Root Hair Institute


Did you know there are different types of alopecia that can lead to hair loss?

Androgenetic alopecia is, by far, the most common kind of alopecia (or hair loss). However, there are many other types of hair loss.

One type that is common in those who repeatedly wear their hair in tight or high tension hair styles is called traction alopecia. Unlike the other types of alopecia we just mentioned, this kind of alopecia is often caused by your specific approach to hair care.

The good news is that treating alopecia is possible regardless of which type you have. In the event you’re diagnosed with traction alopecia, a hair transplant may be an excellent option for you depending on how much hair you have lost and if the hair follicles are still in tact.

So, what is traction alopecia, and how can a hair transplant help with it? Continue reading to see what you can do when you have traction alopecia.

What Is Traction Alopecia?

As we just alluded to, traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that is a lot different than other types of alopecia. It isn’t typically caused by things like hormones.

Instead, traction alopecia develops when people put a lot of tension on their hair and their hair follicles over time. If you’ve worn your hair in a tight ponytail, braids, or other hair style that pulls on the hair for a long time, the tension on the hair can lead to breakage and hair loss.

African American women are the most likely group of people to get traction alopecia. Recent reports have revealed that about one-third of African American women will be diagnosed with this condition. However, traction alopecia can occur in other individuals who repeatedly wear their hair in high tension hair styles.

It’s very common for military members, gymnasts, ballerinas, and those who simply like wearing their hair in ponytails or tight braids to get traction alopecia.

What Are the Symptoms of Traction Alopecia?

There are many symptoms that’ll suggest you might be developing or have traction alopecia.

For instance, one of the first signs that your hair is being pulled on can be tenderness in the areas being pulled. Early on in traction alopecia there can also be small bumps forming around your hair follicles. You may then notice broken hairs or thinning in certain areas. Eventually you may notice increased visibility of your scalp in certain areas.

Generally speaking, hair loss will often occurs near your hairline first when you develop traction alopecia. It’ll then start to creep back and result in more extensive hair loss over time.

You may be able to stop traction alopecia from turning into a permanent condition if you spring into action right away. Taking your hair out of ponytails and other hairstyles that put tension on it is key. There are also other treatments available (read on to learn more).

But if you let traction alopecia linger for too long, it can lead to permanent hair loss. In these cases a hair transplant may become necessary in order to restore hair density in the area.

This is why it is important to recognize and seek treatment for traction alopecia as early as possible.

What Are the Treatment Options for Traction Alopecia?

You may be able to take advantage of a handful of different treatment options when it comes to dealing with traction alopecia. As we just mentioned, simply wearing hairstyles that set your hair free and decrease tension on your scalp and hair follicles might be enough to stop traction alopecia in its tracks. It may also be recommended to use topical steroids or receive steroid injections in your scalp to help decrease further loss depending on your case.

Treatments like minoxidil can often be used to try to help thicken the existing hair and grow hair in the area.

However, the more advanced the traction alopecia becomes and more scarred down the hair follicles become, the more likely it is that a hair transplant may be needed to regain hair density in the areas.

What Are the Benefits of Using Hair Transplants to Treat Traction Alopecia?

Using a hair transplant for treating traction alopecia is often recommended in cases with more extensive and permanent hair loss.

hair transplant will involve taking hair from parts of your scalp with thicker stronger hair (such as the back and sides of your scalp) and moving the hairs into areas where increased hair density is desired.

Who Should You Call for Hair Transplants for Traction Alopecia?

A hair transplant can work wonders for those battling traction alopecia. But you shouldn’t trust just any hair care clinic to set you up with one.

You should research and meet with your doctor for a consultation. Make sure to discuss if you are an appropriate candidate and if any other treatments are recommended along with transplant or instead. During your consultation, make sure to discuss the risks, benefits, alternatives, and recovery period with your doctor.

Make sure to choose a surgeon and team with experience in treating all types of hair loss including traction alopecia. Also make sure that you feel comfortable communicating with your team and ask any questions that you may have.

Reach Out to Us If You’re Battling Traction Alopecia

Are you losing your hair due to traction alopecia and interested in getting some or even all of your hair back? A hair loss center such as Root Hair Institute can help you decide what options may be best for you during an initial consultation.

If you live in the Seattle area (or would be willing to travel here) for treatment of your traction alopecia, then contact us today to schedule an appointment.