Types of Self-Imposed Hair Loss
Those of African descent have prevalent hairstyles that can cause non-genetic hair loss. Traction alopecia occurs from continuous, repeated pulling of hair. Noticeable thinning occurs along the entire scalp periphery with continuous use of hairstyles that exert a pulling force on the hair roots. Another condition, central cicatricial centrifugal alopecia (CCCA), occurs at the top and middle area of the head. CCCA results from traction alopecia plus the use of chemicals on the hair. The composition of each follicle is weakened with repeated treatments. This leads to a reduction in strength and more breakage. Heated appliances used to style hair also aggravate the condition.
Causes of Traction Alopecia in Women : Hair Styles that Cause Damage
- Weaving: Additional hair is supplemented on the scalp by braiding, bonding, fusion or netting.
- Extensions: Additional hair is added similar to weaving but only at the lower scalp.
- Braiding and Cornrows: A hairstyle comprised of several small braids, with tight knots anchoring them to the scalp, it may include weaving in additional hair. Tight, woven columns called cornrows are a top culprit.
- Barrettes: An accessory is used on the hair either to hold it in place or for decoration.
- Ponytails: Hair is pulled back from the face and shoulders in one or mulitple bunches, sometimes a bun. A hair-tie, rubber band or other accessory secures hair.
Treating Traction Alopecia and CCCA
For non-genetic hair loss, preventative measures are the best option. Minimizing scalp irritation, decreasing continued hair pulling and overall health all increase hair vitality. When traction alopecia and CCCA are no longer reversible, a few options can address hair restoration. Different methods of hair restoration may be used to address hair loss.
- Cosmetic concealers
- Oral and topical pharmaceuticals
- Surgical hair restoration
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