What is Alopecia?

Also known as hair loss or baldness, Alopecia refers to a loss of hair from part of the head or body. There are many forms of alopecia with the most common being Androgenetic Alopecia.

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Androgenetic Alopecia

Most commonly called male pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia is hereditary. This type of hair loss effects more than 52 million men and 30 million women in the United States alone. Read more about hair loss treatments.

Traction Alopecia

This type of hair loss is not caused by any medical condition. Over time some hairstyles, including braids, ponytails, or man buns can put enough force onto the follicle to cause it to fall out. Wearing your hair in these ways is not damaging, it’s the constant and repetitive strain that damages the hair. This results in thin hair in the affected region and eventually the formation of bald spots.

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Early Signs of Traction Alopecia

Visible Long Term Effects

Hair Transplant For Traction Alopecia - Sharma Skin & Hair Surgery
Traction Alopecia Treatments | Sharma Skin & Hair Surgery

Causes of Traction Alopecia

The most common cause of traction alopecia is tightly bound hair. The repetitive pulling stresses the follicle and loosens its connective tissue. Women with occupations that require them to wear their hair up also see similar issues. This condition most commonly appears later in life, around 30 – 40 years of age but it can affect men and women of any age. A disproportionate amount of cases come from African-American women due to a higher occurrence of hair extensions or tightly wound hairstyles. 

 Some causes include:

  • Use of long or heavy extensions or weaves
  • Turban or headdresses worn for extended periods
  • Tightly Bound braids, dreadlocks, and similar hair styles
  • Wearing hard hats constantly at work
  • Beards that are twisted too tightly
  • Taut ponytails or buns
  • Pulling your hair back for long periods of time
  • Very long hair that causes contact pulling
 

Preventing Traction Alopecia

There are a few things you can do to prevent this condition from appearing or getting worse. Prevention is always better then the cure so consider trying to following:

  • When braiding your hair, create a thicker braid. Multiple thin braids can cause more pulling on the scalp
  • Satin wig caps are preferred as they do not pull as much
  • Alternate between hair styles more often. Switching between wearing your hair up will help to reduce stress of the follicles.
  • Use a cloth ponytail. Rubber based bands do not allow the hair to move when being pulled.
  • Avoid wearing extensions or weaves when you are at home. Reducing the time wearing either option will give your scalp a break from the constant tension.
  • Avoid using the highest heat settings on your hair dryer or straightener
  • If you are using extensions or a weave avoid colouring your hair. The chemicals damage and weaken your hair.
 

Treating Traction Alopecia

Hair loss is a very complicated thing to diagnose. The best first step to take is to meet with a professional. Although traction alopecia is a fairly rare occurrence, it is something a hair specialist like Dr. Sharma will be able to confirm very quickly. At our clinic here in Edmonton, Alberta, we see patients from all over the world to asses their hair loss and come up with a treatment plan. We have two primary options for patients wishing to treat their hair loss.

  • P.R.P. injections to prevent further hair loss
  • Medications to strengthen hair and slow down hair loss
 

Am I a Good Candidate for a Hair Transplant?

This treatment is a great option for most people, but certain factors will need to be discussed with Dr. Sharma to determine if the treatment is right for you. During your consultation, we will evaluate the extent and cause for your hair loss and discuss options.

Learn more about Evaluation

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Hair Loss Evaluation

A Comprehensive Consultation will Help Us Identify The Best Treatment Route For You

Treatment is a great option for most people, though, certain factors will need to be discussed with Dr. Sharma to determine if the treatment is right for you.

A consultation with Dr. Sharma will allow him to assess your hair loss in depth. He will be able to determine if you are eligible for the Hair Transplant procedure and create a custom plan to meet your goals.

Learn about Hair Loss Evaluation

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Send us your photos and tell us a brief history of your hair loss. Our team will be able to determine if you are eligible for a Hair Transplant procedure. Take the first step towards your Hair Restoration.

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