Research from the British Association Of Dermatologists states that black women are more likely to develop traction alopecia due to wearing tight protective styles like braids often and for a longer period. This shows that although protective styles like extensions, wigs as well as tight buns, and ponytails can help you experiment and be more versatile with your afro hair, they can lead to repeated stress for your scalp if used too often as they can put a lot of tension on it. In the following sections of this article, we will detail the other causes, symptoms, and treatments for traction alopecia to stop this form of hair loss.
Apart From Tight Hairstyles, What Else Causes Traction Alopecia?
Traction Alopecia can also be caused by hair relaxers or chemical treatments which can change the structure of your hair shaft by weakening your hair strands, making hair loss more likely. It can also develop due to wearing accessories too tight. This repetitive stress on your hair follicles can cause clumps of your hair to fall out, especially after braids and wigs are removed.
- Pimples at the base of braids or on your scalp
- The widening of your hair parting
- Visible broken hair in places where your afro curls have been put under pressure
- Ulcers, redness, or itching on your scalp
- A receding hairline around your temples, nape, or forehead
Once you start noticing that you possess traction alopecia symptoms, the best way to treat it is to switch up your hair care routine.
Treatments To Tackle Traction Alopecia
Add More Moisture To Your Regular Hair Care Routine
To soothe a dry, itchy scalp, you must go back to the basics of a hydrating wash day routine. First, cleanse with our gentle Hydration Shampoo With Manuka Honey, and then enrich your afro curls with moisture through our Moisture Rich Conditioner With Manuka Honey & Avocado. Then, finish this hydrating routine with a small amount of our Leave-In Conditioner With Manuka Honey And Avocado Oil. Both avocado oil and manuka honey are ideal for a dry, itchy scalp affected by traction alopecia as they can treat dry scalps and help regrow thinning hair.
Then, if you are styling your afro hair into waves or want to maintain elongated curls with definition, use our Curl Elongating Gel With Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater after your wash day. Rosewater also helps with scalp issues as it can restore its natural balance, while flaxseed oil contains vitamin E to encourage new natural hair growth and treat hair loss.
Alternatively, you can massage a generous amount of our Curling Crème With Coconut And Jamaican Black Castor Oils into your scalp to stimulate hair growth in the affected areas and restore the bounce and shine of your afro curls. More importantly, this moisturising mixture will help you avoid friction when styling and can ease any tension you may feel.
Choose Looser Protective Styles
To prevent further hair loss or breakage, you do not need to give up wearing protective styles, as it is all about moderation. Instead of tighter styles like tight ponytails or small extensions, opt for loose ponytails or large knotless braids, which put less tension on your scalp. Remember to keep any protective style in for 6 to 8 weeks to keep your afro curls conditioned.
Prepare your afro hair for any protective style using our Curling Mousse With Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater. This mixture will provide you with soft, defined curls that can stay nourished for longer. Then, hydrate your style daily with a light spray of our Everyday Curl Refresh With Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils.
Give Your Afro Hair The Nutrients It Needs To Flourish
When trying to grow your afro curls after hair loss, you must ensure you are consuming a balanced diet filled with more fruit and vegetables rather than sweets or fatty foods. To get stronger, healthier afro hair, you also need to eat more protein-based foods like almonds, whole grains, and eggs, which can naturally produce keratin, the structural makeup of your hair.
Lastly, ensure you are also eating foods high in vitamin E, which encourages circulation on your scalp, and vitamin B, which can help produce more sebum for better growth.
Go Beyond Hair Care Changes By Speaking To A Professional
If you identify symptoms of traction alopecia early, you can ask a professional for advice on treatments to regrow your afro hair. For example, a dermatologist could recommend treatments like:
- Topical steroids to reduce inflammation on your scalp
- Medical solutions to regrow hair like minoxidil
- Antifungal shampoos
- Supplements that contain biotin to regrow afro hair
You can reverse the effects of traction alopecia if you are quick to make changes to your hair care routine. These changes can also be reversed if you stick to any treatment your dermatologist recommends. Remember that a routine focused on looser hairstyles, a more moisturising wash day process, and a more balanced diet is a small price to pay for healthier hair.