Do man buns really cause hair loss called traction alopecia?
For some people, a “man bun” symbolizes youthfulness and having a long, thick head of hair. But the reality of these 21st century hairstyles is that they damage your hair’s condition. You start wearing a man bun feeling like David Beckham. But over time, you start fearing a downward slide into a hairstyle more like Jack Nicholson’s. Do man buns cause traction alopecia, as you hear or read on the web?
Recent scientific studies show that man buns pull hair and cause multiple problems related to hair loss. These problems include scalp scarring and permanent baldness.
How Man Buns Lead to Lost Hair
Man buns are ponytails pulled tightly back with the hair being twisted into a coil. Women have long worn their hair in this style. But the recent male acceptance and Hollywood adaptation of the look has led to a male trend. You see many A-listers wearing their hair this way, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, David Beckham and Bradley Cooper.
But just as for women, many men pulling their hair tightly back in this fashion note undesirable effects. The style leads to traction alopecia. This form of alopecia is hair loss at the temples and behind your ears. It differs from male pattern balding, in where the hair loss occurs and what causes it.
While male pattern baldness is an alopecia with causes like genetics and hormone level changes, traction alopecia comes from hairstyles pulling hairs from their roots. As a result, you possibly note inflammation on your scalp. Once this style pulls the hairs out at their roots or damage the follicle, the hair does not grow back.
Who experiences traction alopecia?
Most people with traction alopecia are women, because women traditionally wear their hair pulled back more often than men. But the popularity of the man bun is narrowing this gender gap. Instead of seeing hair loss at the temples and behind the ears primarily in women who wear buns and ponytails, more and more hair restoration doctors see these patterns in men.
Anyone can also experience traction alopecia from other behaviors, too. If you routinely brush your wet hair without conditioning it, you risk this hair loss condition.
Traction alopecia occurs when you damage hair follicles by pulling or plucking hairs at the root. Initially, hair can regrow from these areas. But repeated pulling causes permanent follicle damage. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, this form of hair loss greatly affects cultures primarily wearing tightly pulled hairstyles. For example, 32 percent of African women develop the permanent condition.
Hairstyles Causing Traction Alopecia
As you likely have guessed, man buns are not the only hairstyle to avoid if you want to keep your long hair healthy and growing as it should. Other hairstyles and activities causing this form of alopecia include:
- Tight braids
- Extension braids
- Tight hairpieces
- Hair weaves using thread, clips, glue or tape
- Hair clips, slides and barrettes
- Cycling helmets
- Hair rollers
- Psychological condition of hair pulling, called trichotillomania
Can I prevent hair loss from this type of alopecia?
Unlike with male pattern baldness, the causes of traction hair loss is a lifestyle choice. This means that you can stop hair loss from these hairstyles and protect your scalp from the damage they cause.
Instead of wearing a man bun or otherwise pulling your hair tightly into the same style, vary how you wear it. At least several days of each week, wear your hair loosely without any tension on the roots. If you want to pull it back, simply loosen the ponytail or man bun and wear it lower on the back of your head or at the nape of your neck.
Raleigh Treatment for Traction Alopecia and Other Forms of Hair Loss
Men typically want healthy, lush and thick hair. Having the hair you want comes down to taking great care of it and protecting your scalp from follicle damage. Of course, your hair density also comes down to other factors, such as hormones and genetics.
Regardless of the type of thinning or baldness you experience, a hair restoration doctor is your best option for getting the right treatment. Even with permanent hair loss, men can experience a thicker, fuller head of hair with the help of a hair transplant surgeon.
When you notice the first signs of thinning hair, schedule a consultation with AZ Hair Restoration in Raleigh or Apex, North Carolina. Dr. Arthur Zacco offers a range of hair restoration treatments, including:
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- Multiple Follicular Unit (MFU)
- Strip Hair Transplant (FUT)
- Hair Transplantation
- Alopecia Treatment
Dr. Zacco can help you understand your type of hair loss and whether it is traction alopecia or another form of alopecia, such as male pattern baldness. To schedule your online consultation or in-office appointment with AZ Hair Restoration, call (919) 615-0577.