Traction Alopecia is a problem that comes from the stress that hair is exposed to because of some hairstyles or, in general, some aesthetic treatments. The mechanical traction to which the hair is subjected, although mild, can alter the process of growth.
To deepen the issue, some researchers from the Johns Hopkins Health System (published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology) have spent 19 previous research at the screening, discovering the worst hairstyles and treatments for skin and hair health.
High risk bending hair loss
The results of the study highlighted the existence of three categories of risk, based on certain factors such as weight, tension, temperature and chemical reagents to which the follicles are exposed. In the higher risk category you will find braids, dreadlocks and extensions, especially when you are using chemical products to iron your hair. The extensions, then, represent a further problem due to the direct application of glues on the scalp. In the case of chemical ironing, however, the risk of damaging the stem is elevated, resulting in rupture.
Medium and low risk hairstyles
The hairstyles that fall under the category “moderate risk for hair loss” are at large lines those included in the high risk category, except that the application is done on untreated hair.
The lowest risk category, on the other hand, includes all those hairstyles that do not subject the follicle to a very high tension, such as Unnarrow horse tails. Also some common beauty treatments, such as ironing with warmth, permanent and use of wigs, fall into this typology.
In principle, untreated hair is able to withstand greater and more vigorous brushing tractions running less risk of traction alopecia, regardless of how they are hairstyled.
Traction Alopecia is the only type of alopecia that can be “predicted” as it may appear whenever you decide to style the hair with combs that stress the follicles for a prolonged period.
In particular, the authors of the study recommend to dissolve the braids at least every 2-3 months, while the extensions should be removed after 6-8 weeks from the application.
If you notice the first signs of the traction alopecia, as the weakening of one or more areas of the scalp, pain, inflammation, redness and hair loss it is advisable to consult a trichologist for a thorough check-up of the hair, so as to understand how to curb the damage, intervening promptly.