Some types of hair loss are caused by hormones, others by your immune system. Some types of hair loss have nothing to do with your body’s health or wellness, but are caused by outside factors, such as the way you care for or style your hair. Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs when you frequently wear your hair in a tight style, for example.
The good news is that traction alopecia and other forms of hair damage connected to your beauty routine usually go away when you change your routine. It’s just a matter of figuring out the cause of your hair problem and making the necessary changes.
Washing and Drying Your Hair
While the way you wash and dry your hair won’t lead to hair loss, it can cause damage to the hair, making it more likely to break and making you look as though you have less hair than you do. Remembering to be gentle when shampooing your hair will help you avoid breakage or damage.
For example, when you put the shampoo in your hair, make sure the hair is completely wet first. Rub the shampoo into your scalp, gently. Don’t rub it down the length of your hair or be very vigorous in the way you wash your hair. When you rinse the shampoo out, let the water run through the hair, instead of rubbing it in.
Toweling off your hair after washing it can lead to breakage or damage, too. Instead of rubbing your hair dry with a towel, gently wrap it with the towel and let the towel absorb the water from your hair. Try not to comb, brush or otherwise style your hair while it is still wet. You can use a hair dryer to dry it, but stick to a low heat setting. In the end, letting your hair air dry will cause the least amount of damage.
Hairstyles That Can Lead to Hair Loss
Although they may be trendy and may look attractive, a wide range of hairstyles can actually be bad news for your hair and scalp. Any style that puts pressure on the hair follicle can lead to traction alopecia. The damage from traction alopecia comes in stages. At first, you might shed a few hairs due to the pressure on the follicles. But, if you keep wearing your hair in that style or in a similar style, the damage to the follicle can become permanent.
Styles that are often responsible for traction alopecia include ponytails, very tight buns, braids and cornrows. If you like wearing your hair in one of those styles, try wearing a slightly looser style or limiting the amount of time you keep your hair in that style.
The tools you use for styling your hair also play a part when it comes to hair loss. Stick to products that are designed for use on hair, such as fabric covered elastics instead of rubber bands. The stickiness of the rubber bands can make hair damage worse.
Adding hair to your style can also lead to hair loss, interestingly enough. Hair extensions need to be attached to the head in some way. Usually, they add weight to your hair and put tension on the follicles, leading to traction alopecia. A number of celebrities, such as Naomi Campbell and Britney Spears, are rumored to have suffered from hair loss as a result of using hair extensions for years.
Treating the Hair Loss
How you treat hair loss related to hair care and styling depends on the extent of the damage. In some cases, simply changing your style and adjusting the way you wash and care for your hair is enough to reverse the hair loss, fix up damage and encourage new hair growth.
But, if you’ve been wearing a tight style for years or have been using extensions for a long period of time, the damage to your hair follicles caused by traction alopecia might be permanent. In that case, the best option for you might be hair restoration surgery. Often, hair loss due to traction alopecia is one reason women consider a hair transplant.
Whether your hair loss is mild so far or more pervasive, Dr. Kyle Choe, a hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, can help you decide on the best way to handle it. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call (757) 389-5850 today.