Hair extensions have become one of the defining trends of the 2010s, with over £43 million per year being spent on them in the UK alone. They’re a quick and versatile way of changing your hair and look without the gamble and cost of a complete cut and restyle. There is a potential downside though: traction alopecia, essentially hair loss caused by the extensions tugging at the natural hair.
Traction alopecia can lead to balding
It’s not always just a few extra hairs that are lost either. Traction alopecia can be quite severe with large clumps of hair shedding within only a few weeks of extensions being fitted, leaving the wearer with patchy bald spots.
So, how can you reduce the risk of damage caused by hair extensions? The first and most obvious answer is don’t wear them but if you absolutely can’t do without them, then limit their use. The more frequently you wear them the more you’re at risk of significant (and possibly permanent) damage being caused.
Speak to a professional before using hair extensions
The next thing to do is resist the temptation to buy and fit them yourself to cut costs. Speak to a professional stylist, ideally one you trust based on experience. Ask them about the types of extensions available and what would be best for your hair and cut.
Tempting as the DIY route might be at this point it’s really advisable to get the hairdresser to fit them for you. A proper fitting can take hours and shouldn’t be rushed as the results can a) look obviously fake, negating their purpose and b) cause serious damage.
Hair extensions should be fine in moderation and if applied with some expertise. Just be careful about sacrificing the long term health of your hair and scalp for the short term gain of a different look.