Traction Alopecia…….The Ugly Truth!

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What Is Traction Alopecia?


Traction Alopecia is a type of gradual hair loss caused by external pulling of hairs, which causes tension on the roots of strands, weakening them over the time. This type of hair loss is commonly caused by certain hairstyles that require tight pulling of strands (tension) to include tight ponytails, buns, and cornrows/braids etc. Wearing hats/berets, elastic headbands, and even elastic band wigs for longer periods may also lead to temporary or permanent traction alopecia.


While traction alopecia can be temporary or permanent, the state can be devastating. Permanent and temporary hair loss require different things and can be addressed in different ways many with symptoms can be effectively reversed through simple lifestyle changes, lets talk about it:


Dietary changes-


When looking at what your body and what is needed there a number of nutrients that are needed to support health and hair growth. Looking at what is needed for growth, a diet rich in: protein, iron, Vitamins, Biotin, Omega 3 fatty acids and zinc not only ensures healthy hair growth but also aids in reversing of hair loss symptoms.


  • Protein: Protein is the primary constituent of human hairs with 90% of your hair strand is comprised of keratin – a type of protein. If you are lacking protein in your daily diet, you hair will be dull, fragile, and lackluster. Consequently, with a diet lacking protein you would be more prone to traction alopecia hair loss.


  • Iron: Iron is equally essential for keeping your hair healthy and growing. The role of iron in hair health is to ensure efficient transport of oxygen and other essential nutrients to the hair follicles. If your body is iron deficient, your follicles may not be able to benefit from them. To successfully trigger hair growth in the bald patches caused by traction alopecia, you need to ensure you are taking enough iron in your daily diet.


  • Vitamins: Of all the vitamins, the one that is considered particularly important for hair growth is Vitamin E, it has been directly connected to hair growth rate. For efficient and speedy growth in the traction alopecia affected area, consume more and more Vitamin E rich foods.


  • Biotin: Biotin is also a type of vitamin, more specifically vitamin B7 and H. This water-soluble vitamin plays a key role in maintaining the health of your scalp and prevents it from becoming dry. When your scalp becomes dry and flaky, it hinders efficient hair growth. If you are already suffering from traction alopecia, a dry and flaky scalp impeding hair growth may further worsen the situation.


  • Omega 3 fatty acids: These fatty acids are particularly essential for your diet because they cannot be produced by your body. The fatty acids not only help prevent hair loss but also speed up hair growth.


  • Zinc: An essential mineral needed by your body for the production of proteins. Since proteins are the key constituents of hair, you can understand importance of zinc. It also assists in production of natural hair oils (sebum). These oils lubricate your hair strands and prevent breakage.


Topical Solutions:


Traction alopecia damages the follicles of hair but does not affect the hair’s ability to regrow. To regrow damaged hair, you would need to ensure efficient blood supply to them and see hairs sprouting from them. Massaging is the best way to stimulate hair follicles and trigger hair growth.

  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is also very good for hair growth. To reverse traction alopecia symptoms, massage your scalp with warm coconut oil. Leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes and then wash your scalp with a mild shampoo.


  • Rosemary oil: Rosemary, a perennial herb, has numerous health benefits and hair regrowth is one of them. Its antibacterial properties help cleanse the scalp and combat dandruff, one of the most common causes of hair loss. Massaging rosemary oil helps keep your scalp healthy through efficient blood circulation. If you wish to reverse traction alopecia naturally, simply massage your scalp daily with rosemary oil and you will be surprised by the outcome.


  • Castor oil: Castor oil is loaded with a number of essential nutrients including protein, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and minerals. It’s antifungal and germicidal properties also assist in treating scalp disorders and infections. For best results use raw and unprocessed castor oil for massaging your scalp daily or on alternate days. After massaging the scalp, leave the oil on for half an hour and then wash off. Regular use will help regrow hair within a couple of months.


When you are looking to address scalp/hair issues, incorporate more and more protein-rich foods in your daily diet. Whole grains, dairy products, lean chicken, milk, eggs, nuts, beans and dark leafy green vegetables are all rich sources of protein. Iron rich foods include lean meat, lamb, liver, whole grains, nuts, beans, sunflower seeds and dark leafy greens (spinach, kale etc.).  Vitamins are equally essential for hair growth. Spinach, paprika, peanuts, pine nuts, parsley, oregano, almonds, pickled green olives and spinach are all rich sources of Vitamin E. Consume these foods daily and see hairs growing in the bald patches. To meet biotin deficiency, start consuming foods like cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, Swiss chards, almonds, walnuts, soybeans, kidney beans and fish. Fish oil, flaxseed oil, cod, salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, butternuts, and fresh parsley are all rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Incorporate them in your diet and reverse traction alopecia naturally. Fish oil, flaxseed oil, cod, salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, butternuts, and fresh parsley are all rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Incorporate them in your diet and reverse traction alopecia naturally. Foods rich in zinc include beans, nuts, whole grains, lean meat, egg yolks, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and shrimp. Fortified breakfast cereals are also a good source of zinc.


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