A woman from Manchester, UK, has spoken out about developing hair loss
attributed to her horse riding hairstyles, and undergoing hair restoration surgery to correct the issue.
Samantha Dewhurst, a keen horse rider and the 2018 winner of TV reality show Survival of the Fittest, has been riding since she was seven years old and blames her receding hairline on the tight hairstyles required under helmets.
Dewhurst talked to the Daily Mail about tackling her receding hairline which appears to be the result of Traction Alopecia
The 25 year old noticed her forehead was starting to appear larger in 2016 but managed to conceal it due to having a fringe. After becoming self-conscious about her hairloss and avoiding things she loved doing, such as swimming, where her hairline may be exposed, she decided to take action.
Traction Alopecia is an entirely preventable hair loss condition which occurs when hairstyles which add extra weight or tension - usually hair extensions, taut braided styles or any hairstyle which requires the hair to be scraped back and tightly secured - place excessive tension on the hair follicles. In addition to causing hair breakage
, when these problematic styles are worn often they can cause hair loss which, if not caught in time, can be permanent.
The condition can be found among athletes who have to wear their hair in strict regulation hairstyles, including horse riders like Samantha Dewhurst, and - most commonly - ballet dancers, hence the condition's nickname 'Ballerina Baldness
Non-invasive Traction Alopecia treatment
is possible in many cases, as long as the cause of the tension is removed to allow the follicles to recover.
Once the areas affected, most often the hairline and temporal regions as these bear the brunt of the strain, have developed a smooth, shiny appearance this is a sign that the follicles are no longer capable of healthy hair growth. As such, hair restoration surgery is generally the only option but this is decided upon by the surgeon in each instance as there are many factors to consider in cases of women's hair transplants
Long hair restoration process
Dewhurst took the surgical route and had a hair transplant
involving around 900 grafts. The hair follicles which were implanted into her receding hairline areas - known as 'donor hair' - were taken from the back of her head. In women, especially in cases of Female Pattern Hair Loss
where there is more generalised hair thinning, enough good quality donor hair can be hard to find, though this is less likely to be a problem in cases of Traction Alopecia. This donor hair was harvested and re-grafted using an ARTAS robot
Speaking about the procedure, which took place in a Birmingham clinic, Dewhurst told The Mail, "It was nerve-wracking. It was quite a daunting experience, but everyone was lovely... I had local anaesthetic around the neck and the back of the head, where they extracted the hair from. That was probably the most painful bit. They then extracted the hair, and once they did that they checked the grafts to see how feasible it was to put them back in. I had more local anaesthetic in the area at the front, where they were going to put the hair into
It will take around 12 months for the blogger to see the full results of her hair transplant but she noted that, despite it being a long process, she is pleased to finally be seeing hair starting to grow in the previously barren area.
Anyone concerned that they are experiencing unusual levels of hair fall, sudden hair loss or issues such as a receding hairline or drop in hair density is advised to take professional advice from a hair specialist
as soon as possible. That way a diagnosis, advice and treatment recommendations, where needed, can be provided in a timely manner allowing for an informed decision to be made as to the most suitable hair loss solution.