I am a 21 year old female suffering from traction alopecia. Unfortunately, due to my work I have to wear my hair in tight ponytails. I believe this has caused me to lose hair around my temples. What are my options ?
Well, there are several options that could help mitigate any further hair loss. Unfortunately, the easiest option would be to stop wearing tight ponytails. That said, it may not be so easy considering that is what is required through your employer.
First, allow us to explain the causes and treatment of traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that is caused by a constant pulling, tugging and traction on the hair follicles. Hence the reason why it is called traction alopecia. This form of hair loss can occur in both men and women, but is more commonly seen among women.
There are several hair styles that cause traction alopecia which include wearing tight braids, cornrows, and ponytails. In fact, traction alopecia can also be caused by wearing extensions and hair weaves. This is why this form of hair loss is more commonly seen in women.
The first step to successfully treating this condition is to stop the poor habits that caused this condition in the first place. Now, this may require some thinking outside of the box, especially since this particular hair style is necessary for your employment. However, perhaps applying some hair products such as hairspray would keep your hair in place, while alleviating some pressure, because you could sport a loose ponytail while keeping your hair in place.
Additionally, applying the topical treatment Rogaine (minoxidil) has been shown to increase blood flow to any damaged hair follicles and speed up hair re-growth. However, this will only work if the hair follicles are salvageable. Prolonged pulling and traction on adherent hair follicles can cause permanent damage and hair loss.
In these instances, the only effective treatment is hair transplant surgery. Surgical hair restoration is the only true method of re-growing hair on a surface completely devoid of hair. That said, this condition can be reversed through a change of habits. A shorter hair cut may be the easiest solution, though not always the most popular.
Written and published by,
Melvin Lopez- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians