Traction Alopecia

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What is Traction Alopecia?

Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia, or mechanical damage to the hair follicle results in hair loss, caused by repeated tension or pulling.



Traction alopecia can be caused by wearing the same hairstyle for long periods of time.

Hairstyles tugging on the hair such as braids, weaves, cornrows, tight pony-tails, heavy locks, hair rollers,etc.are common culprits; the constant pulling on the hair causes loosening of the hair from the follicles.

Early on, you may notice small flesh colored or white bumps around hair follicles where the hair is pulled most tightly. Other symptoms on the scalp may include redness and tenderness.

The prolonged inflammation and repeated hair tension may lead to gradual hair loss most noticeable along the hairline.


Initially, traction alopecia is temporary, but if tight hairstyling habits are unchanged, the hair loss may become permanent.

Early stages: limit or eliminate any hairstyles that pull on the hair. Wear hair in loose styles (especially overnight).

Reduce the amount of chemicals and heat used during styling.

Treat scalp tenderness, bumps or inflammation with topical antibiotics or topical corticosteroids.

Moderate to severe stages: oral antibiotics, injected corticosteroids, or topical minoxidil may be necessary. The best treatment of traction alopecia is prevention.

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