In fact, one-third of women of African descent are affected. The term alopecia means hair loss. Traction alopecia refers to hair loss caused by repeatedly pulling on your hair. Generally, regularly wearing your hair in tight ponytails or buns can cause traction alopecia. The prevalence of traction alopecia remains high in communities that practice tight braiding of the hair, especially, when chemical treatments are applied to straighten hair of naturally curly hair. In this blog, we will discuss some common questions about traction alopecia. Read on to learn more.

What Is Traction Alopecia?

What Is Traction Alopecia?

Traction alopecia, a form of acquired hair loss that results from prolonged or repetitive tension on the scalp hair, can be caused by wearing the same tight hairstyle for long periods of time, especially those that tug on the hair, for example, tight extension braids can cause traction alopecia. Repeated strain on the hair follicles can pull out strands of hair and even damage the follicles, which often causes redness, itching, and even pus-producing ulcers or infections.

What Is Traction Alopecia?

What Are The Signs Of Traction Alopecia?

Early on, you may notice small pimples red or white little bumps on your scalp where the hair is pulled most tightly. As the condition progresses, you will see symmetric hair loss first. The hair loss is usually most noticeable around the hairline, and the main symptom is missing and broken hair.

What Is Traction Alopecia?

Plus, there are some other symptoms of traction alopecia including redness of the scalp, itchiness, scaling, folliculitis, soreness of the scalp, and pus-filled blisters on your scalp. Initially, traction alopecia is temporary, but if your daily hairstyling habits are unchanged, the hair follicles will be too damaged and scarred to grow new hair. Eventually, the hair loss may become permanent.

What Is Traction Alopecia?

How To Treat Traction Alopecia?

In the early stages, the best traction alopecia treatment is to eliminate any hairstyles that pull on the hair and to wear hair in loose styles, especially overnight. We will list some other treatments for traction alopecia below.

  • Antibiotics to prevent infection in any open sores.
  • Use anti-inflammatories. Steroid creams can help reduce swelling on the scalp.
  • Change hairstyles every few weeks to prevent strain on the same area of the scalp.
  • Avoid chemical damage. The scalp suffering from traction alopecia is extremely fragile, the chemicals will aggravate the damage. So you’d better avoid chemical damage, including relaxers.
  • Try hair growth products. Around 40 percent of trusted sources of people using a minoxidil product regrow some hair after 3 to 6 months, but avoid it if your scalp is red or inflamed.
  • Once traction alopecia scarring, the signs of permanent traction alopecia, are present, hair transplantation may be one of the few available options.

Many people question that: can traction alopecia be reversed? To treat traction alopecia, see a dermatologist. The doctor will examine your scalp and take a sample of tissue called a biopsy to look for other possible causes of hair loss. Traction alopecia can be reversed if you treat it in time and stick to the regimen your dermatologist suggests. If it means you have to lay off t

How To Prevent Traction Alopecia?

If you have found the early traction alopecia signs, it is time to start following good hair styling habits to prevent further damage to the hair follicles. Here are some common practices to prevent traction alopecia:

  • Change your hair hairstyle. Stop your tight styling habits and try moderate-risk hairstyles such as loose ponytails, loose braids, wigs with satin or cotton wig caps, etc.
  • Leave your hair down instead of high and avoid making a tight or twisted bun.
  • Avoid heat rollers or other accessories that can put pressure on the hair follicle.
  • Never wear them overnight.
  • Wear weaves or extensions for only a short period of time and take a break between each use.
  • Keep the heat setting low on your hair dryer and flat iron or just avoid it.
  • Wear right wig caps made up of skin-friendly material such as satin or cotton to minimize friction on the scalp
  • When you pull your hair into a ponytail, don’t use rubber or elastic bands to hold it in place. They can pull out your hair.

Prevent Traction Alopecia


In conclusion, Traction alopecia is reversible if you treat it at the right time. Consequently, it would help if you tried to prevent traction alopecia in your daily life. Besides, we also list some treatments for traction alopecia you can do at home. If you continue styling your hair the same way, the hair loss can be permanent. But we recommend that if your scalp has been damaged badly due to traction alopecia, don’t hesitate and go to see a doctor at once.