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by Annita M. Taylor, MBA, MSN, APRN, ANP

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune (your immune system attacks itself) disease that causes sudden hair loss usually in patches on the scalp and or body.

Traction alopecia is hair loss that’s caused by constant stress and pulling on the hair. Wearing hair in tight braids, weaves, tightly pulled ponytail applying lots of heat and chemical damage can cause and contribute to this condition.

Alopecia can affect women and men of all ages and ethnicities. It can be accompanied by itching, redness, inflammation, scalp pimples, pus (if the area gets infected). While traction alopecia may be preventable and reversible, unfortunately alopecia areata is not and is quite unpredictable (the hair may or may not grow back).

To help prevent traction alopecia it may help to take the following steps:

-Wear low to moderate risk hairstyles (protective styles)

-Change your hairstyle more often.

-Take breaks between artificial hair use.

-Make sure braids, cornrows, or weaves are not too tight.

-Wear loose braids around the hairline especially.

-Get thick braids or dreadlocks rather than thin ones (retrieved from

If you are experiencing hair loss, consult with your primary healthcare provider and or dermatologist about the right solutions for you.

Stay safe, informed, and healthy!

NP Annita.M. Taylor

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