You probably do not come to our website looking for the latest news about the reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian from Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  To be totally honest, it is not a show that I typically watch, but a recent episode made headlines regarding hair loss and a well-known hair loss treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy.  For those that missed it, Kourtney Kardashian found a spot on the crown of her head that had significant hair loss.  Kourtney blamed the hair loss on a recent tight ponytail she had worn and went to see a physician that diagnosed her with Traction Alopecia.  Traction Alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs from pulling the hair too tightly over an extended period of time.  Ultimately, the doctor prescribed a treatment plan of three Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy treatments over the course of three months to help heal the damaged follicles and regrow the hair she lost.

While it is difficult to asses someone strictly from TV, the idea of getting Traction Alopecia from over styling is very probable and very common.  It is important to remember that it is unlikely that wearing your hair in a certain style for one night would cause so much damage to the follicles that hair loss occurs, however, if that hair style is continued often over a prolonged period of time it can absolutely cause hair loss.  We see this all the time in women who consistently pull their hair back tight, wear tight ponytails, or have cornrows.  For a woman diagnosed with Traction Alopecia, PRP Therapy is a great treatment option if the hair loss occurred in the past few years.  However, if the hair style is continued, the hair loss will continue.

While I do not usually feel there is much to learn from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the experience Kourtney had is an important one for many people to see.  Unfortunately, hair loss can happen to any of us for various reasons, but it is so important to seek medical help as soon as you see signs of hair loss.  Getting an appropriate diagnosis regarding your hair loss is key to starting the right treatments and treating your loss.  If you think you are seeing signs of hair loss make sure you see hair loss specialist right away.

Posted by Mary Wendel, M.D.