Traction alopecia

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by repeated pulling or tension on the hair follicles. This pulling can damage the follicles, eventually leading to hair loss. It’s most commonly seen in people who wear tight hairstyles for extended periods, such as tight ponytails, braids, cornrows, or dreadlocks. Chemical treatments and heat styling can worsen the condition.

Tight hairstyles (ponytails, braids, cornrows, dreadlocks, weaves)
Chemical hair treatments (relaxers, perms)
Heat styling (straighteners, curling irons)
Hair extensions that put tension on the scalp

Traction alopecia has been recognized for over a century. It was first described in Greenland in 1907, where tight ponytails were linked to hair loss along the hairline.

The key to treating traction alopecia is to stop wearing tight hairstyles. Once the pulling stops, hair follicles can often recover and hair growth can resume. In some cases, topical medications like minoxidil might be helpful. However, if the hair follicles are permanently damaged, hair loss may be permanent.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for general knowledge only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.