As we change our hairstyles according to the fashions of the day, we rarely spare a thought for our hair follicles – yet they bear the brunt of our desire to look good. For years, women have been quietly aware of this as they suspect their thinning frontal hairline has been exacerbated by styling, be it the use of brush rollers, or wearing their hair in corn rows or a tight ponytail. With the current appetite for the man bun, men too are noticing that the trend comes at a price…
What is traction alopecia?
When hair is pulled back tightly for a sustained period of time, rather than simply breaking the strand, the constant tension can cause the hair bulb to be pulled out of the follicle. The most affected area is the area around the temples, leading to a thinning, receding hairline. If the traction continues over a long time, the follicles can become inflamed and, potentially, permanently damaged meaning they are no longer able to grow hair. Given that one in two men will experience a thinning hairline (androgenetic alopecia) by the time they reach 50 years old, actively putting extra strain on the hair follicles through styling is best avoided.
Are clip-on man buns the answer?
Seeking to address the problem of how to have an on-trend hairstyle without causing hair loss, the clip-on man bun has been introduced to the market. The idea is that hair need not be pulled as tightly back in an effort to make a bun, and the hairpiece can be used to augment the style. While this may indeed take some of the tension out of the hair and therefore the stress off the hair follicle, caution still needs to be exercised. Any accessory that puts extra weight on your hair or is tightly fixed on, be it woven-in hairpieces, extensions or clip-ons, can exert undue stress on your roots so do monitor this area carefully.