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Dermatol Clin. 2014 Apr;32(2):153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2013.12.003. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Traction alopecia: how to translate study data for public education--closing the KAP gap?

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Department of Dermatology, The Permanente Medical Group, Vallejo, CA, USA; Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA; Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Division of Dermatology Ward G23, Groote Schuur Hospital Main Road Observatory and the University of Cape Town, Western Province 7925, South Africa. Electronic address:


Traction alopecia (TA) affects up to 32% of women and 22% of high school girls with Afro-textured hair but can start in the preschool years. Traction induces inflammation and follicle damage. The risk of TA increases with symptomatic traction and combined hairstyles. To influence the practice of hairdressers and at risk individuals and help narrow the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) gap, scientific data should be translated into simple messages like "tolerate pain from a hairstyle and risk hair loss" and "no braids or weaves on relaxed hair". With appropriate education and public awareness, TA could potentially be eradicated.


African hair; Alopecia; Hair grooming; Hair loss; KAP gap; Public education; Traction alopecia

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