A new study claims that this common hair style is resulting in major hair loss, and people don't realize it.
You may be doing major damage to your hair and not even realize it — and it’s all because of the hair style you chose.
As we reported recently, a new study claims that women who wear their hair extremely tightly pulled back are damaging their hair follicles and resulting in hair loss. The study noted that scalp-pulled hair styles favored by African-American women were particularly damaging to follicles.
They blame it on what is known as “traction alopecia” — but what exactly is that, and how likely is it that you have it?
Alopecia means gradual hair loss. Traction references the fact that great stress is being put on the hair resulting in this hair loss. Those who wear particularly tight ponytails or braids are actually yanking on the follicles where the roots of the hair are located. When the follicles are damaged past a certain point, the hair can’t grow back.
Braids are particularly bad because they require frequent maintenance. The hairpiece must be removed, the hair must be braided again, and the yanking and tugging continues on a regular basis, repeatedly damaging the follicles.
“Moderate-risk styles, the authors say, include some of the same styles noted to be high risk, but because they are performed on natural, unprocessed hair, they are less likely to result in hair loss,” the statement reads. “Low-risk styles generally included low-tension styles, such as loose buns, and loose-hanging styles, such as wearing the hair down, as well as practices that decrease the amount of friction on the hair and scalp and avoid chemical relaxers.”
The statement goes on to note that braids, dreadlocks, weaves, and extension — especially in the case of chemically straightened hair — represent the highest-risk hair styles.
“In their review, the investigators also offered guidelines for dermatologists and other care providers to prevent and manage hair loss from traction alopecia,” it adds. “The first line of therapy, they say, is to loosen braids and other high-tension styles, as well as weight on the follicle permanently or periodically. Braided hairstyles should be in place no longer than two to three months, they say, and weaves and extensions should also be removed for a period of time after six to eight weeks.”