My question to Doc Alexander:
What is traction alopecia? Have you encountered cases of this type of hair loss that does not have a medical basis?
Does excessive pulling on hair such as with the use of braids and weaves have a negative impact on scalp and hair health?
Can the treatment for hair loss improve hairline loss of this type?
Here’s what our resident hair guru had to say:
Yes, traction alopecia certainly does exist. Often, the genetic recession seen in the temple areas of women with ethnic hair is mistaken for traction alopecia, which is not the case.
True traction alopecia can occur in anyone who puts lengthy excessive strain on their hair follicles or roots. This can be caused by braiding, weaving or hair extensions used in excess over a period of time.
Eventually, through continuous pulling of the hair, the follicle will become damaged and may never again be able to produce a healthy hair. In cases such as these, no medical treatment will work as the follicle has suffered permanent damage. Hair transplantation can be attempted but may only yield limited success.
I remember once treating a young lady, who throughout her high school career had tied her hair extremely tightly back into a ponytail. Subsequently, this young lady lost all of the hair on the sides of her head and it could never be resurrected to grow back despite using the most advanced medical treatment available.
I think that the solution to the problem of traction alopecia is for it to be prevented from occurring in the first place.
There it is ladies. You can prevent traction alopecia. Do so because you cannot treat it or cure it.