The Dangers of Traction Alopecia

Trac­tion alope­cia is a con­di­tion where dam­aged hair fol­li­cles can­not grow hair. traction alopecia caused by hair extensions The fol­li­cles enter a dor­mant state and the hair they had been grow­ing falls out over time, leav­ing bald patches on the exposed scalp. In minor cases this leads to patch bald­ing in only the worst affected areas.

More devel­oped cases can result in com­plete, or near-complete, hair loss. When this hap­pens, it is impor­tant to iden­tify the cause and work to remove it. When the scalp has time to repair the dam­age to hair fol­li­cles, they will often begin to grow hair again. The length of time the heal­ing process takes will of course vary depend­ing on the extent of the dam­age at the time the stres­sors are removed, but the body is a remark­able heal­ing machine and the hair will even­tu­ally grow back.

Causes of Trac­tion Alopecia

Trac­tion alope­cia has a num­ber of causes. One major fac­tor is dam­age to the hair fol­li­cles, often caused by con­tin­ued pulling on hair strands. Wear­ing hair exten­sions exac­er­bates the prob­lem because not only are the exten­sions them­selves con­stantly pulling on the hair root but the method of attach­ing the exten­sions adds pres­sure too.

In addi­tion to dam­aged hair fol­li­cles through pulling, stress on the scalp can lead to hair loss. Scalp stress comes about through con­stant rub­bing, which occurs Track weave hair extensions are notorious for causing traction alopecia or thinning hair most often when tight hats are worn on a reg­u­lar basis. Hard hats, cycle hel­mets and crash hel­mets are all scalp stres­sors because their close fit causes rub­bing that even­tu­ally leads to inflammation.

All hair fol­li­cles go through a growth cycle that involves a three-month tel­o­gen or rest phase. After the tel­o­gen phase is over, hair growth resumes. Dam­aged hair fol­li­cles are unable to exit the tel­o­gen phrase and instead end up going into dor­mancy. This is the point when trac­tion alope­cia becomes vis­i­ble, as dor­mant hair fol­li­cles cause vis­i­ble bald patches.

Stress Hair Loss

When the body is stressed, this can cause hair fol­li­cles to enter the tel­o­gen phase of the growth cycle. When trac­tion alope­cia is present, the hair fol­li­cles are deformed and can­not leave the rest phase. As a result, stress hair loss is a sig­nif­i­cant problem.

Some esti­mates put the num­ber of fol­li­cles that enter the rest phase at up to 70 per­cent of active hair cells; mean­ing the results could be highly vis­i­ble. Hair falls out of the scalp after the fol­li­cles have been in the rest phase for three months, but in the major­ity of cases this is per­fectly natural.

You will notice the occa­sional hair falling out here and there but each hair is at a dif­fer­ent stage in the growth cycle so you should retain a healthy head of hair despite a few strands falling out here and there. When you have dam­aged hair fol­li­cles that can­not begin hair growth again, bald patches start to appear. This in turn can lead to more stress, and the cycle repeats itself.

How to Avoid the Dangers

The sim­plest method of avoid­ing hair loss is to recog­nise the causes of trac­tion alope­cia and avoid them. Style your hair in a way that allows it to hang loosely. Avoid wear­ing a tight-fitting hat as often as pos­si­ble, so you do not have some­thing rub­bing against the scalp all the time. Sim­i­larly, wash your hair with sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers that do not inflame the scalp or cause itch­ing, as this will stop you scratch­ing. Scratch­ing is a major cause of dam­age to hair follicles.

If you must wear hair exten­sions, do so only on occa­sion and allow your hair a good two to three months recov­ery time after wear­ing them. When you tie your hair back in a pony­tail, make sure it is a loose pony­tail so the pres­sure on the crown is not as high. Avoid tight braid­ing, espe­cially when it is close to the hair­line for stitch­ing hair exten­sions into.

By recog­nis­ing the causes of trac­tion alope­cia and adjust­ing your hair care regime to avoid them, you have a far greater chance of pre­vent­ing hair loss. Where hair loss does occur, know­ing the causes is an impor­tant first step in the recov­ery process. Recov­er­ing from hair loss can take months or even a cou­ple of years but when your scalp is given the time to heal with­out new stres­sors being intro­duced, you will see the hair grow back nat­u­rally. The recov­ery time can how­ever be short­ened by using for­mu­la­tions that are effec­tive in stim­u­lat­ing hair growth.

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