Must-Read: What Causes Traction Alopecia Hair Loss

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Where does it show? 

Generally, traction alopecia shows up along the frontal and temporal scalp. It can occur anywhere, depending on where the hair has been pulled. 

Traction alopecia can show along parts or hairlines where hair has been damaged due to excessive and repetitive pulling and tightness. If you often part your hair down the center tightly, the hair loss will show along that part. If you wear a tight bun, hair loss may show itself along your full hairline and forehead. If you often wear cornrows or lines of braids, the alopecia may appear in many parts of your scalp. In this case, hair pulling occurs in numerous places. 


Sometimes, it is hard to know if you have traction alopecia or a different kind of hair loss. The condition is often mistaken for other types of alopecia, such as alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, primary lymphocytic cicatricial alopecia, trichotillomania and telogen effluvium. This is especially common if there is no clear history of "traction" or pulling on the hair.

Some of these types of hair loss cause a similar pattern of hair loss, so the condition can be easy to diagnose if you don't know -- or don't have clear signs of -- the causes of traction alopecia. It's important to tell your doctor about your hairstyles if you experience hair loss. These clues might seem unimportant, and you may feel your hairstyles aren't something you'd normally discuss with a doctor. But it may help the doctor diagnose you properly and lead the doctor to the right form of treatment.