Traction Alopecia

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Traction Alopecia
There are many types of alopecia (loss of hair) from Male and Female Pattern Baldness to Traction Alopecia, chemically induced alopecia, and other rare causes of alopecia. Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) or Female Pattern Baldness (FPB) are the most common type of alopecia. Each has it specific characteristics. We are most familiar with MPB as more most men have various degrees of it. We first see it as a receding hair line or thinning at the crown of the head. From that point, MPB progresses in some males to the point that only a rim of hair remains around the sides and back of the scalp.
FPB is less well know, but 40% of women experience it by the age of 60.The main signs of this are thinning of the top of the head, but not usually affecting the hair line.
Traction Alopecia has been very commonly seen in my practice also. This is causes by tight braids which are seen mostly in African American women. This type of alopecia can also be caused by tight pony tails or any kind of hair arrangement that applies constant traction on the hair. Eventually the follicles simply give up and stop producing hairs. I have noted that the scalp of a person with Traction Alopecia seems to be quite thin as you would see in scar tissue. However, the blood supply is adequate for a hair transplant because we have found uniform success with hair transplants in these patients, providing there are enough healthy undamaged hair follicles left to supply to the recipient sites.
I see people from young children to adults with tight braids, and it takes all of my will power to keep from informing them that they stand a very good chance of losing a substantial amount of their hair permanently because of their choice of hair styles, which is a major cause of Traction Alopecia.
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Savannah Plastic Surgeon