The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists (www.CanadianHair.ca), a Toronto-based organization offering hair loss treatments for over 25 years, is warning the public about certain hairstyles that can cause hair loss after a recent viral video.
An Instagram video has gone viral for showing the damage that can be caused by many popular types of hairstyles. A 23-year-old woman shared the video showing her extensive hair loss from using braids, weaves, and sew-ins. (Source: Orofino, E. “1 Brave Woman Reveals Her Devastating Hair Loss,” Pop Sugar, June 5, 2016, http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Traction-Alopecia-Hair-Loss-Caused-Weaves-41510771.)
“Hair loss in women is a lot more common than people think,” says Ken Robson, founder of the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists. “There’s a lot of stigma attached to it, so we rarely see it talked about in the media. A lot of women feel ashamed about their hair loss, so it’s a good thing when someone is willing to raise awareness about this issue.”
Due to the hairstyles she used, the woman in the video lost most of the hair along her hairline. She was also missing about two-thirds of the hair on her scalp. This type of hair loss is caused by physical damage to the hair follicle, says Robson.
“Hairstyles that tug on the hair can cause permanent damage,” says Robson. “Things like braids, weaves, or even tight ponytails pull on the hair and damage the follicles. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is permanent, so it’s important for people to avoid using these hairstyles if they want to prevent balding.”
Weaves and braids are particularly popular with black women. However, Robson recommends that these women wear looser styles, which are less harsh on their scalps.
“We’re starting to see this problem with men too, with the ‘man bun,’” notes Robson. “Hairstyles can go through trends, so there [are] a lot of people trying these styles without understanding the consequences. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is a lot harder to treat.”
For the woman featured in the viral video, a new hairstyle helped her cover up some of the hair loss. Robson says that there are a variety of hair loss treatments, from hair transplant surgery to topical solutions, but they aren’t always effective for this type of hair loss.
“If someone notices that their hair is thinning, the best thing to do is see a hair loss specialist immediately,” Robson says. “Often, if hair loss is caught early, it can be reversed. The longer it takes for treatment, the more challenging it can be to correct.”
The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists is the leading provider of treatments for hair loss. It offers its clients a number of options, ranging from hair transplant surgery to topical hair treatments.