“My head hurts.”

From personal experience, I know all too well how certain hairstyles and the stylist’s handgrip had given me headaches and loss of hair. As a parent of three children with Type 4 hair, I am gentle and aware of hairstyles, brushing, and combing techniques that could cause head pain, scalp damage, and hair loss. Another concern of mine that I am mindful of is Traction Alopecia. The medical definition of Traction Alopecia is as follows:

“Traction alopecia is traumatic hair loss secondary to the application of tensile forces to scalp hair. This condition can be classified as marginal or nonmarginal. In either case, the induced trauma, often the result of cultural, social, and cosmetic practices, is unintentional. Initially, hair loss is reversible; however, permanent alopecia may result from chronic traction.”  

Therefore, I am a supporter of age-appropriate hairstyles for children. With that said, I tend to loosen braids, comb gently, and so on. A hairstyle should not hurt you or your child. You or your child should not experience migraines, headaches, scalp lesions, or drainage. Speak to the stylist for yourself or your child. Explore techniques that would ease the hair grooming and hairstyling process, such as using (short list of examples):

  1. A conditioner with extra slip to detangle hair, 
  2. A water-based moisturizer to soften the hair when braiding, 
  3. A wide-tooth comb to comb hair,
  4. A soft bristle hairbrush to brush hair, and so on.

Let’s break this stigma together! -4 All Coils
Photo Credit: cat6719, Pixabay, License CC Public Domain

Medical Journal Cited: Hantash BM, Schwartz RA. Traction alopecia in children. Cutis. 2003 Jan;71(1):18-20. PMID: 12553624.