Traction Alopecia is a self-inflicted form of hair loss, generally caused by over-zealous pulling of the hair, usually as the result of tight hairstyles.
The condition is more common amongst those of Afro-Caribbean origin, due to the widespread sporting of tightly pulled, braided hairstyles such as cornrows or tight ponytails. Traction Alopecia does not generally happen overnight, but is usually the result of years of consistent pulling of the hair, which can dislodge hair at the root and traumatise the hair follicle. Hair loss caused by Traction Alopecia is generally first noticed at the frontal hairline.
In most cases, traction alopecia is reversible. Whatever caused the alopecia in the first place must be stopped, which generally means a change of hairstyle. Use of hair straighteners and curling tongs should be dramatically reduced or discontinued. Even so, expect the healing and reversal process to take around 6 months as a minimum. Antibiotics may also be required, to rid the scalp of any infection caused by follicle damage.