The normal growth cycle of hair involves three phases: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen. These texts represent growth, regression and resting phases that the follicle cycles through for each and every hair strand located on every part of your body depending on the cellular programming in the follicle. This is the cycle that each hair shaft experiences when it is on your head or your eyelashes or on your legs. And, each of these phases have varying lengths of time, ranging from several months to several years, depending on the cellular programming in the follicle.
Hair Loss Is Normal
It is important to note that some hair loss through your lifetime is quite normal, given the life cycle of the above mentioned phases of growth. It is also quite normal for this hair loss to occur on a daily basis – it is said that we lose approximately 50 to 100 strands of hair everyday. The lost strands of hair can be found on your pillow, on your clothing, on your comb or brush or even washed down the drain when you shampoo your hair. Do not panic about this normal hair loss because while some hair is being shed, there are probably the 50 to 100 strands of hair that are entering the growth phase (Anagen) to replace those that are lost.
What is Alopecia?
The dictionary definition for alopecia is simply baldness. Other sources refer to alopecia as simply hair loss. There are many causes of thinning hair. Some are related to genetics, some are side effects of certain medicines and health conditions and still others are caused by things we do to ourselves. Traction alopecia is one of the latter causes of thinning hair.
Traction alopecia is caused by stress on the hair shaft. This stress occurs when hair styling techniques repeatedly pull firmly on the base of the hair shaft where it attaches to the scalp. Examples of this are tightly weaved cornrows, braids, pigtails and any other hair styling technique that requires pulling the hair shaft tightly and tugging on the scalp. Traction alopecia can be controlled by modifying the tightness with which the hair is being rolled. You simply weave the cornrows and the braids and pigtails more loosely. By decreasing the traction being placed on the hair shaft, you can control, prevent and reverse the hair loss caused by traction alopecia if it is found early enough. Permanent hair loss can occur if the condition is not recognized and treated for an extended period of time. Most frequently, the location of the thinning hair in Traction alopecia is in the frontal and temporal areas of the scalp, but can be located in other areas depending on the type of hair style being worn. There is no existing treatment option for reversing late stage traction alopecia. Surgical hair grafts appear to be the only practical treatment for the late stage of this condition.
If you suffer from thinning hair and you feel that you are shedding more hair than you have shed in the past, or if you are noticing thinning or bald patches on your scalp, do not hesitate to seek appropriate counsel from a qualified dermatologist in your area . If you suspect traction alopecia as the potential cause of your thinning hair, make some changes immediately in your hair styling process to relieve the stress on the hair shaft as quickly as possible. Discover the options that are available to you so that you can, hopefully, reverse the damage to your self confidence and your self image by thinning hair.