Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that’s often overlooked but can have devastating effects, especially for those who frequently wear their hair in braids. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the causes of traction alopecia related to braiding and offer seven proven ways to prevent it. We’ll also explore the role of nutrition in maintaining healthy hair and answer some frequently asked questions.


  • What is Traction Alopecia?: It’s a form of hair loss caused by pulling on the hair follicles.
  • Who is at Risk?: Anyone who frequently wears tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or cornrows.
  • Is it Reversible?: Early stages can be, but prevention is key.

Nutrients for Healthy Hair

NutrientBenefits for HairFood Sources
BiotinStrengthens hairEggs, nuts
ZincPromotes growthSeafood
Vitamin EImproves scalp healthAlmonds
Omega-3Reduces inflammationFish, flaxseeds
IronPrevents hair lossSpinach, red meat

The Causes of Traction Alopecia

The primary cause is the constant pulling or tension on hair roots. This is common in tightly braided hairstyles.

How Braiding Contributes to Traction Alopecia

Tight braids can put excessive tension on the hair follicles, leading to weakening and eventually hair loss. A recent article we posted talked about how the size and length of braids can significantly affect your look with a touch of the health of your hair and scalp.

7 Proven Ways to Prevent Traction Alopecia

  1. Loose Braiding: Avoid braiding your hair too tightly. Opt for styles that are less stressful on the hair follicles.
  2. Regular Breaks: Give your hair a break between braiding sessions. This allows the follicles to recover.
  3. Use the Right Products: Opt for natural hair products that strengthen your hair. Check out Marie’s article on Natural Hair Products for recommendations.
  4. Consult a Professional: Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts. A professional can guide you on the best braiding techniques.
  5. Nutritional Supplements: Consider taking hair-boosting vitamins. Nutrition Guide offers some great tips.
  6. Scalp Massages: Regular scalp massages can stimulate blood flow, aiding in hair growth.
  7. Regular Check-ups: Keep an eye on your hairline and any signs of thinning. Early detection is crucial.

The Role of Nutrition in Preventing Traction Alopecia

Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can strengthen hair follicles and prevent hair loss.

Nutrients to Focus On:

  1. Protein: Hair is primarily made of protein, making it essential for hair health.
  2. Vitamins: Vitamins like A, C, and D promote hair growth and repair hair follicles.
  3. Minerals: Iron, zinc, and magnesium are vital for hair strength and preventing hair loss.

We’ve included a quick quiz to help you assess your risk level for developing traction alopecia.

Quiz: Assess Your Risk Level for Developing Traction Alopecia

Want to know how at risk you are for developing traction alopecia from braiding? Check the options below to find out!


Almost every day (3 points)
A few times a week (2 points)
Rarely (1 point)

Very tight (3 points)
Moderately tight (2 points)
Loose (1 point)

Yes, often (3 points)
Sometimes (2 points)
No (1 point)

More than a month (3 points)
2-4 weeks (2 points)
Less than 2 weeks (1 point)

No (3 points)
Sometimes (2 points)
Yes, always (1 point)


Add up your points to determine your risk level:

  • 13-15 points: High Risk
  • 9-12 points: Moderate Risk
  • 5-8 points: Low Risk
Woman with healthy braided hair
Photo by Sweet Life on Unsplash


Traction alopecia is a preventable condition if you take the right steps. From choosing looser braiding styles to giving your hair the nutrients it needs, you can enjoy your favourite hairstyles without compromising your hair’s health. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.


  • Is traction alopecia permanent?
    • It can be if not addressed early on.
  • Can men experience traction alopecia from braiding?
    • Yes, it’s not exclusive to women.
  • What are some signs of traction alopecia?
    • Thinning around the forehead and temples is a common sign.
  • How can I reverse early stages of traction alopecia?
    • Loosening your braids and using hair-strengthening products can help.
  • Are there any home remedies for traction alopecia?
    • Scalp massages and natural oils like coconut oil can offer some relief.
  • How long does it take for the hair to recover?
    • It varies from person to person but generally takes a few months with proper care.
  • Can children experience traction alopecia?
    • Yes, especially if they frequently wear tight hairstyles.
  • Is it necessary to consult a doctor for traction alopecia?
    • If you notice significant hair loss, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.