Thinning Ponytail - What You Should Know About Traction Alopecia

A thinning ponytail can be a bit of a misnomer. On one hand you have a fast receding hairline while, on the other, you are the proud owner of a luscious-looking bun. As such, a balding ponytail can present a unique set of problems that most folks wouldn't know how to solve. Also known as traction alopecia, an extremely thin ponytail is usually the product of wearing your hair in tight braids, buns or ponytails. Most people will also agree that the condition seems to worsen if one uses heat or chemicals on their hair.

Symptoms of a Thinning Ponytail - How to Know it you are Suffering from Traction Alopecia

For most people, it is not usually cut and dry that they are dealing with balding from ponytail, especially if they have always had a high hairline. Nonetheless, there are a few tell-tale signs that you have a case of hair thinning from ponytail on your hands. The main symptoms is, of course, broken and missing hairs on the sides and front of your scalp. And as the condition worsens, this can quickly deteriorate to;

  • Bumps
  • Scalp redness
  • Perpetual itching
  • Stinging and soreness of the scalp

Can Wearing a Ponytail Cause Hair Loss? Debunking the Myth

You are likely to experience thinning hair from ponytails if you tend to wear your hair in a very tight bun. You see, pulling and tagging your hair repeatedly will loosen the shaft of the hair as it loosens the follicle. And this explains why alopecia ponytail is likely to haunt you if;

  • You use weaves or hair extensions
  • You wear cornrows, tight braids, dreadlocks, and cornrows
  • You often pull your hair back into a tight bun or ponytail
  • You put your hair in rollers overnight

What's more, folks with extremely long hair can also experience balding with ponytail due to the weight that their tresses exert on their thin or delicate follicles. Speaking of which, this condition is typically more common among African American women although it is not limited to any particular ethnicity. It is also common knowledge that you are likely to struggle with a hair loss ponytail phenomenon if your pastime or profession involves wearing your hair in a tight bun such as ballerinas or gymnasts. That being said, this remains a condition that can affect a person of any age only that it happens more frequently as you get older since your tresses become continually damaged the longer and tighter that you pull on it.

So, to answer the common question; can wearing a ponytail cause hair loss?” Absolutely, and that's why you need to have the following tips at the back of your mind.

Tight Ponytails: How To Prevent Traction Alopecia and Keep Your Hairline

There are several ways you can keep hair loss thin ponytail at bay or even reverse it before it gets any worse. This includes;

  • Switching it up: Get into the habit of changing your hairstyle once every several weeks. It does not have to be anything elaborate or fancy - simply alternating between braiding your hair and letting it loose can go a long way.
  • Changing how you prop up your hair: Avoid using elastic or rubber bands if you are going to wear tight ponytails or any hairstyle that exerts undue pressure on your follicles and scalp.
  • Extensions and weaves: Limit how long you have extensions and weaves on or only wear them for a very short amount of time, if you really have to. Additionally, you may want to take a break between each braiding stint to ward off ponytail thinning hair.
  • Nourishment: Substitute your conventional shampoo or cleanser with one that can infuse an array of nutrients to your thirsty hair roots that could have been damaged after years of wearing your tresses in a bun. Bloommy's Biotin Collagen and Keratin shampoo is an ideal example of a nourishing cleanser that employs an agglomeration of ingredients intended to repair chemically and mechanically damaged follicles.
  • Dreadlocks and braids: Get into the habit of braiding your hair into thick dreadlocks if you really have to use this style. Apparently, thinner braids tend to tug more tightly on one's ponytails.
  • Hair relaxers: Avoid using hair relaxers on your hair, use a smoothing treatment instead. Bloommy's Biotin Collagen Keratin Hair Mask is more gentle on your roots, not to mention that it is key to restoring lost vitality, shine and strength to your hair.
  • Wrap your hair: Instead of sleeping in rollers and risk getting a ponytail bald, wrap those tresses using a soft satin or silk cloth. The same applies to wigs, go for one with a satin or silk cap as it won't pull as aggressively or hard on your forehead.
  • Heating tools: Hair heating tools should be used as conservatively or minimally as possible. Besides, use the lowest heat setting on your flat iron or hair dryer if you really have to use them.

Can a Loose Ponytail Cause Hair Loss?

Now that we have elaborated some of the practical and handy ways of keeping traction alopecia at bay, one can't help but wonder; can a loose ponytail cause hair loss? Well, for starters, it is not easy to quantify whether or not your ponytail or braids are woven loose enough not to cause noticeable hair loss. You see, at the end of the day the hairs at the very margins of your scalp bear the greatest blunt of the tensile force that is normally exerted by a ponytail however loose or tight it is. And these are the hairs that are first lost which, of course, explains why a receding hairline usually begins at the forehead before balding backwards. That being said, a loose ponytail is almost always a safer choice compared to an extremely tight one.

In Closing

The main way to treat and prevent a balding ponytail is to wear your hair in a way that does not exert undue pressure to your follicles. For some, this may mean steering clear of dreadlocks, cornrows or braids. Also, it would be quite helpful if you can avoid pulling your hair up in a bun or ponytail.

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