I am thinking on cutting my long hair i am a boy and I am scared that I have traction alopecia (Photo)

Doctor Answers 2

Traction alopecia

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Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by tight pulling on hair. The use of pony tails, braids, turbans (in Sikh men) can cause hair loss. Traction alopecia is important to diagnose early. If detected in the earliest stages, the hair density can often be improved. As time goes on, it is less and less likely to improve on account of permanent injury to the hair follicles. 

Individuals with traction alopecia, or who think they have traction alopecia, may wish to make an appointment with a dermatologist or hair restoration physician. This is important in order to confirm the diagnosis


The treatment of early traction alopecia involves stopping any pulling forces in the hair. Topical steroids and steroid injections may be recommended for some individuals. Minoxidil may also be recommended.  

For individuals with long standing traction alopecia, stopping pulling of hair is still important. Hair regrowth is less likely and the definitive treatment to improve density is with the use of hair transplant surgery. 

Vancouver Dermatologist

​Traction Alopecia and Hair Loss

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Traction alopecia is caused by the constant pulling of the hair from certain hair styling practices. This results in damage and tears to the follicles.

Ponytails would need to be worn quite tightly for extensive and ongoing periods of time.

There are also certain signs which may indicate TA. These include: pain or soreness on the scalp, more hair falling out than usual.

If detected early, it would be important to choose another way to style and wear your hair. The follicles may be able to heal and regain their normal ability to grow hair. If not, then a hair transplant procedure may be able to help.

But first, check with a doctor to see if you actually have this condition. A hair transplant would be a last resort 

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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.