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US Doctor Warns on Traction Alopecia Hair Loss

Extensions Hair LossA US doctor who specialises in hair transplants has spoken out recently against the modern trend of hair extensions, which he says are creating, “a bald new world.”

Dr Larry Shapiro says that he is witnessing more and more young people who are experiencing hair loss unnecessarily due to the use of hair extensions and hair products.

“If the growing hair extension industry doesn’t straight up its act and do something soon about warning consumers of the potential harm that extensions can cause to healthy hair, I’ll start naming those companies that are the worst offenders,” Dr Shapiro said.

Hair Extensions and Traction Alopecia

Hair extensions are one of the primary causes of Traction Alopecia, an avoidable hair loss condition which can result from excessive strain and pressure being put on the hair. Tension applied to hair by the weight and tightness of extensions can damage the hair follicles to the point where they will no longer grow. Tightly worn hairstyles, such as braiding, and the use of chemical hair products can also result in traction alopecia.

If caught early, hair loss caused by traction alopecia is usually reversible, but if the damage continues to take place over a long period of time the hair loss can become permanent.

Britney ExtensionsSeveral high profile cases of traction alopecia have been covered in the celebrity gossip pages recently, with model Naomi Campbell and singer Britney Spears both photographed with unflattering bald patches which are thought to have been caused by their hair styling regimes. This hair loss is perhaps particularly telling, as it is often the desire to emulate celebrities in the public eye that drives young people to experiment with potentially damaging hairstyles.

When Dr Shapiro was asked for his expert advice by a US news presenter concerned about the appearance of her hair on camera he suggested that she wear it natural, saying, “You’ll look better and you won’t risk becoming bald.”

Treatment for Traction Alopecia Hair Loss

Thankfully, traction alopecia is treatable, but only if the damage to the hair follicles has not been so prolonged that it has become permanent, and if the underlying cause of the damage, such as a particular hairstyle, is ceased.

At the Belgravia Centre we treat traction alopecia, as well as a wide range of other hair loss conditions. After diagnosis of the hair loss in question, our expert trichologists will set out a treatment programme aimed at stabilising the condition and stimulating hair re-growth, while monitoring the condition closely.

If you’re concerned about suffering from traction alopecia, the first thing to do is to ensure that the stress that the hair has been put under is relieved, by opting for a more natural, loose hairstyle.


27th February, 2013 at 11:02 pm


You're so awesome! I do not think I've truly read through a single thing like that before. So nice to find somebody with unique thoughts on this subject. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!

1st December, 2016 at 1:25 pm


Thank you so much for explaining to women the harsh truth of hair extensions. Salons are never forth coming in the hazards of hair extensions due to the profitability they bring in. I have used fusion bonded extensions on and off and each time have found that even with maintenance I lost a considerable amount of hair, sometimes taking a year to recuperate back. The last time I had them placed in and taken out I lost half of my hair. I was like, "This is insanity, I keep trying to make hair look better, but I only end up making it look worse!" Women really need to be aware no matter what extension process you use, the intial application looks fabulous, but in the end the damage out weighs the cons of having the extensions in. PLEASE listen to this article. Do your research and especially if you have fine or thinning hair stay away from extensions! Living proof is right here telling you the outcome will be devastating to but your hair and self confidence.

6th April, 2017 at 4:26 am


Thank you for this article, however, I read it too late. Like Victoria above, I, too, used extensions to help me grow out my Pixie. After only eight weeks, my regular stylist noticed balding spots on the sides of my head. I immediately removed the extensions and started doing my research. That is when I learned of traction alopecia. I had gone to 3 different salons before committing to extensions and none of them ever told me of the risk of traction alopecia. I've been to a dermatologist and have gotten cortisone shots in my scalp and have used Rogaine. My hair is so much thinner on the sides and I am hoping that with time everything will fill back in. This is a wonderful article and so necessary educate the public. Please think twice before using any type of extension. They look wonderful and full while they are in your hair but once they are removed they can definitely leave a mess behind.

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