Must-Read: What Causes Traction Alopecia Hair Loss

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What is traction alopecia? 

Talk about bad hair days...Your too-tight ponytail could be making your hair fall out!

What causes traction alopecia is tension or stress on the hair. Repetitive or prolonged pulling of the hair can cause hair to break or fall out. Traction alopecia was first noticed in Greenland in 1907, reported by patients whose pigtails were too tight. 

Repetitive and tight hairstyles, such as cornrows or braids, are the main cause of traction alopecia. The constant pulling of the hair results in damage to the dermal papilla and hair follicle, which ultimately can result in hair loss in areas where the hair is stressed, yanked and pulled. Women who wear tight buns or chignons, people who often keep their hair in firm braids, and anyone who often pulls their hair back tightly is at risk of developing traction alopecia. 

Chemical processing also can be a cause of traction alopecia because it weakens the hair in a similar fashion to excessive pulling. Chemical processes such as hair dye, chemical straightening, bleaching and perming can result in damage to the strength of hair -- specifically tensile strength, or the elasticity of hair.