Hair, Skin & Nails 4 MIN READ 58 VIEWS November 11, 2021

5 Home Remedies to Help Treat Traction Alopecia

Written By Garima Bahal

Traction alopecia
What is Traction Alopecia
Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia
Traction Alopecia Treatment at Home
The Bottom Line

Hair problems are as debilitating as they are embarrassing for some. Moreover, premature hair loss can sometimes cause several people to become extremely self-conscious. This means that conditions like traction alopecia can be quite detrimental to your hair health as well as a hindrance to your self-esteem. If you or someone you know is suffering from traction alopecia, then this list of five home remedies should be quite useful.

What is Traction Alopecia?

Alopecia is a broadly defined condition of hair loss that can have several underlying causes. Out of the different types of alopecia, traction alopecia is the loss of hair and the damaging of hair follicles due to repeatedly pulling the hair back for several reasons. The term has been coined from two words – traction (meaning excessive pull or tension) and alopecia (meaning hair loss).

Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia

While in most cases, this condition is temporary, prolonged pulling back of hair due to certain types of hairstyles or wearing certain types of headgear can cause permanent damage. Although some people experience regrowth of hair in the places where they have lost hair due to traction alopecia but in cases where the damage to the hair follicle is permanent, this may not happen. So, what are the signs and effective forms of treatment for traction alopecia?

The signs of traction alopecia are similar to that of other types of alopecia areata (which is loss of hair in patches). Some of the most common signs and symptoms of this hair condition are: 

  • Receding hairline on the head usually around the region of the forehead, temples, or the nape is one of the earliest signs of traction alopecia. 
  • Tiny pimples that appear on the scalp at the base of the braid or ponytail (if that is the regular hairstyle you tie your hair in).
  • Redness, accompanied by mild to severe itching in several places of the scalp but mostly around the same area where there is patchy hair loss is a sign of the onset of traction alopecia. 
  • In most cases, this redness may also be simultaneous with ulcers forming at the base of a ponytail or braid.
  • Hair loss that leads to widening of hair parting, is also a common sign of traction alopecia. 
  • Bald or thinning patches of damaged hair in areas where there used to be thick and healthy hair can also be one of the warning signs of this condition. 
  • Finally, one of the most glaringly obvious signs of traction alopecia is when you notice patches of shiny and scarred skin on parts of the scalp that have already gone bald.

Traction Alopecia Treatment at Home

You may want to rush to the dermatologist at the first appearance of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. But you should know that traction alopecia treatment can also be done safely at home, provided your alopecia is still in its nascent stages

1. Increase Protein Intake

Protein is an essential nutrient that promotes hair growth. A certain type of protein known as biotin is responsible for the production of keratin, the substance hair is made of. Moreover, the base of hair follicles from where hair grows, is also made of keratin protein.

Therefore, to help with traction alopecia treatment at home, you can add biotin-rich foods like egg yolks, different types of legumes, chicken liver, nuts or seeds, mushrooms, sweet potato, bananas, broccoli, and avocado to your daily diet.

2. Increase Iron Intake

Just like protein, iron is also one of the most essential nutrients that can help promote hair regrowth. In the case of traction alopecia, you should increase the amount of iron you consume on a daily basis. For example, you can consume foods that are rich in iron like seafood, tofu, pumpkin, spinach, white beans, and lentils.

Red meat and other forms of game meat like quail and turkey can also prove to be effective sources of iron among others. Iron deficiency can result in hair loss – so, the increased intake of iron may result in an increased amount of haemoglobin which is good for the regrowth of hair. 

3. Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the inhalation of steam or the direct aroma of essential oil as a means of treatment for several types of ailments. In the case of traction alopecia as well, aromatherapy has proven effective to some extent. There is a plethora of essential oils derived from nature like cedarwood, thyme, lavender, tulsi, and rosemary that can be quite useful in traction alopecia treatment

4. Massage Your Scalp

Massaging the scalp with oil can also be an effective home remedy for traction alopecia. Gently massaging your scalp can help increase blood circulation to the hair follicles which can promote hair growth. Moreover, a recent study has discovered that massaging your scalp with oil for at least 4 minutes daily can lead to thicker and healthier hair within just 6 months.

Remember to always massage in a circular motion or you could even experiment with a professional massaging device.

5. Use Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin oil is another important home remedy for traction alopecia. The effects of pumpkin oil on hair growth have been proven by experts and have also been backed by scientific studies. According to a Korean study, the recommended amount of pumpkin oil to be used daily is 400 mg, which can lead to a 40% increase in hair count over a period of 6 months. 

The Bottom Line

In the case of traction alopecia, males are seen to experience more hair fall than females. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that men who regularly wear headgear like helmets need to take extra care of their hair. Moreover, both men and women may have questions like “if I am suffering from traction alopecia, when is it too late?” To answer that, it is never too late to begin treatment for traction alopecia but it is always better to notice the early signs and start practising these easy home remedies.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Aarti Nehra

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