Is Your Hairstyle Causing Your Thinning Hair?

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Thinning hair results from grad­ual, non-genetic hair loss that can be caused by a number of reasons including hormonal changes in the body as experienced by pregnant women and post menopausal women, to poor nutrition as a result of a period of ill health.

Apart from these causes, a very common and often overlooked cause of thinning hair is continuously wearing the hair in tight hairstyles, placing undue tension and pressure on the hair roots eventually weakening them over time and causing them to fall out prematurely. As hairs reach the end of their normal growth phase, they fall out and ideally after going through the rest phase, should regrow and go through the whole cycle again. However, constantly pulling, or placing pressure on the hair damages the follicles and can lead to them becoming inflamed. Inflammation inhibits circulation thereby restricting the follicles access to vital nutrients required for healthy hair to grow.

Here’s a list of the most common hairstyles, that when worn excessively can lead to thinning hair or traction alopecia.

1. Draw­string ponytails

These hair pieces have a comb and draw­string to secure them on top of the head. Draw­string pony­tails are attached to the hair after the hair has been pulled back into a tight bun. Hair gel is some­times applied to achieve a sleek and smooth fin­ish to the nat­ural hair that is held in a bun. The draw­string pony­tail is then attached by pin­ning it in place with the comb and using the draw­string to secure it. Although they are a con­ve­nient way to style your hair, fre­quent and con­stant use can cause thinning hair and bald patches, par­tic­u­larly in the area where the pony­tail is attached.

2. Tight buns

The hair is twisted, rolled tightly and then fas­tened with pins or ties. The con­tin­u­ous effect of twist­ing and rolling the hair can weaken the strands and dam­age the fol­li­cles, result­ing in thin hair.

3. Weaves

This is a style very pop­u­lar (but not restricted to) among black women and involves human or syn­thetic hair wefts being attached to nat­ural hair, often sewing it on to corn­rowed tracks. Wefts are some­times also attached by using an anti fun­gus adhe­sive called bond­ing glue. Weav­ing is often used to stop the appear­ance of thin­ning hair, but unfor­tu­nately it can also cause thin­ning and hair loss itself, as the corn­rows the exten­sions are attached to are very tight to make the weave last longer. Bond­ing glue can also cause hair loss when a proper remover isn’t used to break the glue’s bond com­pletely before removal.

4. Braids

Hair is braided into thin, tight braids, some­times with the addi­tion of dec­o­ra­tive items or with hair exten­sions braided into the hair (remem­ber Brandy’s sig­na­ture braids?). Apart from the pulling action caused by the tight braid, the hair line suf­fers because the hairs the exten­sions are attached to are usu­ally weak and not able to cope with the weight of the addi­tional hair.

5. Corn­rows

These are a type of braids where the hair is braided close to the scalp. This style is favoured for being a low main­te­nance, aes­thetic hair­style, but can lead to trac­tion alope­cia if the corn­rows are too tight as they place undue pres­sure on the hair, espe­cially around the hairline.

6. Clip on hair extensions

These hair exten­sions are made by cut­ting machine made hair wefts into dif­fer­ent lengths and attach­ing clips to each piece. They can be clipped onto the nat­ural hair in var­i­ous places, includ­ing the back, the sides of the face, etc.. They are com­monly used to add colour to the hair or to give the appear­ance of fuller hair. Improper appli­ca­tion by clip­ping the exten­sions too tightly or allow­ing the clips to dig into your scalp con­stantly when applied can lead to trac­tion alopecia.

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Source by Danielle McLoughlin

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