanent hair loss.

Traction alopecia symptoms

Before you begin to lose hair, you may notice little bumps that appear on the scalp due to irritation. Traction alopecia hair loss will typically be at the front or side of the hair line, although it can occur on any part of the scalp. This usually depends on what hairstyle someone has.

Some of the less noticeable symptoms include:

  • Itchy scalp
  • Redness
  • Bumps/sores
  • Inflammation of hair follicles
  • Blisters on the scalp

Traction alopecia will not happen randomly like other forms of alopecia, as only the hair follicles that are being pulled will be affected. If parts of your hair begin to fall out from unpulled areas, it is likely that you have a different form of alopecia. 

If you have permanent alopecia of any kind, you can arrange a consultation with Crown Clinic so that we can assess whether a hair transplant is the best solution for your situation.

What are the causes of traction alopecia?

Traction alopecia is more common with long hair, as it increases the chance of it being pulled and getting knotted. For example, people with long hair might develop this if they often scrape back their hair, wear braids, use hair extensions or put their hair in rollers overnight. One of the most famous traction alopecia celebrities is Naomi Campbell, who has said that “years of extensions” had caused damage.

Short-haired individuals can also get traction alopecia. Wearing a hat or earphones can exacerbate any pre-existing hair loss, by blocking oxygen and blood flow to the hair follicles. This increases the chances of developing traction alopecia. It can also be present in beards if they are twisted too tightly. Age can also be a factor, due to our hair follicles getting weaker as we get older.

How to prevent traction alopecia?

A simple way to prevent traction alopecia from starting or getting worse is to wear your hair down. This will relieve any stress that is being caused to your hair follicles.

Some other ways you can prevent it include:

  • Changing up your hairstyle every now and again
  • Avoiding any harsh chemicals
  • Avoid using elastic bands on the hair
  • Only wear extensions for short periods of time
  • Don’t use hair relaxers
  • Don’t overheat your hair

If preventing traction alopecia is no longer an option and you require a hair transplant alternative, make sure you arrange a consultation with Crown Clinic today.

How to treat permanent traction alopecia?

If you are showing signs of permanent traction alopecia, it’s important that you know and understand your options for how to treat it. Arranging a consultation with Crown Clinic is the best way to get quality advice from a team of trained professionals.

We provide trusted FUE and FUT hair transplants if you feel as though your traction alopecia is affecting your everyday life. We also offer scalp micropigmentation and a number of hair loss products that could help.

Hair loss advice and more with Crown Clinic

For more information on hair loss and how you can prevent it, check out our most recent blogs. You can also view our case studies to see how much our patients recommend our hair transplants.

Talk to us about your hair loss today with a consultation at Crown Clinic. We’ll walk you through the treatments on offer at our world-renowned clinic, performed by our highly regarded surgeon, Dr. Asim Shahmalak. Our FUT and FUE transplants may be just the thing for your hair loss concerns as they can help to rebuild your confidence once again.