If you’ve noticed that your hairline is receding, and you frequently wear tight ponytail hairstyles, it may be time to accept that you have traction alopecia. Too much strain on follicles causes this type of hair loss. Ponytails and pigtails place a disproportionate amount of stress on hair follicles at the hairline. This is especially true when the hairstyle is worn at the crown of the head, and the hair is long and weighty. Cornrows also can cause traction alopecia, though they cause hair loss in the area next to the braids rather than the front hairline in particular. While no one wants to admit that her favorite hairstyle is having an adverse effect, it’s important to acknowledge and confront traction alopecia before it’s too late.

Change your hairstyle. Sometimes damage due to ponytails is reversible if the stress put on the hair follicles is stopped before the follicles are permanently damaged. This permanent damage can take years, so there’s a chance to reverse the receding hairline if you act quickly. Try alternative hair styles ideas using buns, headbands and barrettes. Also, a loose ponytail is less likely to cause damage than a tight one.

Stop dying, bleaching or chemically treating your hair. This can exacerbate an existing hairline problem.

Eat foods that promote hair growth and hair follicle health to encourage the return of hair to damaged areas. Focus on high-protein foods and those with lots of essential fatty acids.

Ask your doctor about a hair transplant. For some who have hair loss due to traction alopecia, it’s too late to naturally regrow hair because the follicles are permanently damaged. In these cases, a hair transplant may be the only solution.