Hair is a culturally significant natural accessory, but some specialists are calling for a ban on certain styling practices such as hair extensions and cornrows because they can severely damage peoples' hair and scalp.
The Belgravia Centre, the UK's leading hair loss centre, says these damaging styling habits can directly lead to hair loss and sporadic baldness.
Leonora Doclis, a senior hair and scalp specialist at the Belgravia Centre, says women who have hair extensions are often disappointed by the results.
"People who have hair extensions usually have high hopes they'll look and feel good but very often it ends miserably," Ms Doclis said.
"Wearing hair extensions for a long period of time can destroy hair permanently and lead to irreparable hair loss."
Ms Doclis says the hair of young children is also at risk if it's styled in braids, plaits, or cornrows.
"Their hair shouldn't be controlled at a young age. Braiding and plaiting can pull the hair and it can be too tight on the scalp, causing problems like a receding hairline, baldness and hair loss."
Jennifer Aniston is one of the many celebrities that were quick to warn others against hair extension after having her hair ruined by them three years ago.
"Nothing destroys your hair faster than extensions. [It took] a year and a half to get my hair grown out," Aniston told Harper's Bazaar at the time.
"I decided to have a couple of extensions, never knowing you end up with 400 things in your head that cause your hair to break off."
Ms Doclis has seen first hand the damage caused by hair extensions, and believes it's time that extensions which are glued-in, sewn-in or attached with a metal ring should be banned in the UK.
"Hair extensions pull out one's natural hair," she warned. "They're heavy, don't absorb water easily and can tangle very quickly."
Ms Doclis acknowledged that the quality of hair extensions can make a difference, but with no regulation governing the hairdressing industry in the UK, many unqualified people are doing a poor job of adding hair extensions.
"Poor quality hair will snag with brushing and combing and eventually rip your hair out," she said.
"But regardless, hair extensions are bad for hair and scalp health and if not addressed early enough the hair loss that results could be permanent."
For more information about hair loss and the available treatments, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or message the centre.
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