Frontal pattern hair loss among Chinese women is frequently associated with ponytail hairstyle

Dermatol Ther. 2019 Jan;32(1):e12784. doi: 10.1111/dth.12784. Epub 2018 Dec 6.


Female alopecia patients in China often present with a frontal pattern hair loss. This feature is seen less frequently in western women. Women in China frequently style their hair in a ponytail. Thus, we hypothesized that the high prevalence of frontal pattern hair loss in Chinese women is due to traction alopecia. To better understand this, we studied 43 women presenting frontal alopecia at a hair clinic. Among the women presenting frontal alopecia, 79% reported styling their hair in a ponytail four or more days per week for an average period of 10 years. To our knowledge, this is the first study to elucidate the cause of frequent frontal alopecia in Chinese women. Although cultural style changes are difficult to change, we believe that awareness of the medical implications of frequent ponytail styling will reduce the rate of frontal alopecia among Chinese women.

Keywords: alopecia; traction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Alopecia / ethnology*
  • Asians*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Esthetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult