How to Minimize Traumatic and Traction Alopecia
Most people who experience hair loss are at the mercy of their genes. Male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia are hereditary conditions and the most common reasons for hair loss. While we can effectively address these conditions through hair transplant surgery, medication, and other treatments, we can’t (yet) change the genes that cause hair loss in the first place. But some problems with shedding and loss are based on our behavior rather than our genes. Traumatic and traction alopecia are hair loss conditions that can arise because of the way we treat our hair. That also means we can minimize hair loss from such conditions by changing our behavior.
What is Traumatic and Traction Alopecia?
If you put lots of stress and strain on your body, it is going to do some damage, even temporarily. You stay out in the sun too long unprotected, you will get sunburn. If you run a marathon, your muscles are going to ache (to say the least). If you try to lift a heavy object the wrong way, you could throw out your back. And if you apply constant tension to your hair follicles, those follicles will eventually experience damage, weaken, and ultimately die and fall out. This is traction alopecia.
5 Traction Alopecia Behaviors to Avoid
Traction alopecia is most often the result of hairstyles which pull hear to the breaking point, though some cases of traction alopecia are caused by a psychological disorder involving repetitive and compulsive behavior. The five main cause of traction alopecia are:
- Wearing unnecessarily tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids for a long period of time.
- Trichotillomania, a mental disorder characterized by incessant (and often unconscious) hair twisting, plucking, or pulling.
- Hairstyles that require hair to be tightly wound for a prolonged period.
- Hairpieces and weaves that must be affixed / clipped to the hair.
- Helmets, particularly compression-helmets like those worn while playing football, snowboarding, skiing, horseback riding, etc.
Change Your Ways to Minimize Traction Alopecia
Change isn’t always easy, but changing behavior which leads directly to hair loss is the best way to minimize shedding and hair loss due to traumatic or traction alopecia. For example, if you wear braids, try making them less tight and taking them out at night. If you unconsciously twist and pull on your hair, you may need to explore the triggers or reasons you do so and/or seek professional help you modify this behavior.
Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today
While changing the conduct which causes traction alopecia can prevent further hair loss and damage to your follicles, restoring the hair you’ve already lost may require treatment by a hair loss physician. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we know how to help men and women restore their hair and their confidence no matter what the underlying cause of their hair loss.
To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.