The Daily Mail carried a story earlier this week relating the stories of four women who had transformed their appearance and lives by wearing hair extensions. Although the women profiled felt better about themselves, the use of hair extensions could in fact be storing up problems with hair loss which could cause greater damage to their self esteem in the future.
Hair Extensions for Styling Ease
Two of the women interviewed outlined how they had turned to using extensions after having their hair cut into short ‘bob’ styles. Although the new cuts suited the women, they both felt that the new styles required additional preparation and styling on a daily basis, taking up far too much time to maintain. They therefore turned to hair extensions to provide body and length and allowing them to create much easier-to-maintain styles.
Hair Extensions to Cover Trichotillomania
Another of the interviewees admitted to suffering from rare obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) known as Trichotillomania. Trichotillomaniacs experience an overwhelming need to pull their own hair out, be it from their head or their eyebrows and eyelashes.
This particular lady had been pulling the hair behind her ears out since she was about sixteen and had continued to do so regularly for the next 20 years leading to a receding hairline and patchy hair loss. By using hair extensions to improve her hair’s appearance, she felt she was able to regain a lot of the confidence lost because of her illness.
A Short Term Solution With Long Term Negative Impact?
Permanent hair extensions must be attached tightly near the base of a woman’s own hair where they are woven tightly into the natural hair. Real human hair extensions can be washed and styled normally, making it very easy to maintain their look and feel. However it is this way in which the extensions are attached which causes later problems in the form of unexpected bald patches.
Although some hair loss is perfectly normal (a woman typically loses up to 100 individual strands of hair every day), hair pulled by the extensions can cause significant ongoing problems. The woman’s own hair is pulled taut by the weight of the extensions and the binding method which places great strain on the hair follicle in the scalp. When this strain is applied all day, every day for many weeks or months at a time, the follicle can be become deformed, stretching into a oval shape, and preventing future growth.
The Follicle is Damaged – Then What Happens?
Once the hair follicle has been stretched, the attached hair falls out. Once several hairs have fallen out, the problem becomes quite apparent as patches of the scalp are exposed. Colleen Rooney, Katie Price, Serena Williams and a long list of other a-listers, have been photographed showing signs of patchy balding caused by the near-permanent wearing of hair extensions.
This patchy baldness caused by pulling hair at the roots is known as Traction Alopecia and is frequently caused by wearing hair in cornrows, tight braids or other high-tension styles. Because hair extensions also apply damaging tension, they can have a similarly destructive effect.
Dealing with Hair Loss Caused by Hair Extensions
The first step to resolving Traction Alopecia related balding is to remove hair extensions immediately. Although this may undo many of the confidence-boosting benefits of the extensions, most women would prefer losing the extensions to losing their own hair.
The next step is to seek advice from a qualified hair loss professional such as those we employ here at The Belgravia Centre. Through a careful and thorough investigation our specialists will be able to advise on the type of hair loss being experienced, the potential causes and a suitable course of hair loss treatment to restore the hair as soon as possible.
Here at the Belgravia Centre we also have experience of dealing with the more common hair loss disorders such as female or male pattern hair loss. We can create treatment plans designed to cater to the specific needs of each woman or man seeking help and advice for their hair loss symptoms, drawing upon a number of clinically approved medications, such as Minoxidil and Propecia, licensed by the MHRA, and other hair growth boosters.
For more information on promoting hair growth following loss caused by hair extensions, or due to any other condition, please contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation appointment with one of our specialists. Alternatively, fill out our online diagnostic form for an individually tailored treatment plan that can be sent to you anywhere in the world.