A New York-based entertainment journalist has written about how a decade of wearing hair extensions led to hair loss.
Writing on revelist.com, Maria Fischer explains that she had been wearing extensions for so long that chunks of her hair started falling out. Though so doesn’t say so directly, it seems almost certain that her shedding was caused by the hair loss condition Traction Alopecia, which is commonly associated with styles that place undue pressure on the hair follicles. It is frequently seen on the scalps of women who regularly wear tightly braided hairstyles, but it is also associated with weaves and hair extensions which can tug on the hair for weeks and months at a time.
“If I wanted to save my hair,” writes Fischer, “I had to learn to live without my extensions.”
Year of rest
She says that it took a year of “rest” before her natural hair was ready to be unveiled. Her new look meant an end to blonde hair extensions and welcomed in a mane of brown hair, and a photo she posted of it on Instagram marked, she said, the first time in 10 years that her “100% real, naturally-coloured hair colour saw the light of day.” Whilst her hair looked healthy and vibrant, her thinning on top was still clear, as you can see below.
The pictures suggest that Fischer had something of a lucky escape, as in some cases hair lost to Traction Alopecia can be permanent. Often, however, this is not the case, and Traction Alopecia treatment can help to stop the shedding and encourage regrowth. In every case the most important piece of advice someone will hear from an expert, especially professionals at a reputable hair loss clinic is: “change your hairstyle – immediately.” This is because once the hair follicles are damaged beyond a certain point, treatment will no longer be an option.
“I know I’m lucky,” writes Fischer on the Revelist website. “My hair is thin and frizzy, but it’s still healthy, growing hair. The texture of my hair is not discriminated against in the workplace, nor is my hair thinning to the point where I’m worried that I’ll go bald.” Continues below…
The young journalist admits that it might seem silly to describe her quest to accept her natural hair as a “struggle”, but she points out that hers is more than just a hair story: “It’s a story about my journey towards self-love and confidence.”
Appearance is everything
Millennials like Fischer are especially susceptible to today’s demands to look good all the time; appearance has perhaps never been deemed so important, with some Instagrammers even insisting on Photoshopping or Facetuning their images to erase and edit their images before posting them. Stepping away from a flattering style, even one that is causing harm, can be extremely difficult emotionally though some women are reportedly ready to ditch damaging hairstyles thanks to information about the risks being more widespread now.
“Will I stay away from extensions for life?” ponders Fischer. “Probably not.” She explains that living in New York, there is a temptation to change her look every day. But she has, she says, finally realised that she doesn’t need extensions to feel beautiful – even if it did take her 10 years “and a hair scare” to get to that point.
If you have noticed any excessive hair fall or thinning hair since using extensions or trying out tight, long-wear hairstyles, have a hair loss specialist take a look at it for you. Even the initial step of getting a professional consultation and diagnosis can put your mind at rest, regardless of whether or not you decide to try treatment.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.