While losing hair is a part of everyone’s natural life, sometimes hair thinning, beyond a limit, can be devastating. Most hair loss issues are attributed to hormones, genetics, heredity and a number of other factors. One of the predominant causes of hair loss is also the innocent ponytail. For that matter, any tight hairstyle that you wear regularly can lead to pulling and breakage. Broadly categorised under lifestyle factors, it makes a big difference how to wear your hair, daily.
Choices of hairstyles
The key primarily lies in the way you wear your hair. If you are using too much protective styling such as wigs, extensions, hair clips etc., they can lead to a condition called traction alopecia. When hair gets pulled, it damages the root and even scars the area, causing permanent hair loss. The process is virtually unnoticeable because it takes a few years before you actually discern it. Tight braiding, constricted ponytails or simply pulling your hair (usually done unconsciously, due to stress) can lead to scalp and hair shaft damage. Monitor your hair between styles and see if you can arrest the hair loss before you lose too much.
What is traction alopecia?
Gradual hair loss advents when you constantly apply a pulling force to the hair. When hair is frequently worn in tight pigtails, braids or ponytails, it results in traction alopecia. Occasionally, this type of alopecia is seen in long-haired individuals who use barrettes to restrict hair falling into the face. The hairline starts receding due to chronic hair pulling or traction and a fringe along the marginal hairline is visualised during a physical examination. This is also a useful clinical marker especially during conditions such as frontal fibrosing alopecia. A pseudo-fringe sign is noticed with unusual retention of the hairline.