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How can I prevent hair loss caused by braiding?

Tight twists and braids cause what’s known as tensile stress, which is basically a constant tugging on the hair follicle. Regular tensile stress can cause permanent hair loss, known as traction hair loss. For African-American women, tight twists and braids commonly lead to hair loss at the hairline, and in the middle of the scalp, a condition that’s even more likely among women who also have type 2 diabetes (though scientists aren’t sure why yet). The only way to prevent this type of hair loss is to chillax on the super-tight braids—give your hair follicles a chance to recover.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.