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If you've noticed thinning or bald spots on your scalp, it could be a sign of traction alopecia. Don't ignore the signs, learn more here.

Hair Loss Alert: Don’t Ignore the Signs of Traction Alopecia

Table of Contents

TL:DR Summary

  • What is Traction Alopecia? A type of hair loss caused by pulling or tension on the hair.
  • What causes Traction Alopecia? Tight hairstyles, harsh chemicals, or heat styling that damage the hair follicles.
  • What are the signs of Traction Alopecia? Short or broken hairs, receding hairline, scalp redness, tenderness, or itching.
  • Can Traction Alopecia be reversed? Yes, if detected early and treated properly by changing hairstyles, using gentle products, and taking supplements.
  • How to treat Traction Alopecia? Medication, laser therapy, microneedling, or hair transplant surgery may help in severe cases.
  • How to prevent Traction Alopecia? Adopt a healthy hair care routine, avoid tight or stressful hairstyles, and nourish your hair and scalp with natural remedies.
Differences Between Alopecia Areata & Androgenetic Alopecia
Traction Alopecia Causes and Treatment

Introduction to Traction Alopecia

Many people style their hair not only to look presentable. Nevertheless, several of the hairdos we choose may damage actually our hair and scalp, and lead to what we term as Traction Alopecia! One report without a doubt validates that some hairstyles can harm your hair follicles, leading to a progressive loss of hair– traction alopecia, likewise a hair shedding condition also referred to as Traction Alopecia. In this article, we are going to explain what is Traction Alopecia in Singapore and how Singaporeans can prevent this hair loss condition.

Hair loss is a prevalent problem among Asians. According to a survey conducted by Wellaholic in Singapore in 2022, around 44% of respondents cited hair loss as their top beauty concern.

What is Traction Alopecia?

What is traction alopecia and who does it affect?

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that happens when your hair is pulled too hard or too often, causing damage to your hair roots and follicles. It can make your hair fall out in patches, especially around the edges of your scalp. Here are some of the things you need to know about traction alopecia and who it affects.

Causes of traction alopecia.

Traction alopecia is caused by repeated or prolonged pulling or tension on your hair. This can be due to wearing tight hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, buns, dreadlocks, or extensions. It can also be due to using harsh chemicals or heat on your hair, such as bleaching, dyeing, curling, or straightening. These practices can weaken your hair and make it more prone to breakage and loss.

Who is affected by traction alopecia?

Traction alopecia can affect anyone who pulls their hair too tightly or too often. However, it is more common among certain groups of people, such as:

  • Women of African descent: This group is estimated to have a one-third chance of developing traction alopecia due to their cultural preference for braided or weaved hairstyles that put a lot of stress on their hair.
  • Men and women of Asian origin: This group may also experience traction alopecia due to their tendency to have straight, dark hair that contrasts with their scalp and makes any hair loss more noticeable. They may also wear tight hairstyles such as buns or ponytails that pull on their hair.
  • Other groups: Traction alopecia may also affect other groups of people who wear tight hairstyles for religious, cultural, or professional reasons. For example, Sikh men who wear turbans, ballet dancers who wear buns, or athletes who wear helmets may also experience traction alopecia.
The weight of excessively long hair- if hairs are long and tightly tied they too might cause traction alopecia below the chin

What are the causes of Traction Alopecia

Not every lady can to these beauty salon horror tales certainly, however that doesn’t imply they are risk-free from traction alopecia. This kind of hair loss is frequently self-inflicted as well as may be triggered by:

Essentially what these hairstyling procedures do is produce traction. When this occurs repetitively, as well as for a long term duration, inflammation creates around the hair origin, as well as the hair shaft ends up being loosened in its roots. Ultimately, the hair might wind up falling out in clumps, which can lead to adverse effects and psychological effects to your well-being. 

as time passes, and the traction to the hair continues, you will start to see reddish and scarred skin, which is also tied to the loss of hair density and thinning hair

What are the signs that you are suffering from Traction Alopecia?

