When it comes to hair loss, finding the root cause can be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. But don’t let that keep you from doing some research and trying to address it! The problem can very likely be reversed by making some changes in your hair care routine.
The first thing to do? Check your hairstyle.
Slick ponytails, buns, cornrows, braids, and elaborate updos may look great but the stress it puts on your hair can lead to hair loss. This condition is common among men and women, and there’s a medical term for it — traction alopecia.
What Is Traction Alopecia?
Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by tension on the hair strands over extended periods. While it can happen to anyone, it’s especially common among African American women and people with textured hair and tighter curl patterns.
Hair loss generally happens gradually, taking several months of pulling your hair back before hair loss or damage shows. As a result, you may not even notice it before it gets out of hand. Ouch.
Luckily, most cases of traction alopecia are reversible. Let’s take a look at why it happens and what you can do to avoid it.
Does Pulling Your Hair Back Make Your Hairline Recede?
Tying your hair back to complement your look now and then is fine but you should avoid doing it every day as it can put excessive physical stress on your hair and cause trouble for your strands in the long run.
This is because tight hairstyles can cause the hair shaft to break or fall off the follicle — the very thing that gives it life, leading to hair loss-related issues. It is especially bad for hair strands near the hairline, as they receive the most tensile force over time, making them more susceptible to breakage and damage.
If you’re noticing shorter hair strands around the front and sides of your scalp, folliculitis, tenting, pain from your tightly pulled hairstyle, crusts on your scalp, or a stinging sensation on your scalp, chances are, you’re developing traction alopecia.
The good news is traction alopecia is treatable, so you won’t have to sacrifice your sense of style to preserve your hair strands.
How to Treat a Receding Hairline
While traction alopecia is often seen as a temporary hair loss problem, it can become permanent with time. Hence, it would be wise to start treatment ASAP for the best results.
Here’s what you can do:
Make Lifestyle Changes
If you’ve just started noticing hair loss nearer to your hairline, you should be able to treat it by making minor changes in your lifestyle. These include:
Avoid Combing Wet Hair
Your hair is weakest when it's wet, which makes it more vulnerable to split ends, breakage, and other forms of hair damage. So, avoid using a comb to tame your hair when it’s wet, and use your fingers for a gentler approach instead.
Wear Loose Hairstyles
Wear hairstyles that don’t put pressure on your scalp. Alternatively, you can also use hair ties made with softer fabrics and claw clips to keep your hair in place.
Use Products Designed to Promote Hair Growth
You should integrate hair growth products developed specifically for your hair type and texture to grow healthier, thicker, shinier hair — all while protecting your locks from further damage.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet, one that’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, can promote healthy hair growth. Some food items like leafy greens and nuts can also improve the look and feel of your hair.
Use Targeted Treatments
The above-listed treatment options can help, but if your hair keeps falling out, it’s a good idea to check with a dermatologist. They’ll consider several factors to figure out the root cause, then prescribe targeted treatments to promote healthy growth.
These can include:
There are multiple over-the-counter (OTC) medications for hair loss, but only two have shown remarkable promise.
● Minoxidil has been shown to cause new hair growth in approximately 40% of patients with androgenetic alopecia (AGA).
● Finasteride, also known as Propecia, can lower the hormone levels that can cause your hairline to recede, which can put a stop to your hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
A hair transplant is a type of procedure that involves removing your hair follicles from the back of your head, or any other part of the body, and transplanting them to the front of your head to give your hair a fuller look.
Not everyone is a good candidate for this type of surgery, so check with your doctor to find out what your options are.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) therapy may help restore hair growth.
During PRP, plasma and growth factors from a small sample of your blood are separated. They’re then injected into your scalp to rejuvenate and repair the hair follicles and stimulate new hair growth.
If you’re noticing hair loss, it’s a good idea to step back and take a look at possible causes.
Look for changes in your hair care routine, new products you’ve added to your regimen, as well as changes in your diet. Most of the time, you should be able to treat hair loss on your own by making some lifestyle changes. However, if the problem persists, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. In such cases, it would be a good idea to talk with your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.