Hairstyles that Pull Can Lead to Hair Loss — and How to Prevent It.

Anyone who frequently wears a tightly pulled hairstyle can develop hair loss. Cornrows, dreadlocks, hair extensions or weaves, tightly braided hair, a sleek ponytail, buns or tightly pulled up-do’s – these will, over time, damage hair follicles and lead to permanent hair loss. The medical terminology used for this type of hair loss is Traction Alopecia.


If you often wear your hair tightly pulled back, the first signs of hair loss are broken hairs and thinning hair around the hairline. If your hairstyle feels painful, the style is too tight.


You can reduce your risk for developing this type of hair loss by following the tips below:


1. Avoid wearing rollers to bed. Style your hair in this way only occasionally.

2. Loosen up the hairstyle, especially around your hairline. Wear a braided style for no longer than two to three months. Opt for thicker braids and dreadlocks.

3. Change it up. Changing hairstyles helps to reduce the pull and give your hair time to recover. For example, after wearing cornrows, try loose braids for a few months.

4. Weaves and extensions should be worn for short periods of time. Remove them immediately if they irritate your scalp or cause pain. Choose sewn-in weaves rather than ones that use a bonding glue.

5. Have a professional relax your hair. A hairstylist who has training in chemical relaxers can choose the best product while minimizing damage to your hair.

6. Look for early signs of hair loss. Take time to examine your hair every month. Broken hairs around your forehead, a receding hairline or patches of hair loss may indicate that it is time to change your hairstyle to allow your hair to recover and regrow. In advanced stages, hair will eventually stop growing and result in Traction Alopecia.

7. Change your hairstyle immediately if you notice pain, stinging, crusts or scalp pulling up like a tent from wearing a tight hair-do.


When dealing with Traction Alopecia, prevention is better than cure. However, if you have permanent hair loss because of the pulling of your hair, you can seek the assistance of a medical professional to learn if hair transplantation is right for you. Another option, Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) (a specialized tattooing technique), is used to mimic the growth of hair to match your own. And finally, natural or synthetic hair pieces come in many different colours and styles as an alternative solution to your hair loss.

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