How do you know if hair loss is from traction alopecia?

Observation. Traction alopecia will appear only in areas where the hair has consistently been pulled tightly for a long period of time. The pattern of hair loss is what differentiates it from other types of hair loss. For example, tight pony tails will show hairloss around the hairline. Or tight braides to the scalp will result in thinning hair between the braids. Hope this helps.