Three Ways You Can Prevent Traction Alopecia
If you're a woman who wears her hair in tight braids or buns, you may be at risk for traction alopecia. This kind of hair loss is caused by wearing hairstyles that cause too much tension on the hair follicles. The professionals at Madeliene Elaine in Chevy Chase, MD have experience performing advanced hair restoration procedures, particularly in people of African descent.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent traction alopecia and thinning hair. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Madeliene Elaine Gainers offers the following tips to keep your locks looking healthy and full long-term. Call to learn about our treatment options today.
1. Take a break from tight hairstyles
Traction alopecia is particularly common in African Americans who wear their hair in hairstyles like braids and cornrows. However, evidence has shown that anyone can be at risk of developing traction alopecia if they wear tight hairstyles too often. Remember that your scalp needs a break from the tension of being pulled on all day.
2. Avoid hair products that contain harsh chemicals
Harsh chemicals are an effective way to straighten your hair but can damage the scalp and follicles with repeated use. Try limiting the number of times you use chemical-based formulas and consider using natural products whenever possible. During a hair restoration consultation, Dr. Gainers can provide recommendations for your individual hair type.
3. Avoid heat damage to the hair
Hair dryers, flat irons, and curling tools apply heat to the hair for styling purposes. Unfortunately, these products also cause damage when used too often. Limit the amount of time you use heating tools or try using a lower setting that isn't as harmful. If you do use hair dryers or flat irons in Chevy Chase, MD, make sure to apply a heat-protectant spray before doing so.
What are the symptoms of traction alopecia?
Symptoms of traction alopecia begin with thinning hair or balding areas near your natural part. As the condition persists, you may notice tightness or swelling at the hair follicle. Scarring and permanent hair loss are also possible with this traction alopecia, which is why it's best to meet with an experienced dermatologist as soon as symptoms arise. A professional, like Dr. Gainers, will know how to protect your hair and prevent further damage from occurring.
What's involved with traction alopecia treatment?
In addition to following our at-home tips, Dr. Gainers may also recommend traction alopecia treatment in our office. The process begins with a simple consultation, during which we review your medical history and ask about your hairstyling habits. We may perform diagnostic tests or a scalp biopsy to determine how to move forward.
Patients with less severe signs of traction alopecia may benefit from laser hair therapy, medications, or PRP (platelet-rich plasma), which uses natural growth factors to stimulate damaged hair follicles. Other patients may be interested in learning about hair transplant procedures, like FUT (follicular unit transplant) and FUE (and follicular unit extraction), for best results.
Learn about hair restoration
Balding or thinning hair can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for many women in Chevy Chase, MD. If you're interested in discovering your options for traction alopecia treatment, contact Madeliene Elaine and meet with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Madeliene Elaine Gainers. From diagnosis to final results, we're committed to giving each patient a comfortable experience that yields exceptional outcomes.