Traction Alopecia Hair Loss Treatment
Treatment of traction alopecia is only successful if the cause of the alopecia is recognized early enough and the patient is willing to discontinue the styling practice causing the traction. Many patients have difficulty accepting this diagnosis, stating that they (or their friends or family) have used this same hair practice over many years and have not had hair loss in the past. The second difficulty is finding an alternative hair style that will not cause traction. Most of the accepted hair styles employed by African American women involve some type of chronic traction.
The only styles that do not cause traction are the natural, also known as the short Afro, twists, and short locks or dreadlocks. Loosely applied short extension braids may also cause minimal traction for those patients refusing to wear these other natural styles. Wigs or scarves may also provide for periods of rest from styles causing traction. I have had some success with treating reversible traction alopecia with 2% and 5% minoxidil. This treatment has never been studied. If there is a component of folliculitis, I also have used brief courses of topical and systemic antibiotics directed at Staph aureus.