Traction alopecia is simply a form of hair loss that happens gradually when hair is pulled to the same direction over a long period of time. This is the most common type of hair loss that I have come across and the good thing is that it can be prevented or cured if your hair follicles are not fully damaged.
As seen in the image above , I suffered traction Alopecia for a very long time especially around my hairline and even after I started taking better care of my hair, it took about two years to grow it back .
( ps Genetically, I have very fine hair especially around my hairline so it can never be as thick as the next person’s)
If you have grown up in an African home, manipulation like tight braids and cornrows and the many visits to the salon is not new to you. It is kind of the story of our lives. We have as a result failed to realize when it is too much and hence many of us have suffered from self inflicted hair loss also known as Traction Alopecia.
So in case you have been wondering what is causing your baldness especially around your hairline, this could be why:
CAUSES OF TRACTION ALOPECIA
- Tight hairstyles
When you install braids, high buns or just any hairstyle that is too tight and brings tension on your scalp and hairline, then this is what is causing your hair loss, I know for a fact that I was a victim of this.
- Hair extensions
Weaves and wigs can be a great protective style but if installed wrongly, it causes strains around your hairline so this definitely something you want to watch out for.
- Head wraps and bands
Tight helmets, metal elastic bands, metal clips, rubber bands etc, all these tend to pull hair or clip hair and so we should avoid them as much as possible.
Relaxers can work to your disadvantage if not done properly, if left in for long, if done too much and if you do not take care of your hair while you have it.
Using color wrong (Maybe seek professional help when it comes to this.) can be damaging to your hair and can cause bad hair loss. I remember I once bought color for 50 bob (What was I thinking?) and colored my hair and kept it in for the whole afternoon, You can guess what happened, I went bald! 🙂
- Too much heat
Too much heat is damaging to your hair and causes thinning, avoid a lot of heat.
SYMPTOMS OF TRACTION ALOPECIA
- small bumps on the scalp
- soreness and stinging
- itching and redness
All these happen on the affected area.
HOW TO CURE OR PREVENT TRACTION ALOPECIA
- Change your hairstyles more often
There is a notion that has been going around since time immemorial that the longer you stay with your hairstyle, the longer your hair grows. I remember falling victim of this myth years back and it most definitely ruined my hair. when you stay with braids or weaves etc for long, it continues to pull your hair causing destruction. Also, your hair needs frequent deep treatment and by staying in with braids for long, it denies you direct access to your hair and this may cause breakage.
- Avoid tight styles
This is for obvious reasons, tight hairstyles pull your hair out so avoid them. Avoid high buns as well they strain your hairline.
- Avoid elastic metal bands and rubber bands that pull hair.
Hairbands that have metal parts often gets tangled with your hair and breakage will happen when you try to pull them apart . Need I say that rubber bands have the same effect on hair strands.
- Avoid a lot of heat if so use low heat setting
Too much Heat causes thinning, You will be surprised by how much dense your hair will grow when you start to avoid blow dryers, hot combs, flat irons , curl iron etc . I have not used heat for a very long time now and my hair has never ever been this healthy. Minimizing on the heat will see you say goodbye to traction alopecia.
- Use satin pillow case
When we sleep , especially if you toss and turn a lot, it can cause damage to our hair if not covered . Using a satin scarf or a satin pillow case can prevent this and can also keep hair from drying out.
- Massage affected area with healing natural oils
Black castor oil is great, I hear tee tree oil is healing as well. Use natural oils to massage your scalp everyday. This in conjunction with other healthy habits will help restore or prevent hair loss. I have used black castor oil and have seen a great difference.
- Learn to do your own hair
I have not come across a hairdresser who knows how to handle natural hair (Don’t quote me on this, Maybe there are some, I just haven’t met one) all I know is that I had to learn to do my own hair, thanks to youtube. Hairdressers are partly to blame for your alopecia and you are partly to blame as well for not speaking up. If you cannot do your own hair, speak up when the installations are too tight or if you do not acknowledge what they are doing . I see people suffer in silence, sleeping or smiling is a pandemonium three days after their braids have been installed. If you cannot speak up , maybe master the art of doing your own hair, it will save you from hair loss and it will save you some coins as well Kaching!! Kaching!!
I hope you found this post helpful, I hope these tips will help salvage your hairline because God knows we need to lay down ‘them edges.’