Hair Loss – Traction Alopecia Only One of Many Types

Many peo­ple are plagued by the embar­rass­ment of hair loss.  This prob­lem doesn’t limit it self just to one gen­der but rather can present in both males and females and can do so at almost any­time in your life­time.  Most of the types of hair loss have causes that are out of our con­trol – such as genet­ics, med­ica­tions we must take for other health sit­u­a­tions and other health con­di­tions.  But there are a few that we can affect some con­trol.  Trac­tion Alope­cia is one of them.

Sim­ple Def­i­n­i­tion of Condition

Trac­tion alope­cia, sim­ply defined, means stress hair loss.  When the hair shaft is tightly pulled and secured, it cre­ates scalp stress and poten­tial dam­age to the hairThinning hair caused by tight hair style fol­li­cle.  The excess ten­sion placed on the hair shaft by tightly braided corn rows, pig­tails or other tightly woven hair styles can, over time, loosen the hold by the hair fol­li­cle on the hair shaft and cause it to be shed pre­ma­turely. If the hair shaft is shed too many times, it will not grow back.

Other Causes of This Type of Hair Loss

Dam­age to the hair fol­li­cle can also occur when we over use col­or­ing dyes, bleach­ing solu­tions, per­ma­nent wave solu­tions and straight­en­ers with­out regard to the health of our hair fol­li­cle.  Over styling with blow dry­ers, flat irons and the like can also cause dam­age to the hair fol­li­cle and the hair shaft cuti­cle (the outer layer of the hair shaft).  When this hap­pens, the hair appears dry and dull and brit­tle, break­ing off easily.

Other Types of Hair Loss

Trac­tion alope­cia is by no means the only type of hair loss, though it is one over which we have some con­trol.  Cer­tain med­ica­tions can cause hair loss.  These med­ica­tions include, but are not lim­ited to, anti clot­ting drugs, cho­les­terol low­er­ing drugs, non-steroidal anti inflam­ma­tory drugs (NSAIDS), drugs for menopause and birth con­trol as well as antibi­otics.  Gen­er­ally speak­ing, for most of these med­ica­tions, when the drug is dis­con­tin­ued, the hair gen­er­ally grows back.  How­ever, this is not a guar­an­tee in all cases.

If you take any of these med­ica­tions, and you are expe­ri­enc­ing unex­plained hair loss, con­sult with your med­ical doc­tor to see if any of these med­ica­tions could be the cause.  If so, do not stop them on your own but work with your doc­tor to find a more suit­able substitute.


Genet­ics is prob­a­bly the most com­mon cause of hair loss in both men and women.  If you are los­ing your hair or have thin­ning hair, look at your fam­ily mem­bers and past gen­er­a­tions to see if there is a sim­i­lar­ity.  If so, you will likely have no con­trol over the thin­ning hair you are expe­ri­enc­ing.  You may wish to look into the var­i­ous hair replace­ment options.

Here is a list of other hair loss or thin­ning hair causes, most of which are out of our control:

As you can see, some of the above causes are con­trol­lable while oth­ers are not.  The dis­eases and autoim­mune dis­or­ders, chemother­apy drugs and radi­a­tion expo­sure, poi­sons and the hair loss after child­birth are the ones that we will have the least amount of con­trol in regard to pre­ven­tion or mod­i­fi­ca­tion.  We do have choices in the areas of nutri­tional defi­cien­cies, stress and phys­i­cal trauma to the scalp.  Hair loss can be a seri­ous issue on lev­els more than just phys­i­cal appear­ance.  Don’t let unex­plained hair loss go unad­dressed by your med­ical doctor.

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