The loss of hair is a gradual one, and the damage from this hair loss is usually collective. It might take a while prior to the symptoms end up being noticeable. Nonetheless, the following signs might be indicative of traction alopecia:

  • Several short or broken hairs around your hairline or in position where your hair is under substantial strain
  • A declining hairline particularly on the temples, temple or neck
  • Scalp redness, tenderness, irritability, or itching over a period of time
  • Little small pimples which you can notice on the scalp
  • Sudden hair loss, especially patchy hair loss for all forms of hair 

Initially, traction alopecia doesn’t trigger scarring. Nonetheless as time passes, and the traction to the hair continues, you will start to see reddish and scarred skin, which is also tied to the loss of hair density and thinning hair. Traction alopecia symptoms might vary from person to person. A person’s hair care methods primarily identify them. The problem most frequently impacts the sides (temporal) and also front (frontal) of the scalp. This has actually led to the description of the fringe sign as a helpful marker of this kind of hair loss or alopecia.

if traction alopecia is left without treatment, and also the roots is put under continuous stress, irreparable damages occurs

Can Traction Alopecia be reversed?

How traction alopecia damages your hair and how to prevent it

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that happens when you pull your hair too hard or too often. It can damage your hair roots and follicles and cause permanent hair loss if not treated early. Here are some of the things you need to know about how traction alopecia damages your hair and how to prevent it.

The stages of traction alopecia

Traction alopecia can damage your hair in different stages, depending on how long and how often you pull your hair. The stages are:

  • Traction folliculitis: This is the first stage of traction alopecia, where you may notice small bumps or pimples on your scalp. These are signs of inflammation and infection in your hair follicles, caused by the pulling stress on your hair. You may also feel some pain or itching on your scalp.
  • Hair thinning: This is the second stage of traction alopecia, where you may notice that your hair is becoming thinner or weaker. This is because the pulling stress on your hair is causing some of your hair follicles to stop producing new hair or to produce thinner and shorter hair. You may also see more hair falling out than usual.
  • Hair loss: This is the third stage of traction alopecia, where you may notice that you have bald patches or receding hairline on your scalp. This is because the pulling stress on your hair has caused permanent damage to your hair follicles, and they can no longer grow new hair. You may also have scarring or fibrosis on your scalp, which can make it harder for new hair to grow.

How can you treat Traction Alopecia?

The best way to prevent traction alopecia is to avoid pulling or tugging on your hair too hard or too often. Some of the things you can do to prevent traction alopecia include:

  • Choosing loose or gentle hairstyles that do not put too much tension on your hair, such as braids, ponytails, buns, or dreadlocks. You can also change your hairstyle frequently to avoid putting stress on the same areas of your scalp.
  • Using soft or natural materials for your hair accessories, such as rubber bands, clips, pins, or combs. You can also avoid using harsh chemicals or heat on your hair, such as bleaching, dyeing, curling, or straightening.
  • Taking good care of your scalp and hair by washing them regularly with mild shampoo and conditioner. You can also massage your scalp with oil or moisturizer to improve blood circulation and nourish your hair follicles.

How to treat traction alopecia by changing your hairstyle

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that happens when you pull your hair too hard or too often. It can damage your hair roots and follicles and cause permanent hair loss if not treated early. One of the main ways to treat traction alopecia is to change your hairstyle and give your hair a break from any pulling or tugging. Here are some of the things you can do to treat traction alopecia by changing your hairstyle.

Avoid tight or harsh hairstyles.

Another way to treat traction alopecia is to avoid hairstyles that pull or tug on your hair too hard or too often. These include tight or harsh hairstyles such as cornrows, weaves, extensions, or tight buns or ponytails. You can also avoid using harsh chemicals or heat on your hair, such as bleaching, dyeing, curling, or straightening. These practices can weaken your hair and make it more prone to breakage and loss.

Cut your hair short.

Another way to treat traction alopecia is to cut your hair short. This can help reduce the weight and tension on your hair and make it easier to manage and style. Cutting your hair short can also help improve the appearance of your hair and make any thinning or balding less noticeable. However, you should consult with a hairstylist before cutting your hair short, as some styles may suit your face shape and personality better than others.

Microneedling for hair loss works by triggering the body's natural healing response. When the scalp is injured, it releases growth factors that stimulate hair growth

You can treat Traction Alopecia with Microneedling for Scalp

From a first-person perspective, I find microneedling for the scalp an intriguing and innovative approach to treat traction alopecia. The process involves using fine needles to create micro-injuries on the scalp. This might sound daunting, but it’s a minimally invasive procedure.

These micro-injuries stimulate the body’s natural wound healing processes, leading to the regeneration of hair follicles. Additionally, this process can enhance the absorption of topical treatments, making them more effective.

Key aspects to consider include:

My experience has taught me that while microneedling can be an effective treatment for traction alopecia, it’s essential to approach it as part of a broader hair care strategy. This includes addressing any underlying causes of the hair stress and ensuring proper hair and scalp care.

