Traction Alopecia and African American Women

Woman at the center. With text*IS THERE HELP FOR TRACTION ALOPECIA*

How Does Traction Alopecia Happen?

Walk into any African-American braid shop on any given day, and you’ll likely to find a number of women experiencing different stages of traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that happens when hair is pulled too tightly for an extended period of time.

Many African-American women favor long braids and soft, flowing extensions. While these styles may look glamorous, African-American women too often end up paying the price of beauty in the form of permanent hair loss.

What Leads to Traction Alopecia?

Some styles that can lead to traction alopecia are:

  • Braids.
  • Extensions.
  • Cornrows.
  • Tight ponytails or buns.
  • Weaves.

Typically, these styles involve putting too much tension on the natural hair while integrating it into the braid, extension or ponytail.

What Are the Symptoms of Traction Alopecia?

Excessive tension on the hair shaft and scalp can cause the following symptoms of traction alopecia:

  • Redness and itchiness of the scalp.
  • Bumps on the scalp.
  • Breakage of the hair shaft.
  • Recession of the natural hairline.
  • Sporadic patches of hair loss.

When Should You See a Doctor For Traction Alopecia?

If you’re experiencing the early symptoms of redness, itchiness and bumps, it’s not too late. You can take immediate measures to halt the progression of hair loss. Though it may require more frequent visits to the hair shop for touch-ups, wearing looser-fitting braids or extensions can help ease the tension on your scalp.

If you’re already experiencing hair loss, the damage may be permanent. While some women do see hair regrowth after forgoing tight braids and extensions for a period of time, many do not. But permanent hair loss doesn’t mean that you have to live the rest of your life with a receding hairline or bald patches.

Hair transplants have proven to be an effective and permanent solution to hair loss. The procedure has been around since the 1950s and has been continually developed and honed over the years to create a soft, natural appearance. Hair transplants are relatively painless and take between 4 and 8 hours to complete depending on the amount of hair being transplanted.

If the embarrassment of hair loss is something that you’ve been suffering with, don’t put off finding a solution any longer. Contact our office today, and let us help you get back to the natural beauty you were born with.