Hair loss can come in many different ways, but perhaps one of the most pervasive causes not brought about by genetics is a condition known as traction alopecia. In brief, this is caused by the hair follicle and dermal papilla sustaining damage from constant long-term pulling & tension on the hair.
Rather than being rooted in singular traumatic instances, then, it comes from light to moderate tension over years at a time. Those who usually wear their hair in braids or a bun, for instance, might find themselves suffering from this later in life if they don’t give their hair regular lengthy breaks. The condition is most common in African American patients who choose hairstyles like cornrows or braids, since the styles involve excessively tight braiding & a lack of opportunity for the hair to rest. Sikh men, who are required by their religion to keep their hair upright & constantly growing, also suffer from this issue disproportionately, since their code requires a pulled-back style that has no chance to come undone during the day.
Contrary to the most common types of hair loss, this variety is actually more common in younger adults & children, rather than older individuals. However, just because it happens in younger people with more, thicker hair doesn’t mean it has any less of an impact on their lives, though. In fact, hair loss can be especially damaging to a young person’s self esteem, since many of their peers will likely not be experiencing the same issue (unless they live in a community where many wear similar high-stress hairstyles).
Outside of actual pulling on the hair, chemical processing (like extensive dyeing, for example) can bring about this condition as well. Dyes, along with straighteners & bleaches, have a major impact on your hair’s keratin structure, and your hair becomes increasingly fragile to activities like combing & shampooing as the damage gets more extensive.
We don’t want to order you around on how you wear your hair, but we want you to be aware of the potential damage that can arise if you stick with these hairstyles for long periods of time. Unfortunately, if you don’t catch onto the condition developing until it’s in the later stages, permanent hair loss is likely to occur, and there are no procedures out there today that can reverse it. However, If you notice the condition developing early, and you make sure to stop wearing your hair in the styles that might’ve brought it about, it’s not too late by any means.
In fact, at Modena Hair Institute, with offices in Orange County, LA & Las Vegas, we’ve helped a wide range of people from all around the world tackle their traction alopecia. As Dr. Yazdan discussed after his examination of Countess Vaughn on The Doctors, not everything about the condition can be fixed in some cases, but the available solutions can serve to cover up other damages in the process. Countess describes dealing with discoloration & hair loss as a result of her traction alopecia, and while treatments taking care of the former need to be further developed, Dr. Yazdan points out that a FUE or FUT hair transplant procedure would restore her hairline & cover up the discoloration in turn.
As we mentioned earlier, though, this option is only available to people that discover the condition in the earlier stages. If you wear your hair in high-stress styles, or bleach & dye it on a regular basis, this is your wake-up call. You have sole authority over your hair, but you need to make sure you’re not abusing that power. Have some periods where you let your hair down & let it rest without chemical interference. Check your hairline on a regular basis to make sure you aren’t experiencing any stress-induced loss, looking to see how much hair gets caught in your comb as well, along with noting how much falls out in the shower.
If you’ve noticed the problem & you’re ready to find a solution, we’d like to invite you for a consultation. Dr. Yazdan, a board-certified physician & hair restoration surgeon, will sit down with you personally, examine your hairline, and walk you through every solution available. If you’re eligible, you’ll have the option to undergo a FUE or FUT hair transplant performed by Dr. Yazdan himself, rather than an assistant or technician (contrary to the case of many hair transplant clinics across the country). By the end of it, you’ll be well on your way to a natural hairline & full results within a matter of a few months.