The dictates of fashion, religion and custom produce an immense variety of hairstyles, each producing a different stress on the hairs. Ponytails produce frontal or parietal hair loss. Tight braiding in cornrows produces a marginal or central alopecia with widening of the part lines. Twisting hair into a bun on the top of the head can produce a horseshoe alopecia in the centre of the scalp. Brush rollers applied too tightly produce irregularly shaped areas of alopecia. Vigorous brushing or over even an enthusiastic massage can produce diffuse hair loss.
Traction alopecia mostly affects the front (frontal) and and sides of the scalp but the location of traction alopecia wholly depends on an individual's personal hair care practice, which may or may not be related to their ethnic background. "Fringe sign" is commonly found in patients with traction alopecia of the marginal hairline – this means that some hair is retained along the frontal and/or temporal rim of the hairline. Initially, traction alopecia is noncicatricial (without scarring), but prolonged and excessive tension leads to destruction of the hair follicles and permanent alopecia.
Change the location of your ponytail often - wear it high, low, on one side, then the other. Don't wear a ponytail at all if your hair isn't really long enough to need one... otherwise you'll probably be pulling your too-short hair really hard in order to secure it. Click here for tips on safely securing the hair during exercise .
Avoid using clipped in ponytails - the weight of them can - quite literally - tear out your hair.
Always use fabric covered hair bands - avoid bare rubber bands like the plague! And remove bands, clips and ponytail holders from the hair at night - this is when you may be putting your hair under tension without even realizing it.