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traction alopecia

bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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#1
In 1907, the first example of traction alopecia was reported in girls and women from Greenland who styled their hair in a ponytail. A similar pattern of hair loss was later noted in Japanese women who wear a traditional hairdo. In Sikhism, one of the religions practiced in India, men grow both scalp hair and beard hair. To keep their hair from falling in front of their face, it is tightly pulled into a bun. This practice has led to traction alopecia in Sikh men. The tight rolling of beard hair into a pocket in the submandibular region also results in a similar phenomenon. The use of hair extensions, a common treatment for male or female pattern baldness, is also associated with a similar type of hair loss.
Traction alopecia is a common cause of hair loss due to pulling forces exerted on the scalp hair. This excessive tension leads to breakage in the outermost hairs. This condition is seen in children and adults, but it most commonly affects African American women. The 2 types of traction alopecia are marginal and nonmarginal. Unlike a psychiatric disorder of compulsive hair pulling called trichotillomania that leads to patchy hair loss, traction alopecia is unintentionally induced by various hairstyling practices (eg, use of braids, hair rollers, weaves, twists, locks, or "cornrows"). In the initial stages, this hair loss is reversible. With prolonged traction, alopecia can be permanent. Physicians, especially dermatologists, must recognize this condition early to prevent irreversible hair loss.


[/suP] This condition is seen in patients with a long-standing history of pulling their hair into a bun. The typical patient is a 40-year-old woman who initially complains of itching and dandruff localized to the occipital area. Similar to marginal alopecia, perifollicular erythema with occasional peripilar hair casts can be seen.

The natural history of chignon alopecia mirrors that of marginal alopecia, with the eventual formation of pustules and the development of folliculitis. Permanent alopecia can also result if this condition remains undetected and the traction continues. Sometimes, the frontomarginal part of the scalp may also be involved because the longest hair roots originate in this region, and may be subjected to traction. When an examining physician notices both chignon alopecia and marginal alopecia, the index of suspicion should be high, and the diagnosis of chignon alopecia should be considered.



Frequency
United States
This condition is most commonly seen in African American population because of the practice of styling the hair in tight braids or the use of chemical hair straighteners. An estimated three fourths of African American females straighten their hair. More recently, female athletes who pull their hair tightly have been found to develop from this problem. Traction alopecia is also reported in nurses who secure their nurse's caps to their scalp with bobby pins. The exact frequency of traction alopecia in the United States has yet to be documented.

International
Traction alopecia is seen worldwide. Its frequency usually depends on cultural customs. Japanese women who wear a traditional hairdo, Sikh men in India, and others who wear ponytails are examples of individuals who may be affected.

Population studies show a prevalence of 17.1% in African schoolgirls (6-21 y) and of 31.7% in women (18-86 y).

Mortality/Morbidity
Traction alopecia may lead to permanent hair loss if it is undetected for a protracted period. For females especially, this can lead to significant emotional trauma. Changes in self-perception, including lower self-esteem and social problems, are frequently reported by women who have traction alopecia.

Race
This condition can be seen most commonly in African Americans, Japanese women, and Sikh men in India. See Frequency above.

Sex
Traction alopecia is more common in women than in men because women are more involved with hairstyling practices such as braiding or chemical hair straightening, and they are more likely to use tight curlers and nylon brushes and to wear chignons.


  • Women wear ponytails more frequently than men. Women use chemical straighteners more frequently than men. [/*]
  • Traction alopecia is becoming more prevalent in men who are concerned about hair loss because, ironically, it can result from treatments for alopecia itself (eg, use of hair extensions). In addition, males, especially of African descent, commonly use cornrows and this, in part, explains the increased prevalence of traction alopecia in this population. [/*]
  • Traction alopecia develops in Sikh men because they tightly pull their hair into a bun and roll their beard hair.

Age
Traction alopecia is initially seen in children and young adults.
[/*]
  • Traction alopecia is an uncommon overall cause of hair loss in adults. However, in the African American population, this entity is a significant cause of alopecia. [/*]
  • The exact frequency has yet to be documented in children, young adults, and adults.
Clinical
History[/*]
  • Patients usually complain of itching and dandruff. [/*]
  • Otherwise, no other complaints are offered.
Physical[/*]
  • Patients usually have patchy areas of hair loss. [/*]
  • The hair-pulling test results in the detachment of more than 6 strands. [/*]
  • Closer inspection of the scalp reveals perifollicular erythema, scales, and pustules. [/*]
  • Hair loss may be symmetric, and marginal traction alopecia may be present in the temporal region. [/*]
  • With chignon alopecia, hair loss may be in the occipital area. [/*]
  • With cornrowing, the area most commonly affected is that adjacent to the region that is braided. [/*]
  • In patients who tie their beards into knots, areas of alopecia can be detected along the sides of the mandible.
Causes
Three basic mechanisms of traction alopecia have been proposed: trichotillomania, telogen conversion, and overprocessing. In all cases, immediate cessation of the underlying cause can reverse the alopecia.

[/*]
  • In trichotillomania, patients compulsively pull out their own hair. [/*]
  • Telogen conversion appears to be the most common cause. [/*]
    • Usually, the hair follicle can sustain trauma and still remain in the anagen growth phase. [/*]
    • Excessive traction for prolonged periods (eg, tight braiding, wearing of ponytails) leads to conversion of the anagen phase to the telogen phase. [/*]
    • In the telogen phase, the hair follicle ceases to grow and alopecia results.
    [/*]
  • In overprocessing, chemical treatment of hair with dyes, bleaches, or straighteners disrupts the keratin structure in a manner that reduces its tensile strength. [/*]
  • The hair becomes fragile and is unusually susceptible to breakage. [/*]
  • Normal combing can lead to the sudden loss of hair en masse[/*]
 
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Shang

Shang

Sheepish Member
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#2
I think the moral of the story is don't tie your hair back tightly.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
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#3
Good post BN.

I see the Indian guys get a mention,i wonder if their hair is tied up beneath their headwear or its the tightness of the headwear that causes the Alopecia.





 
P

Philb

Member
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#4
Bigmac wrote:
Good post BN.

I see the Indian guys get a mention,i wonder if their hair is tied up beneath their headwear or its he tightness of the headwear that causes the Alopecia.



As far as I know they don't as such tie their hair under the turban, it is "wrapped" into a bun to keep it in place.

I have seen a few cases quite severe traction from this, the entire frontal zone, hair line back for about 3cm, had been lost and the skin pigmentation and look had altered. The colouration will eventually return to normal as would the look of the skin when the head gear is removed permanently but the damage is done to the hair. The problem I saw in both these cases is the line of hair loss that had been caused was very strong and very symmetrical, running along the hair line and down the lateral, and this made it hard when looking at a hair transplant because the immediate area behind the loss the hair was so thick still that to try and blend the two was almost impossible.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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#5
cheers bm,

i always wondered what was under them turbans lol cheers phil:)
 
Shang

Shang

Sheepish Member
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#6
Comment removed as this is a hairloss forum,no politics please.:)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
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#7
This condition must be huge in India then.

Thanks for your thoughts on this Phil.
 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
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2
#8
Great post BN.

We had a female patient couple weeks ago from UK who has suffered from traction alopecia, she will be writing her experience here soon.


 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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#9
cool hope ya took plenty of pics j for us hair nerds to oggle over:)
 
Shang

Shang

Sheepish Member
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#10
BM wrote:
Comment removed as this is a hairloss forum,no politics please.:)
I missed this, my apologies for my political viewpoint(s) BM, although i can't remember what I wrote here. ;;D