Traction Alopecia symptoms?

Is there a way to tell if the hairstyle you are using could cause traction Alopecia? For example, do you feel scalps pain, see scars or redness, clumps of hair, etc? I usually have my hair in a loose bun or braid, and don't feel any discomfort in my head doing it this way. I have had this hair style for 3 years and have noticed no change in my hair, but is it possible this hairstyle will cause traction Aloperica for me in the long run, or would I see some signs before the aloperica happens?

Doctor Answers 4

Symptoms of Traction Alopecia?

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Are there any symptoms in Traction Alopecia? It all depends on how much tension vectors are applied to the hair roots. Sounds like your wearing your hair pulled up but only loosely. This should not cause you problems. However, if the hair is pulled with significant tension at the roots for a prolonged period of time then the individual may perceive pain, tingling and even oozing or weeping from the scalp. Traction alopecia is common in up to 33% of African American women, and an equally high percentage of Singh men who wear turbans. 

All the best,

Bernardino A. Arocha, MD

Traction Alopecia Concerns & Symptoms--See a Dermatologist

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Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by putting the hair under constant strain or tension and is usually caused hairstyles like: very tight ponytails or pigtails. If you're concerned, stop using this hairstyle and consult a Dermatologist for a consultation. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Traction alopecia

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Traction alopecia appears when the hair is constantly pulled back or pulled upon. You really don't have symptoms, just see hair loss

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Traction alopecia

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Pain, tingling, and "pins and needles" are the first signs of traction  - followed by hair loss (traction alopecia). 

If you have symptoms, that you attribute to a hairstyle, stop the hairstyle immediately and get it checked out by a dermatologist.  Early traction is reversible - traction alopecia that is left longer is not.

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.