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Let's Fight Alopecia (And Win)

 
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ilong2b View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ilong2b Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 01 2013 at 9:01pm
FleureDeCheveux - thank you for your post.   I believe I have two forms of hair loss. Unfortunately, one is scarring alopecia and naturally western medicine doctors - say it is irreversible.  I have short hair in some of the area, which may be TA.  While the damage may be irreversible  I won't give up. (Several doctors told me I would never walk again without very invasive surgery which would result in very restricted mobility.   16 years later I'm still walking- no surgery Smile)
I considered a hair transplant - but dismissed the idea, for the time being.  May re-consider later. 
 
Thank you for all of the great info!


Edited by ilong2b - Dec 01 2013 at 9:02pm
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ilovewigsss View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ilovewigsss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 02 2013 at 12:37am
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elisa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote elisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 05 2013 at 7:01pm
Originally posted by FleureDeCheveux FleureDeCheveux wrote:

To the OP:

Hello, and I just to say that you are definitely not alone in the battle against traction alopecia. I suffered from a pretty bad case and went to see a dermatologist. The unfortunate news (which I kinda knew but needed confirmation on) was that in my case it was irreversible. It is advisable to see a dermatologist because they can be honest with you about the state of damage to your hair and what can/can't be done. If you cannot, I can chime in with some info:
  1. if the the hair grows very slowly/is light fuzz that does not seem to grow past 'baby hair', then it will most likely mean that those hair follicles are very traumatised. They might recover but will need a lot of time, especially if you applied tension on those areas long term.
  2. If you experience any smooth/shiny spots on your scalp then it is more likely that the hair follicles in that area are scarred (i.e. have irreversible damage). Unfortunately, these areas will not grow any hair back.
  3. At present, there are NO creams/lotions etc that work on scarred areas. Please do not waste your money on those things because the people who sell them to you are trying to make a quick buck out of your distress.
  4. Also do not confuse traction alopecia with other types of alopecia: TA is caused by mechanical damage, not hormones/genetics so solutions such as minoxidil, etc are not going to help.


There are ways to deal with TA.

  1. First of all, you have to stop tension hairstyles (with or without extensions - don't forget that even tight buns are tension hairstyles).
  2. make sure to care for the remaining hair - be gentle with it. Sometimes it helps to keep it natural rather than relaxed because it will give the illusion of denser hair which you can cover over the sparser areas (although this depends where/just how much TA you have).
  3. In my case, the only way to effectively deal with TA was to go for a hair transplant. That is where they harvest some of your hair in a denser area of your head (such as the back of your head) and transplant it into the scarred areas. It will take time for the hair to grow back, but you can get a good result. It is a costly option and with afro hair, it tends to be a more difficult procedure because we don't have straight follicles like Caucasians do, but it can give good cosmetic results. You must research and go to a good surgeon! I quite pleased with my results.
  4. If you cannot do hair transplant/need hairstyles in the interim, there are other options: you can wear wigs (try not to wear the ones with the combs that pull too much on the hair underneath) or you can use microhairs (I can't remember the official name for them!) - these are tiny (magnetic, I think) hairs, that you can rub over the bald spots to give the impression of hair there.


I now do all of my hairstyles myself (yes, including box braids and twists - styles which are often responsible for a lot of TA cases) and take breaks inbetween and in doing so my hairline hasn't regressed since. It is a MYTH that hairstyles need to be tight to achieve a neat finished look (something which caused me the bother of TA in the first place!). They just have to be done gently and taken good care of while in (and out!) of those styles.


Best informative advice and information. Thank youFleureDeCheveux!
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