Customer Success Story 1

Meet our first customer, a gentleman who embarked on his hair regrowth journey with Wellaholic in March. Over the course of eight months, he experienced a transformation that was nothing short of remarkable.

In the before photos taken in March, you can clearly see the areas of thinning and hair loss. However, as the months passed and he continued with his HairGrow 3X treatments, the change became evident. The after photos taken in November show a significant increase in hair density and coverage.

This customer’s journey is a testament to the effectiveness of Wellaholic’s hair regrowth treatments. His commitment to the treatment plan and our expertise combined to create a success story that speaks volumes about the potential of our hair regrowth treatments. To read our customer success stories with before and after photos, click this link.

Here is the conclusion and key takeaways from this article by Wellaholic

Conclusion

In conclusion, drawing from my extensive experience interacting with clients facing hair loss issues, I’ve noticed a significant rise in cases of traction alopecia. This condition, often underestimated, stems from constant pulling or tension on hair strands, a common result of certain hairstyles like tight ponytails, braids, or the use of hair extensions.

From my conversations with these clients, I’ve gathered that early recognition and intervention are crucial. The moment you notice signs like receding hairlines, especially around the temples, or headaches from tightly styled hair, it’s time to reassess your hair care practices.

Scalp SOS: Gentle Care & Growth Hacks for Traction Alopecia

Moreover, through my ongoing research and discussions with fellow industry experts, I’ve learned that the path to recovery from traction alopecia involves a multifaceted approach. It’s not just about changing how you style your hair; it’s also about nurturing your scalp and follicles.

Gentle hair care routines, avoiding harsh chemicals, and considering treatments that stimulate hair growth can make a significant difference. Remember, traction alopecia is preventable and often reversible if caught early, so paying attention to the signs and taking prompt action is key to maintaining healthy, strong hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Traction Alopecia and Who Does It Affect?

Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by pulling or tension on the hair, often due to tight hairstyles, harsh chemicals, or heat styling. It’s a common concern in Singapore, particularly among Asians who have cited hair loss as a top beauty concern​​.

What are the Signs of Traction Alopecia?

The signs include short or broken hairs, receding hairline, scalp redness, tenderness, or itching. These symptoms result from damage to the hair roots and follicles due to prolonged pulling or tension​​.

Can Traction Alopecia be Reversed?

Yes, early detection and proper treatment, such as changing hairstyles, using gentle products, and taking supplements, can reverse traction alopecia. In severe cases, medication, laser therapy, microneedling, or hair transplant surgery may be necessary​​.

How Can Traction Alopecia be Prevented?

To prevent traction alopecia, adopt a healthy hair care routine, avoid tight or stressful hairstyles, and nourish your hair and scalp with natural remedies. Regularly washing with mild shampoo and conditioner and massaging the scalp with oil or moisturizer can also help​​.

What Treatment Does Wellaholic Offer for Traction Alopecia?

Wellaholic offers microneedling for the scalp, a treatment that uses tiny needles to create small wounds on the scalp, stimulating natural healing, collagen production, and blood vessel growth. This treatment can improve the health and growth of hair follicles and prevent further hair loss. Wellaholic also enhances the effectiveness of topical hair loss solutions like minoxidil 5%​​.

With over 8 years of experience in the aesthetics industry, I am passionate about enhancing beauty and wellness through innovative, science-based approaches. As the Aesthetic Director at Wellaholic, I am committed to delivering exceptional services that are tailored to each client's unique needs. My expertise spans across advanced skincare treatments, body sculpting, hair removal services, and nutritional supplements, all aimed at helping clients achieve their personal best.

Serene Chiam, Aesthetic Director

Serene Chiam, the Aesthetic Director at Wellaholic, an acclaimed Aesthetic Chain in Singapore, brings over a decade of expertise in the aesthetics industry. With a Bachelor of Health Science (Aesthetics) and CIDESCO certifications, she expertly combines scientific knowledge with practical skills. Serene is known for her personalized approach to beauty, ensuring each Wellaholic client’s journey is unique and transformative. Her significant contributions have been pivotal in establishing Wellaholic’s reputation for excellence in aesthetic wellness.

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Infographics: Successfully combat hair loss and stop hair loss today with HairGrow 3X, Scalp RF Microneedling, Minoxidil Scalp Booster and Low Level Laser Therapy, all offered exclusively at Wellaholic outlets.

Hair Loss Alert: Don’t Ignore the Signs of Traction Alopecia – Understanding Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Prevention Strategies

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