Traction Alopecia is a condition that many people experience
when the 'edges' of their hair is either braided too tightly, pulled excessively,
or is hereditary and you experience hair loss in that area.
Before I retired from 'doing' hair, as you can imagine
I'd seen it all. I specialized in black hair care--chemical-free.
I never permed anyone's hair or used any chemicals
in my clients' hair. I only cared for naturally kinky hair...
my absolute favorite!
Many of my clients were referrals from other happy clients.
The best compliment was when my clients would
say, "Rene' you have growing hands."
In my 20+ year career as a natural hairstylist, people would
come to me with hair that had wax build-up; knots, broken and damaged;
all kinds of issues. And I would painstakingly free
their tresses from bondage and eventually with a little TLC,
they would eventually gain a beautiful head of either Sisterlocks,
dreadlocks, braids or twists.
A number of people also came to me with no hair on their 'edges'--
Traction Alopecia is the weakening and breakage of hair
along its shaft. This can lead to a multitude of hair fiber problems such
as breakage, knotting, splitting, and dullness.
There are many causes of traction alopecia. One of the most common
is the damage to or absence of the cuticle or outside layer of the hair.
The hair, sometimes already weakened by chemical applications, can
be easily broken by friction or by tension.
Prolonged tension could even induct follicular inflammatory changes,
which may eventually lead to scarring.
Traction alopecia can be aggravated by vigorous brushing, blow-drying
or incorrect massage techniques. As traction alopecia is mostly caused
by hair breakage, any genetic condition that causes structural defects
to the hair shaft, making the fiber weaker can cause the hair to be more
susceptible to fracture.
The best treatment for traction hair loss is to either stop or reduce
the frequency of chemical processing. Also, change your styling
habits to lessen the chances of damage. Sometimes, a hair strengthening
or conditioning treatment can be useful to help reduce the problem.
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