Lifestyle & Health : Losing hair from scalp and hairline

January 17, 2017

Kasey lives in Kingston. She is a 22-year-old young lady who has removed her braids as her doctor told her that tight hair braids are the reason why her hair has fallen out from some areas of her scalp and hairline.

The hair is taking its time growing back. Kasey asks Check Up how do the braids damage the hair, and if her hair will grow back soon.

Sadly, braiding foundations are often too tight. This can cause inflammation and infection to the scalp.

The too tightly done braids exert traction on the scalp and the hairs are pulled out from the scalp. This is called traction alopecia hair loss.




Tension on the hair follicles can make the hair fall out and at its worst, can contribute to permanent hair loss when scarring to the scalp occurs.

Traction alopecia occurs over a long time by putting constant strain or tension on the hair. It can be caused by:

- Tight braids or cornrows

- Dreadlocks

- Tight ponytails or pigtails

- Hair weaves

- Tight hair clips

- Repeated use of hair rollers

- Tight headgear, like cycling helmets, worn for long periods of time

The constant tension which they can cause leads to areas of thinning hair, usually around the temples and behind the ears.

Anyone can be affected by traction alopecia - young or old, male or female. If you experience the following symptoms, you may be experiencing the tension which leads to traction alopecia:

- Scalp tenderness after removing a hair clip.

- Scalp feels better and relaxed after untying your hair.

- n Scalp itches after braids are put in.

- You've taken painkillers to relieve headache after putting in braids.

These are warning signs that the hair is under too much pressure and tension.

If the braiding is stopped early enough, then the hair will regrow, but if the hair follicles are badly traumatised and the area scarred, then the hair will not grow back and an expensive hair transplant may be needed.

If the condition is caught in time to allow the hair to regrow, then change the hairstyle and choose a new style which does not involve scalp traction.

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