Iain Sallis, consultant trichologist
Patches of hair loss may be due to several problems (genetic, auto-immune disorders, medication) so it’s very important that you get this diagnosed by a specialist before we jump to conclusions. However, as you said about wearing your hair in a tight pony tail, this may have caused traction alopecia to the front hair line of your scalp. Traction alopecia happens when you place the hair under tension, causing the hair follicle to become damaged (through either becoming infected, producing thinner hairs or becoming so badly damaged it stops producing hair altogether). The hair can be affected if you wear your hair in a tight style constantly over months or years. The follicles under strain will become weaker and eventually stop producing hairs. Unfortunately there is little you can do for such a problem as the hair follicles are permanatly damaged, but further problems can be easily avoided by simply giving the hair a break from the style (or extensions) every now and again. Don’t go to bed with tight hair styles – allow your hair follicles to relax and return to their normal un-stretched shape! In addition, don’t use elastic bands in the hair.