Question: I wanted to know if you can treat traction alopecia hair loss in men. I heard you can use minoxidil to regrow hair around the hairline and I was wondering about the duration of use since traction alopecia is not a hereditary condition, does this mean that men who use minoxidil and discontinue use once the results they want have been obtain can keep their results? Or do they have continue using minoxidil forever?
Answer: Hi Daryush. There is no MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved treatment for Traction Alopecia hair loss. However, as you say, high strength minoxidil - which does have these authorisations for the treatment of Male Pattern Baldness (and Female Pattern Hair Loss) - can be helpful for many patients with this condition.
It does, however, depend upon the severity of hair loss experienced; As long as there are still active follicles that are capable of growing hair, minoxidil can be used to encourage them to grow stronger and thicker hair.
When using this topical hairloss solution, the first results tend to become visible between 3 and 6 months into the treatment. Maximum hair regrowth is then usually visible after approximately 12 months of on-going treatment.
Depending on the severity of this hair loss condition, some people can stop treatment once regrowth has been achieved. Others, meanwhile, may have to continue using minoxidil in order to continuously maintain the hair follicles in optimal health.
If the traction hair loss is very mild, you may decide to use minoxidil to encourage quicker regrowth of strong hair. You may stop the treatment once you are happy with the achieved results. But it is important to ensure you avoid further traction in the area both during and, ideally, after treatment. This means skipping tight hairstyles such as braids, cornrows and man buns, and wearing the hair naturally so the follicles are not weighed down and the hair is not pulled too tautly.
You can monitor the area and, of course, if you notice any further weakening of the hair, you can re-start treatment.
In addition to Traction Alopecia, these types of hairstyles can also cause hair breakage, where strands snap in two along the shaft. This can give the appearance of thin, weak and frizzy hair, though can often be dealt with by getting a trim.
With more severe cases of Traction Alopecia, there may be some atrophy to the hair follicles. This means that, once Traction Alopecia treatment is stopped, you may notice some deterioration in the results. As long as you are happy with the results at this point and you avoid placing further strain on the hair and follicles, you do not have to continue treatment though - it is entirely your decision.
If you wish to continuously stimulate the hair to grow to its optimal thickness, you may decide to continue using treatment. This should be done in consultation with your hair loss specialist so it can be professionally monitored.
In cases where the hair follicles have been completely destroyed, surgical intervention may be necessary so a hair transplant may be a better option. Suitability for this type of hair restoration procedure depends on the extent of the bald areas, any scarring and the amount of good quality donor hair available.
As you can see, the results and duration of treatment will mostly depend on the severity of hair loss. It can also depend on whether Traction Alopecia is the only form of shedding you are experiencing.
For instance, if you have both Male Pattern Baldness and Traction Alopecia, both can be treated simultaneously. But, as Male Pattern Hair Loss is a permanent and progressive condition, hair loss treatment would need to be on-going even after seeing regrowth results to the areas affected by Traction Alopecia.
The best thing we can advise you do as a first step is to have a no-obligation consultation, either in-person or online, so a hair expert can diagnose your condition, level and pattern of shedding. From there they can make informed recommendations as to the types of treatments and hair growth supporting products best-suited to your situation and medical profile.
Once you have all the information, you can then decide what you feel most comfortable with and go from there.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.