If you’re rocking hairstyles such as tight ponytails, buns or plaits – or using hair extensions – you’re risking the onset of traction alopecia.

A problem that used to be the exclusive domain of black women, traction alopecia is a form of hair loss caused by hairstyles that yank the hair away from the scalp and keep the pressure on over a length of time. And if your hair has been chemically treated to keep it straight, you’re running an even higher risk.

Stop Pulling Your Hair

Wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or bun, or plumping it out with hair extensions might be doing a lot more damage than you realise.

There’s far more to the dangers of traction alopecia than a few broken hairs. In the worst case scenario, the constant tension that certain styles put on your scalp can pull hairs out of the roots, inflame the follicles, cause extreme atrophying, and even reduce them to the point where they can no longer produce hair at all.

While some of these hairstyles are an infinitely more attractive way of covering up thinning areas than the expense of hair loss products, be aware of the danger signs that you’re overdoing it. If you find your scalp sensitive to the touch (or find it a blessed relief) when you’ve undone your ‘do, you’re overdoing it.

What hairstyles work best?

If you feel like your up dos are causing some issues, then you might want to consider some looser styles. Romantic, hippyish hairstyles are always in, and if you can bear to wear your hair loose that’s the best thing for it.

If you really must wear it up, however, consider a loose bun – better still, get your hairdresser to offer you some tips on the best styles to keep your hair looking and feeling its best.