Losing hair due to wearing certain hairstyles which place excessive stress on the hair follicles is becoming increasingly prominent. It is by no means a new type of hair loss though; it has historically mostly affected women with Afro hair due to a combination of their hair’s naturally more brittle texture and the tendency towards tautly woven, traditional African-inspired hairstyles such as dreadlocks, bantu knots and micro-braids.
Now, however, it is attracting increasingly more attention due to the rise in popularity of braiding, weaves and hair extensions. The condition that can be caused by regularly wearing tight styles such as these is called Traction Alopecia and, as more people wear their hair in these ways, the more likely it is that they will be exposed to this. Recent research discovered that a third of African American women have this condition and that many did not know there was help and treatment available.
Many celebrities, including Jourdan Dunn and Jennifer Aniston, have come forward to talk about their own experiences of styling damage, whilst many others, most notably Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears have all been photographed with what appear to be clear-cut cases of Traction Alopecia often following or whilst wearing hair extensions.
Treating Traction Alopecia
Although Traction Alopecia is fully preventabl, if you do start to notice the signature signs – a receding hairline often with thinning or patches of hair loss around areas where the offending styles were attached to the scalp – there are steps you can take to reverse these and prevent further damage.
Firstly you should consult a hair loss specialist who can provide you with a professional diagnosis of your condition. Traction Alopecia can often be present alongside other conditions such as Female Pattern Hair Loss – likely if you are also experiencing thinning hair on top or around the temples – or Follicular Degeneration Syndrome (FDS) a form of scarring alopecia which may be reversed if caught early enough.
Whether you choose to visit a hair loss clinic in person or, if you are based outside of London or abroad, use the online consultation service, an expert will be able to tailor a highly targeted hair loss treatment plan geared towards your specific needs and requirements.
High strength minoxidil
These are all applied directly to the scalp, wherever they are needed and more information about the various high strength minoxidil preparations available from Belgravia can be obtained by contacting the clinic directly.
Minoxidil is clinically-proven to treat genetic hair loss in both men and women by helping to accelerate hair growth, however, it is also known to produce encouraging regrowth results for other hair loss conditions. Belgravia has seen many impressive Traction Alopecia Treatment Success Stories where women – and some men – have managed to grow their hair back even when the initial damage was substantial. You can see just a few examples taken from our extensive gallery pictured here.
Whilst this method of treatment regularly produces fantastically encouraging results for those affected by hair loss, in cases of Traction Alopecia where the hair has been so badly damaged that the scalp has taken on a smooth and shiny bald appearance, it will not work. This is because the active ingredient works by stimulating the hair follicle back into action but once the scalp has this smooth look it is a sign that the follicle has died and, of course, a live follicle is required for treatment to have any chance of working.
Support and advice on getting your hair back into shape
In addition to designing your personalised course of treatment, Belgravia’s hair loss specialists will also be able to monitor your progress and provide you with additional advice to help you in your journey back to healthy hair. This includes tips on how you should start to wear your hair in order naturally – meaning loose and not tied or clipped in any way, and with any modifications such as wigs, weaves or extensions, removed – to allow the follicles a chance to recover.
Do not heat style your hair until it is in better condition. It is fine to use a hairdryer if you must but use a nourishing heat protector oil or spray on your hair first. Then, when blow drying, choose a medium heat setting and keep the nozzle at least six inches away from your head.
It is often useful to boost the health of your hair overall in cases of Traction Alopecia and many clients opt to take Hair Vitalics natural dietary supplements. These are packed with the nutrients needed for healthy hair and we are often told how clients’ nails have improved since taking them too as an added benefit!
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.