TRACTION ALOPECIA: Young female singers warn of self-inflicted hair loss—'DON'T LET IT HAPPE
Paigey Cakey was 18 years old when she noticed her hair was falling out. By the age of 25, the bald patch on the right side of her head had grown so large that she decided to undergo hair transplant surgery.
“I just felt like I was too young to lose my hair,” the singer and actor from London, U.K., tells Newsweek of her struggle with traction alopecia, where tension on the hair causes gradual hair loss.
Cakey found herself in a self-perpetuating cycle. She knew that the cornrow hairstyle and weaves she wore were weakening and killing her follicles. But she was “very embarrassed” of losing her hair as a teenager, and so continued to wear weaves and cornrows to hide her growing bald spot. “I felt like I was living a big fat lie,” she says.
“Traction alopecia is very common. It occurs in every age group, from young children to adults, and often goes unrecognized until it becomes advanced,” says Dr. Senna, instructor in dermatology at Harvard Medical School and principal investigator of the Hair Academic Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.