Causes of Hair Loss in Women: Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia causes hair loss in women due to constant pulling of the hair. This pulling can be caused by styling, and many people who wear their hair in a tight ponytail or braid may suffer from this. The pulling of the hair can cause damage to the scalp and damage the roots so the hair will not grow back.

Traction Alopecia can also be caused by perming, coloring or chemically treating the hair too often. The chemicals used to color or perm the hair can damage the hair follicles and making the hair brittle. Then, when brushing or styling the hair, it can fall out. If this happens too much or too often, the hair will not grow back. It is best to allow the recommended amount of time between treatments.

Traction Alopecia most commonly affects African-Americans. This is most likely due to the fact that they braid, weave, or use cornrows in their hair. It can also affect many young girls or teenagers who are learning to do their own hair.


Traction Alopecia can be prevented by taking precautions when styling your hair. Make sure that if you braid or place your hair in a bun, it is not pulled too tight. You should allow some flexibility. If your scalp feels like the hair is pulling at all times, then it is pulled too tight and you should loosen it. Pulling the hair to tight may also cause the scalp to be itchy. Since traction alopecia can also be caused by over heating and over styling, it is recommended that you use low heat settings on your curling iron and blow dryer. You could also try preventing it by giving your hair a break and not styling it everyday.


Due to the fact that traction alopecia is cause by damaging the hair and hair follicles, treatment options are limited. Treatments such as Rogaine will not help with this condition. One of the only treatment options available is a hair transplant. A hair transplant is a procedure in which the hair is removed from another area which is healthy and placed into the damaged hair follicles. If it works, the hair will begin to grow back and thicken up. Hair transplants are very expensive and may be painful. If you do have a hair transplant, you will need to be very careful at first to prevent any further damage to the hair.

Since there is no easy treatment for this, prevention is key and it is important to take care of your hair. If you do experience some serious shedding of the hair, talk to your doctor or your hair stylist; she can help determine a cause.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions