Traction alopecia: How to grow your edges

June 07, 2017

Traction alopecia: How to grow your edges

Traction alopecia is a common condition in African American women.  Typically women complain of thinning of the frontal hairline or the edges of the scalp.  Traction alopecia is caused by tight hairstyles that are worn over extended periods of time.  Traction alopecia can occur in young girls who wear tight ponytails or cornrows.  In adults, traction alopecia is increasing due to very tight braids or extensions.  When worn for prolonged periods of time, tight braids or extensions cause thinning of the edges.  If caught early traction alopecia is totally preventable.  If the tight hairstyle is discontinued within a few months to a year, the hair typically grows back.  For longer standing hair loss of the edges, regrowth is more challenging. Typically hair vitamins that contain biotin can be used to strengthen existing hair.  Minoxidil 2 to 5% solution can also be used to stimulate hair growth.  Minoxidil is typically a long term treatment.  Dermatologists can also inject cortisone into the affected area to reduce any inflammation that may be contributing to the hair loss.  If you have lost your edges due to a tight hairstyle, discontinue this style immediately.  Avoid tight hairstyles and any excess stress on the hair.  Visit a dermatologist to see if you are a candidate for injections and start taking a hair vitamin to strengthen existing hair.  The good news is that you can re-grow your edges if you catch traction alopecia early.