Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia describes a small or localized hair loss due to continuous pulling or violent effects on the hair roots. So if you like to wear a strict bun or regularly tie your hair into a tight ponytail, this will favor traction alopecia.

This does not mean that if you tie a strict ponytail every now and then you will lose hair immediately. However, anyone who exposes their hair to high tension pressure over a long period of time is at risk. The constant pulling on the hair promotes curvature of the hair root.

The end would be the growth stop. The following applies: the more crooked the root is, the finer the hair will grow back, until at some point this no longer happens. In the following guide, you will find out exactly what traction alopecia is, what the causes are and what options you have for preventing and treating hair loss.

What is traction alopecia?

It’s a common picture: People with their hair strictly tied, the hair bun is firmly attached to the head so that nothing slips, or tight-fitting hair clips are worn regularly, none of this should become a habit. A looser variant of the hairstyles would be better for the hair, because the former favors traction alopecia, i.e. small or local hair loss.

Tight braids can pull the hair hard, causing them to fall out. Traction alopecia is therefore often a self-caused hair loss. Wearing extensions often has a similar effect. The constant stress on the hairline due to the various unfavorable hairstyles often does not remain without consequences over time.

To prevent this, hairstyles should be chosen that put little pressure on the hair roots. This should be done as early as possible to prevent permanent damage to the hair. Traction alopecia can already occur in children for the same reasons as in adults.

A similar picture emerges with manipulation that is promoted from the outside. This is called traumatic alopecia. Manipulations such as tearing, scratching, constant pressure or rubbing, since a tight hat may be worn, the hair thins out over time.

traction alopecia

How does it happen?

The hair roots shrivel more and more and form finer hair. After a while, hair production is completely stopped. The hair loses elasticity in the long run, which can stop the growth process, as already mentioned, this favors the hair falling out.

It is better to let the hair hang down freely or to tie it back loosely when tying so that no pressure is applied. This helps avoid traction alopecia. Ideally, the same hairstyle is not worn every day. Once the hair has fallen out, it will not grow again.

In the final stage, this mechanically triggered hair loss can no longer be reversed. Later it is only possible to treat hair loss with a hair transplant. If hair production is now stopped and the hairline has already declined, i.e. the follicles have been irreparably damaged, it is the only effective way. An alternative is to wear a wig until the hair has started to improve and grow back. But this can take a long time.

How can traction alopecia be treated?

The emotional suffering of those affected is extremely high. If you want to end this, let our experts advise you about your options in a confidential conversation. With a hair transplant, it is very important to trust a specialist. The procedures are very gentle these days and offer a good solution.

The experts work with various techniques such as the FUE method, FUT method, diamond FUE method, percutaneous method, robot method or sapphire FUE method. Let us advise you and determine which technology is best for you.

Your hair transplant guide offers all the important information about the different types of hair loss and different options for hair transplantation. You can use before and after comparisons and results of realistic, already treated patients and form your own opinion.

Signs of traction alopecia

At the latest when the first symptoms are noticed, one’s own hairdressing habits should be questioned. They often manifest themselves as dehydration of the scalp, the formation of dandruff and, in some cases, loss of strands of hair when combing or brushing the hair. Hair dyes, hard hairbrushes or products such as a flat iron also strain the hair.

This should be avoided in order to prevent further stress. In the event of hair loss, the use of various substances such as zinc, biotin and selen is recommended. However, you cannot change the cause.

The likelihood of traction alopecia usually increases from the age of 30, making this group of people particularly vulnerable. The reason is that with increasing age the hair roots become weaker and therefore more vulnerable.


Tying the hair tightly may be very practical, and it looks pretty and elegant, but in the long run it can become a very heavy burden on the hair roots and lead to hair loss over time. The medical term for this is traction alopecia. A strong pull is exerted on the hair, i.e. a traction.

Hence the name. Most women are unaware that the choice of their hairstyle promotes permanent loss of hair roots. Wearing permanently strict hairstyles, no matter whether bun, ponytail or braided hairstyle, should therefore be avoided.

Of course, this applies not only to women, but also to children with strictly coiffed ponytails. They also often have to struggle with a loss of the outer hair ring. This form of hair loss often occurs in ballerinas.

Again, this is due to the permanent strain of a too tight bun or braid. The self-inflicted loss of hair can unfortunately not be reversed in the final stages. In the end, it is only possible to treat the patient with a hair transplant.