Is Your Hairstyle Causing Hair Loss? – Dr Anastasia Therianou

Is Your Hairstyle Causing Hair Loss?

15 Feb 2020

A tight ponytail, cornrows or braids can look great. But did you know that wearing your hair tightly pulled back can eventually lead to hair loss? Hairstyles that constantly pull on your hair include cornrows, dreadlocks, hair extensions, braids, buns, ponytails and up-do’s that are tightly pulled. Even wearing hair rollers while sleeping can be a cause of female baldness. Medically known as traction alopecia, here is how to avoid permanent hair loss.

Look for early signs

If you do often wear your hair pulled back, the first signs of the problem may be broken hairs around the hairline or patches of hair loss where it is pulled tightly, for example thinning of hair between the braids. If you spot any of these signs change your style to one that doesn’t pull so your hair can regrow.
Loosen up your hairstyle
This is especially important around the hairline. Opt for thicker braids and dreadlocks and make sure you wear braids for no longer than two months. Changing hairstyles can also help to reduce the way your hair is being pulled and give it a chance to recover.
Weave wearers beware
Weaves and extensions are great way to add volume and length to your hair. To prevent them from causing hair loss, dermatologists recommend that you wear them for short periods of time, as pulling can increase your risk of developing traction alopecia. So remove weaves and extensions immediately if they cause pain or irritate your scalp and opt for sewn-in weaves rather than any that use glue.

Have your hair relaxed

A hairstylist who has training in using chemical relaxers can choose the product that will achieve the results you want while minimising the damage to your hair. To find out whether your stylist has this training, ask a few questions and be prepared to walk away if you’re not satisfied with the answers. You should also ask what your stylist will do to help maintain the health of your hair.

Don’t ignore these symptoms

Change your hairstyle immediately if you notice any of the following problems or you could experience hair loss:

  • Pain from tightly pulled hair
  • Stinging on your scalp
  • Crusts on your scalp
  • Tenting (sections of your scalp are being pulled up like a tent).

When the pulling continues, most people eventually notice that their hair stops growing. Where you once had hair, you’ll see shiny, bald skin. When traction alopecia advances to this stage, your hair cannot grow back. Many women come to me with hair loss problems, seemingly unaware that their hair style may be at fault.

For more information on traction alopecia you can visit the the British Association of Dermatologists

If you have hair loss, it’s never too early to see a dermatologist with a special interest in hair disorders. People develop hair loss for many reasons and your hairstyle may be the cause. It’s also possible that it’s due to something else. The sooner you find out what’s causing your hair loss and take steps to stop it, the better your results. To arrange a consultation with Dr Anastasia Therianou, expert in dermatological care for hair loss and mole problems, call 0203 869 5134 or 0203 464 4884.

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