Hairstyles that May Cause Balding

24th Jul 2018

Hairstyles that May Cause Balding

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not too far from the truth. Traction alopecia is a kind of hair loss that occurs after constant and persistent gentle pulling on the roots of your hair. It could occur after numerous hours or days, and the main culprits can be as innocent as your tight ponytail or man-bun… yes, we’re talking to you too, fellas!

Unlike a painful pluck of the hair, the persistent pull of certain hairstyles often goes unnoticed until bald patches begin appearing. With the beauty industry at its peak and both men and women styling their hair more than ever before, there are some signs you should probably pay a little more attention to.

What are the signs?

  • A widening of your hair part
  • Receding hairline around the forehead and temples
  • Redness and itching on the scalp
  • Patches of shiny/scarred skin

Let’s get one thing straight. The occasional tight hairstyle will not send you bald! And daily hair loss of 50-100 strands of hair per day is normal, and usually replaced by new hair growth. It is more the continual use of certain hairstyles which should be styled with caution in the long term.

On-going hair styles you should avoid

  • Hair extensions
  • Braids
  • Clip-ins
  • Dreadlocks
  • Tight buns
  • Sleek ponytails

Is it too late?

If caught early, traction alopecia is fully reversible, and your hair can regrow as it was. Unfortunately, if left over a long period of time, hair follicles can become irreversibly damaged, meaning your hair cannot grow back to its original form.

Advice to take on board

To avoid traction alopecia our hair biologists recommend keeping buns and ponytails loose, leaving your hair untied when sleeping, avoiding the use of hair extensions and most importantly- paying attention to the signs. If you are getting a headache because of your hairstyle, something isn’t right. Loosen your hair and take care of your scalp, because healthy hair begins at the roots.

About the Author


Dr Dominic Burg
PhD, Chief Scientist

Dr Dominic Burg is a biochemist and systems biologist with expertise in hair and scalp biology, particularly hair cycle signalling. An accomplished science communicator with a career spanning academic research and the private sector, Dr Burg is the Chief Scientist for pioneering hair and scalp health leaders évolis.


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