Whilst it’s true that 95% of hair loss in men is down to the genetic condition male pattern hair loss, the other 5% can include factors linked to how you treat your hair and how you style it. In relation to this, it’s true that putting too much pressure on the hair follicle over an extended period of time can result in hair loss via a condition called traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia occurs when hair is worn in either very tight styles, such as cornrows, or when the weight of braids or dreadlocks pull on the follicle, causing undue pressure.
Dreadlocks can cause traction alopecia in men
The twisting involved in maintaining locs, plus the weight that they exert on the hair, can and does lead to traction alopecia in men, despite the condition often being more commonly associated with women on account of braids, hair extensions and weaves being popular causes of this type of hairloss.
So, if you’re a man who has noticed that his dreadlocks are falling out, or becoming seemingly less anchored to the head as the hair is pulled out – or even if you are noticing a receding hairline due to the strain the locs place on this area of the scalp – the first step is to consider cutting them off. This is because the issue will only become worse over time as more and more hair follicles are damaged. Tying them up will only add to the problem as tight hairstyles are another cause of traction alopecia.
Once the pressure on the follicles has been relieved, hair may grow back by itself, though this can take anything up to a year to happen. If you’re concerned that your hair is not returning to its previous thickness, a customised traction alopecia treatment course may be in order.
At Belgravia, we find that using appropriate formulations of high strength minoxidil can achieve significant results for men with hair loss from traction alopecia. You can check out our Traction Alopecia Treatment Success Stories gallery to see some examples for yourself.
When Hair Doesn’t Return
Minoxidil is a topical treatment that works by stimulating hair growth in the areas to which it is applied, providing that follicles have not ceased to produce hair completely. Whilst scientists are still unsure exactly what makes minoxidil such an effective treatment, the fact is that in both clinical trials and Belgravia’s experience, it consistently performs well with regards to stimulating hair growth for thinning hair and hair loss in stubborn areas such as a receding hairline or a thinning crown.
Of course, it’s worth considering whether you might also be experiencing male pattern hair loss simultaneously with traction alopecia. If your hairline is moving back at your temples, or if the thinning appears to be predominantly along the top of your head, it’s possible that this genetic condition is impacting your hair, too.
A diagnosis from a hair loss specialist would be able to pinpoint exactly what type (or types) of hair loss you’re experiencing, and should pattern loss come into it, combining minoxidil with a second proven hair loss medication finasteride 1mg – often referred to under its original sole brand name of Propecia though this drug is now available under various other brand names such as Aindeem, can help to prevent baldness.
Like minoxidil, Propecia has been licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA to treat hair loss. Finasteride 1mg works by blocking DHT, the androgen hormone that causes follicular miniaturisation in cases of male pattern hair loss, whereby gradually thinner, weaker hairs are produced.
If left untreated, both sustained pressure on the follicle and genetic hair loss can lead to total baldness which is pharmaceutically untreatable, so it’s important to begin a hair loss treatment plan sooner rather than later. The two proven medications, along with various treatment boosters to give hair a helping hand, can provide you with the most effective means of dealing with hairloss for your individual case.
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.