traction alopeciaWe’ve all been there. Tired, rushed off our feet, doing a million things at once.

The last thing that we are thinking about is the health of our hair.

Most days, I just pop mine up into an easy bun and get on with my day, but what if I told you that our everyday hairdos could be harming our precious tresses and in extreme cases, could lead to hair thinning and even Traction Alopecia.

I know. Scary, but don’t panic. It’s not as bad as it sounds and you can totally take steps to avoid it.

So what is it and how can it happen?

Time to Mention the Tension

Traction Alopecia is a type of hairloss that occurs when the hair follicles become inflamed. This can be caused by a variety of reasons but is often the result of repeated tension or stress being placed on the roots and can be caused by something as simple as an overly tight ponytail.

Some of the potential causes are overly tight updos and braids, heavy dreadlocks or extensions and even repeated use of headbands or functional headgear.

An additional culprit of the condition may be the use of too many chemicals and harsh products.

Symptoms of Traction Alopecia include itchy scalp, hair thinning, sensitive or painful roots, headaches caused by the hair being pulled back too tight and of course, bald spots.

Take Action Against Traction Alopecia

So what can you do? The good news is that, if done early enough, a few simple habit and lifestyle changes can do wonders.

Loosening buns and braids is a definite first step to reducing tension and breakage, while haircare expert Tabitha Coffey suggests placing your ponytail in a different position day to day to avoid repeated follicle strain. You could try replacing your elastic bands for fabric ties or hair bungees and start using products that nourish your hair and scalp.

Obviously, whether in the early stages or advanced, if you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms, you should seek advice from a medical professional first and remember that reversing prolonged damage takes time and commitment, but ultimately be kind to your hair and with a bit of luck, the key to beautiful locks may be as simple as letting your hair down.