Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Naomi's Hair Woes

Naomi Campbell appears to be suffering from Traction Alopecia, a type of hair loss caused when the hair and scalp are pulled too tight for too long.

Recent photos of the supermodel reveal hair breakage and loss around the hair line, which is a classic sign of the disorder.

Hairstyles such as tight braids, twists, buns, ponytails, snug wigs, and the tracks that hold in hair extensions can be to blame. So can sleeping in rollers or other restrictive bedtime hair rituals.

This type of hair loss can take years to become apparent and can be permanent.

The good news is you don't have to give up your favorite hairstyle to avoid traction alopecia. Simply make sure you don't wear a restrictive style for more than a few hours at a time. If you wear hair extensions, try to go without for a few weeks at a time to allow your scalp to breathe. And be sure to practice scalp massage to ensure proper blood flow to your hair and scalp.

Early signs of traction alopecia include broken hairs, redness and swelling around the hair follicles, small pimples, and scaling. If you suspect you're in the early stages of traction alopecia, stop wearing your restrictive hairstyle and see a trichologist or dermatologist for help.

Forgo wigs and weaves and learn to love your natural hair! If you just can't do that, or need some hair pieces to disguise thin spots, make sure they're put in carefully and be sure to massage the areas of scalp where the wefts are attached. Remember that braids are only "protective styles" if you massage and moisturize the scalp. If you wear a ponytail or bun, take it down during the day and run your fingers through your hair to boost circulation before restyling. Any sign of breakage around the hair line should be a red flag that your hairstyle is too tight!