Braids are known to cause hair loss. Ponytails, coifs, twists, buns, curls, and other hairstyles that pull the scalp for a long time, can cause irreparable loss of hair, a condition known as traction alopecia.
While no record exists of the specific number of people who have this condition, it is probably more common in women and children. It is also prevalent among African-Americans and East Indians, groups who use chemical straighteners and do intricate hair more frequently, and in past times was common among nurses. Nurses held the cap on top of their heads during duty hours with pins.
The leading cause of traction alopecia is excessive tension in the scalp. The first symptoms are inflammation of the follicles, rough or scaly skin, and in some cases, tiny pustules. Over time, people with this disease may notice a lot of broken hair around the scalp. Your hair will become short instead of long and thick. The distribution of hair loss varies from person to person. For example, in the case of a person who sports a ponytail, the condition will probably be limited to the frontal edges of the head.
Hair thinning occurs if the problem is ignored long enough. However, if you detect it in time, you can reverse it. You can avoid it altogether by limiting the use of tight hair curlers and chemical irons and generally by releasing tension at the scalp.
Do Braids Cause Hair Loss?
Changes That Prevent Hair Loss Due To TIght Hairstyles
Below are some tips for avoiding traction alopecia. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of hair loss.
1. Avoid Frequent Hairstyles That Pull Your Hair.
Occasionally, it’s a good idea to pull your hair back well, but avoid wearing a well-pulled hairstyle every day. Constant pulling can cause scratches or hair loss.
Over time, continuous pulling can damage the hair follicles. If you damage your hair follicles, your hair will not grow, and there will be permanent hair loss.
Hairstyles that constantly pull your hair include:
- Buns and ponytails that are well-pulled.
- Hair extensions or weaves.
- Tightly braided hair.
Also, using curlers can induce hair loss, so dermatologists recommend that you do hairstyles like this only on special occasions.
If you have your hair tilted back, the first signs of hair loss may be broken hair around the scalp or thinning hair where the hairstyle is firmly attached.
2. Make Your Preferred Hairstyle Loose.
When wearing pulled hair, loosen the hairstyle slightly, especially around the scalp. To reduce continuous traction, you can:
- Loosen the braids, especially around the scalp
- Wear the hairstyle for a maximum of three months
- Opt for thicker braids and dreadlocks.
If your hairstyle is painful, the style is too tight.
3. Changing hairstyles can also help.
Changing your hairstyle is a way of allowing your hair to regenerate. For example, after wearing braids, you may want to use loose braids or stay natural for some months.
4. Observe These Safety Precautions When Using Weaves.
Weaves and hair extensions are a great way to add length and volume to your natural hair. However, it is recommended that you:
- Use them for a short time, as the tension can increase the risk of traction alopecia
- Remove them immediately you notice pain or scalp irritation
- Choose sewn weaves over bonding glue weaves.
5. Opt for Professional Hair Services.
A hairdresser trained in chemical relaxants can choose rightly, a product that achieves the desired results with the most minimal consequences. Make sure your stylist is well trained in this aspect. Ask and find out. You can also ask for hair health tips and tricks.
6. Check Regularly for Early Signs of Hair Loss.
If you cannot stop wearing tight hairstyles, take the time regularly to check for signs of hair loss:
- Broken hair around the forehead.
- Retreating hairline.
- Areas of hair loss coinciding with areas affected by tension.
If you notice any of the above, it’s time to stop making certain hairstyles. Give your hair time to grow back.
As the tensioning continues, most people sooner or later find that their hair has stopped growing. Areas that previously had hair now appear as shiny skin. When traction alopecia enters this phase, hair loss is permanent.