Traction alopecia is usually due to excessive pulling or tension on hair shafts as a result of certain hairstyles. It is seen more often in women, particularly those of East Indian and Afro-Caribbean origin. Hair loss depends on the way the hair is being pulled. Prolonged traction alopecia can stop new hair follicles developing and lead to permanent hair loss.
Traction alopecia is very common amongst Sikh men; years of turban wearing where the hair is tied tightly into a topknot can result in patches of hair loss and unsightly bald spots around the head.
All forms of tighter hairstyling can cause traction alopecia. Tightly pulled styles such as cornrows and ponytails can dislodge hair at the root and cause trauma to the follicle. This form of hair loss is generally noticed at the frontal hairline initially but can occur anywhere.
In most circumstances traction alopecia is halted when the cause is eliminated & the style is changed. Despite this the healing and reversal process cannot be guaranteed, and can take twelve months or more during which time SMP can be used to mask the damage.