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Traction Alopecia? Please help!

Indialien
@indialien
one month ago
5 posts

I've had my dreadlocks for a little over 7 years. They are past my waist and relatively thick. I used a back comb method to lock up. I've visited a locktician twice, and never plan to again. The girl made my dreads SO tight at the scalp that it literally hurt to sleep on them for at least a week after both times I went to her. It also made these giant gaps between the locks and it looked terrible. I only went back a second time because some locks were locking up together and I wanted them separated. I think her tightening of my dreads, plus the length of them, has contributed to the situation I currently find myself in.

I thought to myself a few weeks ago, "I've never really looked at the top/back of my head since getting dreads; I wonder what it's looking like back there." I used a hand held mirror to check the top/back of my head and I was shocked to see that it looked like I was almost balding in certain spots. The dreads look fine otherwise, so I never really thought about it before. I tried to ignore it for the past few weeks, but it keeps nagging at me. I finally decided to look into it online and I've come across something called traction alopecia. It says if it isn't caught soon enough, it leads to permanent hair loss. That's a nightmare scenario for me personally. I absolutely LOVE my dreadlocks and would be crushed if they were going to cause me to lose my hair permanently. 

Is there any way to reverse this damage and prevent it from continuing? The last thing I want is to have permanent hair loss damage, but I also loathe the thought of having to cut my dreadlocks off. Can anyone please offer some help? Is this really irreversible? Are there any essential oils or other remedies I can use to grow my hair back in these balding spots, or is the damage permanent?  It's really stressing me out, and I'm sure that isn't helping the situation at all. I really look forward to hearing from someone who may be able to help. 

I used the flashlight on my phone for light in the pictures. The light on phones these days are obnoxiously bright, so the bald spots look even worse in the pictures than they do in person, but it's still concerning. In the last picture, I moved a dread forward to reveal the bald gap underneath it.

Thank you for spending your time on me!


updated by @indialien: 05/23/20 05:08:16AM
☮ soaring eagle ॐ
@soaring-eagle
one month ago
29,443 posts

are the dreads extra thick

but yes revcersable




--
30 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
Indialien
@indialien
one month ago
5 posts
My dreads are not extra thick. They are on the smaller to medium side. I cut off about 8 inches Of them last night. They are now a couple inches above my waist and feel considerably lighter. I still feel some of them sort of being pulled from the weight. I may end up trimming them even shorter if it means saving my hair from receding further.

Does my case look bad compared to the typical traction alopecia seen in others dealing with this issue? Can I expect the hair to regrow in the “bald” gaps?

Thank you for the reply and video. I’ll check that out.
☮ soaring eagle ॐ
@soaring-eagle
one month ago
29,443 posts

most cases we see are from retwisting and interlocking many are way way way worse

65155106_2408382669221660_3506146902267658240_o.jpg

these are mine though 30 years 10 or 12 feet  53 years old and hardly anyt thinning 

the tightness from the loctician probly did more then the length ever would




--
30 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
Indialien
@indialien
one month ago
5 posts

I do have quite a few that are interlocking. Should I let them grow together, or should I try to snip the hairs and keep them apart?

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
@soaring-eagle
one month ago
29,443 posts

no interlocking is the name of a terrible technique they pull the entire dread through a gap in the roots

if they are joining together at the roots  while wet pull them apart dont snip anything they will 'pop" apart if you waited too long it will be more like a ripping apart 

while wets easiest and most pain free especialy if done often

only let them join together once mature and you know how thick the joined dreads will be




--
30 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
Indialien
@indialien
one month ago
5 posts

Some of them are two dreads that have formed into one at the roots. I think I would have to literally cut them to get them apart. Am I just stuck with that, or is it possible to work them apart without cutting? Does pulling them apart not contribute to the problem of traction alopecia? I've had them for over 7 years, so they are mature at this point. I'm still not sure how I feel about them joining together and essentially having less dreads as two dreads turn into one. Is there a reason why I shouldn't cut any of the hairs that are joined together, but instead pull them til they "pop"? Some are past the point where pulling them and popping them are an option I think :/ I wish I would have kept up with them better. I just wash them and let them do their thing pretty much.


updated by @indialien: 05/29/20 02:50:55AM
☮ soaring eagle ॐ
@soaring-eagle
one month ago
29,443 posts

thats called a congo

i purposely have dozens that are 6 joined as 1 they are fine as long as the 1 combined is not too thick..  

cutting can result in  unevenly cutting so 1 dreads hanging on by only a few hairs.. or lost entirely  only cut if the combined dreads too big and theres no way to separate otherwise 

follow these steps in this order if your sure u must separate

1 while wet just try ripping them apart  even if its hard

2 if they wont come apart try adding a little olive oil to the connected parts to make it more slippery and try to pull apart

3 try wiggling a finger or knotting needle (not crochet hook) or even the prongs of a fork under just the  outermost few hairs and pull then outward

4 go back to step 1 after releasing a few of those hairs

5 as a very last resort  do this with surgical precision, like a brain surgeon,  maybe have help.. pull the dreads away from eachother  putting tension on the joint with a razorblade or exacto knife slice very carefully only a millimeter or 2  straight towards the scalp. go backi to step 1 and try to rip  

if they are joined but not over an inch thick.. just let them be joined




--
30 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
Indialien
@indialien
one month ago
5 posts

Thank you for the advice; I'll try that out. As far as the traction alopecia, is the video you shared the only thing I need to do; massage with olive oil? I've stepped up to washing more than once a week to potentially stimulate some growth in the thinner areas.

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
@soaring-eagle
one month ago
29,443 posts

on facebook find @Panterra carraway consult with her

shes a member here to but pretty busy and not on often




--
30 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
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