Styling your hair is the best way to spice up your appearance during your day-to-day life. But if you’re not careful, you may face the consequences of tight hairstyling, which can be irreversible hair loss! As with most hair care practices, as long as you understand the cause and effect early, you can take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage to your hair. See how to make hairstyles work for you, while maintaining your hair + scalp health!
HOW IT WORKS
The biggest contribution to hair loss is repetitive tension and recurrent pulling of your hair + scalp. Traction Alopecia is caused by repeated trauma to hair follicles or from pulling your hair back into tight hairstyles. It is found in 31.7% of adult women, compared to 2.3% of men.
An occasional ponytail or bun won’t cause lasting damage, but tying up your hair every day can. Tight styles include: high ponytails, buns, braids, curlers, locks, cornrows, and use of rough hair accessories. So when you see the early signs, this is your chance to take immediate action to prevent + reverse further damage. But if these signs are ignored, you can develop Traction Alopecia, which can lead to permanent hair loss if not resolved.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
1. HEADACHES + PAIN
Have you ever gotten a headache after unraveling your updo? This is an immediate tell that it was way too tight! When your head or scalp hurts after an updo, just imagine what damage was done to your follicles during that time. Forcefully pulling on your hair can rupture the follicles. Work to minimize the damage, don’t just try to bear the pain!
2. A RECEDING HAIRLINE
If you’re seeing a receding hairline, or thinning areas, this means your hairstyles are too frequent and too tight. Patchy and thinning areas indicate where your scalp is experiencing the most pull. For example, with ponytails, your hair may be thinning around where the base of your ponytail usually is. Luckily, this means it’s still early enough for you to reverse these effects!
3. WEAKENING HAIR QUALITY
Over time, your hair thinning may have developed into early Traction Alopecia. This can be identified by: your hair thinning overall and not just in certain areas, strands are frequently breaking, and some areas may have even stopped growing hair altogether.
With this, your hair is weakening + reducing in retention. And your strands, known as terminal hair, are now being replaced by vellus hair – strands that are similar to peach fuzz. This stage requires solutions stronger than just changing your hair styling habits – it may now have to involve topical medications.
4. SIGNIFICANT HAIR LOSS
With further ignoring the signs mentioned above, your tight hairstyling has led to permanent + irreversible hair loss. At this stage, your entire scalp will now have slower or no regrowth. The results of late Traction Alopecia are: brittle strands due to loss of quality, formation of a fringe sign, and little to no hair retention for the majority of your scalp. At this point, your only solutions will be topical medication and/or to begin considering hair transplantations!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. TAKING EARLY PREVENTION STEPS
Your scalp and hair will make a full recovery at this stage, just by changing your hair care practices! Follicles are most vulnerable during this time, which is why you must reduce the tension immediately before the effects spread any further. It’s time to either drop the tight styles entirely, or go for the looser alternatives such as loose low buns, low ponytails, and gentle braids. Changing styles once in a while also works best! This helps avoid pulling on your scalp at the same areas every time. It also gives those areas time to recover from the tension between each style.
Lastly, don’t forget to change out all your hair accessories for more gentle alternatives, such as silk scrunchies, silk bonnets, or larger wide tooth claw clips.
2. SOLVING EARLY TRACTION ALOPECIA
At this point, it is a viable solution to avoid tight hairstyles altogether. However, for those who cannot avoid them such as cornrows or locks, try to reduce the frequency between each appointment. It is also recommended at this stage to completely avoid chemicals and heat, in order to retain as much of your hair as possible.
With the option for topical treatments, these can help with a problematic or tender scalp, especially to soothe + stimulate shrinking follicles. Prioritize re-activating these follicles with microneedling, in order to re-open their access to receive nutrients again + support regrowth! And for an extra boost, pairing this with scalp treatments is a surefire way to get your hair growth back on track with all the extra nourishment. With consistency, and by changing unhealthy habits, you still have time to recover!
3. FACING LATE TRACTION ALOPECIA
If surgical options are something you’re willing to consider, at this stage you would be recommended for hair transplantation. Alternatively, the best solution without surgery for late Traction Alopecia is topical treatments that influence the micro-organisms around your follicles. Blocking the testosterone known as DHT, for example, can help improve your follicle health since DHT is the hormone responsible for blocking follicles’ access to nutrients. Another strong recommendation for recovery is medication for reducing alpha-1 receptors. Reducing alpha-1 receptors in your body helps to dilate your blood vessels to improve circulation to your follicles. For any remaining active follicles, hair growth may still be possible!
OUR PRODUCT PICKS
For DHT blockers, follicle stimulation and nourishment, our Rosemary Scalp Treatment
is a top choice for targeting + combating hair loss. Because of its liquid formulation + gentle organic ingredients list, it works best for all stages, from the early prevention steps to those already experiencing alopecia. Just see these real results for yourself
For cases where your follicles are shrinking or slowing hair growth, microneedling is the best solution to re-activate them. The microneedles of our Derma Roller create entry points along your scalp + open follicles in order for the follicle’s root to regain access to your body’s nutrient supply. These entry points also allow scalp treatments to directly nourish your hair at the root.
With this powerful combination for combating hair loss, this is how our Max. Hair Growth Bundle got its name! When it comes to all things hair growth, focusing on your follicle health + scalp care is top priority. When you provide these external supports to your follicles, you’ll see how much your hair can truly flourish with just incorporating natural products to your routine.
Keeping your hair care and hair habits as natural as possible doesn’t mean it can’t be effective! When you let your natural hair thrive, every day can be a good hair day – with or without styling. It can make a lasting impact, and all you need to do is be consistent and caring with your hair and scalp. The best part? It can be done just by making such simple conscious changes! In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for investing in your hair health.
Read more of our haircare tips here!