Traction alopecia is the result of damage to the scalp and the hair follicles it contains. The typical result of traction alopecia is bald patches where the follicles are too damaged to continue to grow hair. All is not lost however, as growing healthy hair is possible despite the stresses to the scalp.
A person with traction alopecia hair loss will need to change the way they treat their hair and their scalp in order to promote new hair growth. It should be noted at this point that hair replacement surgery is not the answer, as a regime of good hair care is enough to ease the inflammation of a stressed scalp and allow the follicles time to repair themselves.
When the follicles are well cared for and enough time has passed to allow the hair to grow again, sufferers of traction alopecia will find their pattern balding disappears on its own, without surgical intervention.
Traction Alopecia Recovery Time
The exact amount of time it will take to recover from traction alopecia is difficult to pin down. Everything depends on the extent of the damage, both in terms of the size of the bald spots and what condition your scalp is in. A mild case of hair loss can take only a few months to heal while more serious cases can take much longer.
The healing process can be improved by employing a few simple tricks and mild changes to your daily routine that will promote a healthier body.
Avoid Harsh Hair Products
The first step to growing healthy hair is to stop damaging the hair that is still growing. Many hair care products contain harsh chemicals such as sodium hydroxide. These chemicals break down the keratin molecules in your hair in order to make the hair straighter and easier to control. Unfortunately keratin is what gives your hair its strength, so breaking the bonds permanently weakens the hair; making it more likely to snap.
In addition, harsh chemicals irritate the skin on your scalp, causing itching and inflammation. When the scalp is inflamed, recovery time for traction alopecia increases. Avoid using hair care products until your hair grows back in, otherwise your stressed scalp will remain irritated and the healing process will be put on hold.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your scalp, like the rest of your body, needs certain vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy. You will also need plenty of protein, which both keeps the body healthy and is fundamental to the repair process. When traction alopecia occurs, it is because the hair follicles have become warped and unable to function correctly.
The follicle enters the dormant phase, making no new hair grown, and it does not come out of it until the follicle is repaired. A protein-rich diet helps to repair the damaged follicles by providing enough protein to repair the cells. Protein is also important to the production of growth hormone, which is used in both growth and repair, to orchestrate the healing process. As if that was not enough, protein is a major component of hair; as it is used in keratin.
Different parts of the body need different chemicals to do their jobs and the scalp is no exception. Consider taking supplements designed for hair growth and repair. These supplements contain chemicals such as iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium; which are all found in strong, healthy hair. In addition, many hair growth supplements contain biotin, a chemical known for increasing the length of time hair follicles remain in the growing, rather than dormant, phase.
Change Your Hair Style
Continuing to wear fancy hairstyles requiring lots of brushing, combing and pinning is one of the worst mistakes a person can make when trying to encourage new hair growth. As much as it may pain you to not style your hair in a way that covers up the areas of pattern balding, you have to avoid hair styles that hold the hair in place.
Choose a style that allows your hair to hang naturally, and that avoids stressing the scalp. Wear a head scarf if hair loss is significant, but wear it loosely so it does not put more pressure on the hair in the areas where it is tied off. Avoid excessive brushing or combing and, where possible, do not pull your hair back in a ponytail.
By eating a healthy diet, avoiding harsh chemicals and hair care products, and choosing a hair style that allows the hair to sit naturally, you will encourage your scalp to recover. It can take several months, or even a couple of years of growing healthy hair before your hair is fully recovered but it is time well spent. At the end of the process, you will have strong, natural hair without needing to resort to surgery.
Our 10-Step Prescription for Re-Growing Healthy Hair contains details on how to stimulate new hair growth. See sidebar on how to get the full program in our new e-book at no charge. Rest assured that your information will not be shared with anyone