beauty

Tying your hair up too tightly could cause hair loss. Eek.

Image via iStock.

I’ve lost count of the number of hours I’ve spent attempting updos, and now it looks like it all could’ve been in vain.

While it may have looked good, experts are warning that doing your hair up too tightly, too often, can actually cause significant hair loss.

Known as “traction alopecia”, it’s a very gradual process that is caused by tension on the hair for extended periods of time, which causes the hair shaft to be eventually extracted from the follicle.

And it’s bad news for bun lovers, male or female.

“When hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail, braid or bun the hairs at the hairline or parting tend to receive the greatest tensile force and hair loss becomes most noticeable on the scalp margins and the outermost hairs of the braid,” says Andrew Wilson, hair expert and Director of Transitions Hair.

It’s these hairs that are lost first, resulting in a receding hairline or widening of the part. And twisting your hair into a bun on top of your head is no better – this can actually cause horsehoe alopecia in the centre of the scalp.

Bad news for bun lovers. Image via Getty.
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The worst offender is putting your hair up too tightly when it's wet.

"When hair is wet it has more 'stretchability' but shrinks as it dries, putting traction pressure on the hair follicle connective tissue," advises trichologist Dr Tony Pearce of Hair Loss Clinic.

But before you go and throw away every hair tie and bobby pin you own, there is good news.

"Provided the problem is identified and addressed early, the lost hair will recover," says Dr Pearce. (Post continues after gallery.) 

It's also important to remember that traction alopecia is not something that happens overnight - it usually takes around several months of repetitive tight pulling to cause hair loss or thinning.

"The only way to prevent traction alopecia if you still want to have a bun, pony or other upstyle hairstyle is to style your hair into a looser bun," says Wilson.

"If you do find that your hair is becoming finer and thinner, simply stop putting so much tension on the hair and allow it to rest. Hair is remarkably resilient and it can recover if you notice it early."

Have you ever noticed thinning hair from your updos?

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