What is traction alopecia?

According to the American Hair Loss Council, traction alopecia is the loss of hair caused by physically stressing and putting tension on the hair. Certain hairstyling including hair weaving and cornrows that were done too tightly can cause this type of hair loss.

My story

Traction alopecia isn’t something I always dealt with but I think it’s important to understand how and why it happened to me. For a long period of time, I went through a phase where I didn’t love and accept my curls. It was no one’s fault but my own. My family and friends never made me feel like my hair should be straight. I was influenced by outside media outlets to conform to the straight hair standard. I’ve experimented with relaxers, the hot comb, blowouts, etc…You name it, I have tried it.

Fast forward to the years of adding color and bleach to that mix. My curls were non-existent and a lot of my hair eventually broke off. There was no big chop for me. I chose to transition by masking my hair in a sew-in weave. “What better way to grow out the damage?” I thought.

The majority of my hair would be braided and not touched by heat or any other outside elements. Here’s where I went wrong: My curls, to begin with, are fine in texture. Damage from relaxers, color, bleach and heat made the texture even worse. The weight of my hair extensions plus the amount of time I wore them for (7 years!!”> equaled my current struggle with traction alopecia.

While I’m not completely free from this condition, I’ve found a couple ways to hide it.

Toppik Hair Building Fibers

By far the easiest and my favorite method. Toppik is made of a colored keratin protein that will make your hair appear more full and thick. It’s great for bald spots, fine hair and alopecia. I purchased the Hair Building Fibers along with the Hair Perfecting Tool Kit. It’s so easy to use and provides long lasting results! Although, it’s not necessary to purchase the Perfecting Tool Kit, I find the spray applicator the most beneficial tool. It sprays the perfect amount in a targeted area.


A little more work but cost-effective. Using a dense crease brush along with an eyeshadow that matches your hair color, you can fill in your bald spots. By pressing and packing in the shadow, your bald spots will gradually disappear. Although this takes a bit longer, it is an affordable option that almost anyone can do. Bonus Tip: Use Ampro Protein Styling Gel to help darken the area on slicked back styles.

Do you have traction alopecia? Feel free to share your techniques on hiding it below in the comment section.

Follow Rochelle on Instagram @DiscoCurls & Subscribe to her YouTube channel, Disco Curls.

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