Name: Not supplied
Question: I am an afro-caribbean 26 year old woman and have had my hair in a cornrow style since I was about 12 years old. Where the hair has been pulling there are areas of hair loss that are getting wider and wider. How can I stop this?
Answer: Hi there. The type of hair loss you describe is a common issue where tight hairstyles have been worn repeatedly. It is also frequently seen in women of colour due to Afro textured hair being naturally brittle and popular protective hairstyles within the Black community, such as cornrows, contributing to this condition.
It is called Traction Alopecia and it is the result of excessive strain placed on the hair follicles, with hair loss and breakage often concentrated around the sites where styles are fixed, as well as at the hairline and temples, which may start to recede.
The first, and most obvious step to stop hair loss in this instance is to remove the source of the issue – your cornrows. This should prevent the balding areas from expanding. Try to give your follicles a break by wearing your hair naturally without any additional tension from other problematic hairstyles or weight – for example, from hair extensions.
Although in many cases Traction Alopecia can be prevented, when it does occur whether hair regrowth is possible or not depends on the extent of the damage to the follicles.
A consultation with a hair loss specialist should be enough to determine whether your follicles are likely to respond to a course of Traction Alopecia Treatment, though a quick way to tell in many cases is by the appearance of the scalp in the affected areas. If the scalp is smooth and shiny – truly bald – in places, this indicates the follicles are no longer functioning and hair growth is unlikely. Where there is thinning or damaged hair, however, there is still hope that regrowth may be possible with the right approach, as it is a sign that the follicles are capable of producing hair.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies 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 Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.