Traction alopecia can strike anyone at any age. It causes patches of baldness on otherwise healthy scalps due to damaged hair follicles. Just because traction alopecia has struck does not mean hair loss has to be permanent, however. You can recover from traction alopecia by changing how you style your hair, eating a more healthy diet, and practicing good haircare. When applied correctly, the results are spectacular.
What Causes Traction Alopecia?
There are many causes of traction alopecia, ranging from pulling on the hair follicles to damage to the scalp caused by constant rubbing. The end result is always the same however: the hair follicles become misshapen and they enter a dormant phase. Thankfully it is possible to stimulate hair growth again and recover the lost hair.
Scalp inflammation puts pressure on the hair follicles and causes them to become misshapen. The scalp becomes inflamed for many reasons, such as constant rubbing from a tight hat (hard hats worn in the workplace are well known for this) or even a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.
Meanwhile, pressure can be exerted directly on the hair follicles themselves. Tight braiding pulls on the hair roots, causing an incredible amount of damage to hair follicles that are put under intense stress. Wearing hair extensions, especially when they are fastened in using a stitched method, and tying your hair in a tight ponytail are both notorious causes of traction alopecia.
Massage the scalp to stimulate blood flow in the damaged area. If you are uncomfortable with someone massaging your hair, consider gently brushing your hair with a natural-bristle brush instead. This has a similar effect to a massage and will help to encourage blood flow back to the dormant follicles.
In addition to the causes of traction alopecia discussed above, there is also the issue of stress. It has long been understood that extreme stress can cause hair loss, and patchy baldness is stressful in and of itself. As a result, the stress of hair loss combines with the original reason the hair fell out, creating a vicious and self-sustaining circle of misery.
Recovering from traction alopecia takes time and patience. Nobody can tell you for certain how long it will take for you to repair the damage to hair follicles caused by traction alopecia, but estimates are possible. On average, a mild case of hair loss will take a few months to re-grow once the hair follicles can be coaxed back into operation; whilst a more severe case can take up to a couple of years.
The process can be speeded up somewhat, with modern remedies having been proven to stimulate hair growth earlier than in sufferers who simply let nature take its course. Which hair stimulation method works best for you will depend on your personal circumstances but each method has a proven track record, so it is a good idea to try out a couple and see how you go.
How to Stimulate Hair Growth
Whatever techniques you try, the first thing sufferers should do is use scalp exfoliating lotion followed by a deep conditioning treatment. This will clear away any excess serum on the scalp and hair follicles, which mixes with dirt and dead skin cells to create a layer of grime that sticks to the scalp. This is a breeding ground for bacteria and it will cause inflammation of the scalp; which hinders recovery.
The deep conditioning treatment will then restore nutrients to the hair, improving strength and making the hair easier to style without excess hair products.
Once this is done, look to improve your diet, to ensure you are getting enough protein, iron, zinc, and selenium. Protein is a major component both in hair itself, where it forms keratin and gives your hair strength, but also in the body’s growth and repair process. Without enough protein and the right amino acids, your body can’t heal the damage to your scalp.
Next consider using a hair growth oil such as Bhringaraj oil (eclpita alba), which studies in 2009 demonstrated helps speed
up the recovery process significantly. Rubbing ointment containing eclipta alba on the damaged areas of the scalp helps stimulate hair growth and brings the hair follicles back out of the dormant phase.
By combining the various techniques for restoring lost hair, you will begin to see results quickly. Remember that once the hair has grown back in, you have to ensure you continue to take care of it. Do not overload the hair follicles with tight hairstyles that pull on the follicles; or by wearing hair extensions all the time. Give your hair time to recover after every severe hairstyle you use and you will find hair loss is a thing of the past.