Thousands of people damage their hair by wearing styles that pull too tightly on their hair. Known as traction alopecia, this type of hair loss is caused by styles such as cornrows or simply tight ponytails, which can pull hair out by the roots and traumatize the hair follicles. Aside from loss of hair, traction alopecia can be characterized by red bumps, infections, papules and pustules. Thinning is first noticed at the hairline and wherever the hair is gathered, any place where hair is braided or otherwise pulled tightly.
Traction alopecia , unlike other forms of hair loss conditions, is not the result of age or genetics, so actually no one has to suffer from it. Traction Alopecia mainly affects African-American women. The condition seems to affect more and more young people. Good hair care does take time, but the final results are often worth it. You'll maintain a full head of healthy hair that's not damaged.
It is a treatable condition and in most cases it is reversible. Step one is to change your hairstyle to something looser. Step two is to address any skin infections that may linger. People who use hair relaxers and straightening irons need to stop it so the hair can grow back again. If the follicles are infected, antibiotics applied topically or taken orally may need to be used in combination with cortisone injections or creams. In some cases a temporary regimen of minoxidil might help to simulate hair growth .
Trimming the hair very short may help to establish a new style by allowing the damaged follicles to recover, but expect the process to take at least six months. A wig or other hair replacement system might be used to ease the transition. Using soft accessories and experimenting with new styles will reduce the damage from pulled hair loss.
You should never feel pain due to your style. If it hurts, it's an indication that your follicles are being pulled beyond what's safe for them. Once follicles are dead, it is hard to bring them back to life. Elastic ponytail holders with metal pieces are huge culprits in damaging children's hair. Too often, the hair is pulled too tightly in order to create a neat style. Year after year of tight ponytails, and possible relaxer use, leads to damage and hair loss in the very young. Instead of relying on these damaging elastics, try styles with pulled-back ponytails being more of an exception instead of the norm.
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