top of page

Traction Alopecia Torment from Box Braids

Experienced By:



Jersey City, New Jersey


African hair braiding

The Story

This has got to be the most horrifying thing that has ever happened to my hair. I found a hair salon in Jersey City, New Jersey, and even though they were not my favorite, I stuck with them as the stylist I used in that salon did a decent enough job and they were very open to last-minute appointments.

Months after seeing this particular stylist, she told me she would be switching careers and going back to college. I was assigned a new stylist. My first experience with her was disappointing - she spent more time gossiping than working on my jumbo box braids. I had to stop her on each braid to say "Not so tight." She reassured me each time but I could feel the tension.

After getting my hair done, I was in excruciating pain. There's usual pressure after braids that dissipates after a day, but this pain persisted for weeks, even after the braids loosened. I took painkillers constantly. I figured I just needed to communicate my expectations better next time.

My next appointment was for sew-in tracks. The painful section of my head from the braids remained tender. She cornrowed my hair in a strange circular pattern but I thought nothing of it. The tracks were painfully tight but I dismissed it, popped some painkillers, and went home.

When I finally took out the tracks myself, my hair kept falling out! The painful section was now bald and raw. My stylist had damaged my hair and tried to hide it. I was horrified and shaking when I realized what she had done.

Lessons Learned

I knew from the start I should have kept looking for a quality salon. But I didn't want to travel far or start my search over. This experience taught me I cannot compromise on hair care. The damage will haunt me far longer than the search for an attentive, careful stylist. I have to prioritize myself and my hair health.

Comments (1)
Dec 08, 2023

OMG! I'm so sorry this happened to you!

bottom of page