Traction Alopecia - Hair Loss Series Part 2

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Traction Alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by pulling the hair too tight. Traction Alopecia is common among African American females who have their hair repeatedly styled in tight braids and extensions. This type of hair loss can also occur in gymnast and athletes who keep their hair pulled back tightly for sports. In Part 2 of this hair loss series, I will be talking about natural remedies for those with Traction Alopecia.

Defining Traction Alopecia
Alopecia is a general term for “hair loss.” The word “traction” refers to the pattern of hair loss which can occur in a line across the crown or edges of the scalp.

Traction Alopecia is primarily caused by inflammation of the scalp. When natural hair is styled in tight braids, extensions, weaves, or pulled in an up-do, the tension causes the scalp to become inflamed. This type of inflammation leads to hair loss.


Natural Remedies for Traction Alopecia
First, stop styling your natural hair in ANY hair style that can cause tension on the hair strands.

Common styles that cause tension:
  • Braids
  • Extensions
  • Weaves
  • Rollers or curlers
  • Flat ironing/blow drying
  • High buns/ponytails

Castor oil for Traction Alopecia
A well-known remedy for Traction Alopecia is the application of castor oil. Apply castor oil to the affected part of the scalp regularly. Jamaican Black Castor oil (JBCO) is recommended for this remedy because it undergoes a process that allows many nutrients from the oil to stay intact. You can also add lavender essential oil to the castor oil to increase its potency.

You can also join a Castor oil Challenge, like this one hosted by Jenelle Stewart of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe to keep track of your progress and to find support.

Alopecia Essential Oil Massage
The combination of these essential oils was proven in a study to aid in hair growth of patients with alopecia. The addition of aloe vera gel helps prevent tissue scarring in the scalp.

Mix together equal parts jojoba oil and aloe vera gel. Add 2-3 drops of the following essential oils: lavender, cedar wood, thyme, rosemary. Massage gently on inflamed scalp 3 times a week. Store in a glass spray bottle. Keep refrigerated.

Shelf life: 2-3 weeks.

(Aloe vera gel can be substituted for grape seed oil to make an oil-only treatment that does not have to be refrigerated).

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment.

More: Hair Loss Series Part 1 - CCCA Alopecia

Sources: Dr. Susan Taylor’s Brown Skin: Hair Loss
Black Women and Hair Loss

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