Can Hair Extensions Trigger Hair Loss? We Tapped Specialists to Discover Out


Woman with very long extensions gathered in a ponytail

Hair extensions have lengthy been used to spice up the looks, fullness, and size of 1’s hair. In each Historical Egypt and Rome, wigs had been typically thought of social markers of 1’s social standing, attractiveness, well being, and standing.

In 1952, Christina M. Jenkins invented one thing generally known as the “HairWeeve,” which she patented as “a way and equipment by which business human hair [could] be securely connected to the reside hair on the pinnacle,” and thus the modern-day weave was born. Weaves are one type of hair extension, sewn into pure hair braided on the scalp. At this time we additionally see less-permanent choices similar to clip-in extensions, and extra everlasting choices similar to bonding.

Whereas hair extensions might add to the looks of 1’s hair, are they subtracting from hair and scalp well being? Sadly, the reply is sure. Forward, trichologist Dominic Burg, Ph.D., board-certified dermatologist Stephen Shapiro, MD, and Everlasting Hair & Esthetics founder Abe Ayesh share their takes on how hair extensions can influence hair loss.

Forms of Hair Extensions

In the case of sorts of hair extensions, the restrict doesn’t exist. Simply kidding… form of. “There’s a large vary of hair extensions out there,” Burg shares. “Tape in, clip in, halo, ponytail, fusion, keratin, weaves, microbeads, weft, and so forth. These can be product of human hair or artificial hair. They differ in high quality, size of use, ease of software (skilled or at residence), and the potential to wreck your hair and root.”

So, what precisely are all the above?

  • Tape-in extensions: Tape-in extensions adhere to the hair’s root utilizing medical-grade tape. The bond is nearly-unbreakable, leading to long-lasting extensions that must be professionally eliminated.
  • Clip-in extensions: Clip-in extensions are non permanent extensions that clip into the hair in your head. They are often put in at residence.
  • Halo extensions: Halo extensions don’t connect to the hair, however are somewhat formed just like the crown of your head and sit on the hair with a hidden wire. Halo extensions can simply be positioned on the pinnacle at residence.
  • Ponytail extensions: Ponytail extensions are pre-made ponytails that connect to your hair utilizing clips or elastics and don’t require skilled assist.
  • Fusion/keratin extensions: Fusion/keratin extensions are connected strand-by-stand and have glue pre-installed on the high of every piece to stick to the hair. They’re then connected with a software that fuses the extension to your pure hair. Fusion and keratin extensions have to be utilized and eliminated by knowledgeable.
  • Bead/weft extensions: Bead/weft extensions are made out of actual human hair, and are connected by knowledgeable through a bead that clamps and lays flat to the pinnacle.

Can Hair Extensions Trigger Hair Loss?

Whereas the explanations, severity, and particulars might differ, the final reply to this query is: Sure, hair extensions can in reality trigger hair loss. “Hair extensions can immediately add quantity and size to your hair so we can respect the temptation to make use of them, nonetheless, the reply is sure—they completely can trigger hair loss,” says Ayesh. “Traction alopecia is hair loss on account of pulling of the hair follicle from the scalp. It can be attributable to the overuse of hair extensions or improper use of hair extensions.”

Several types of extensions might current a distinct stage of hair loss danger, the consultants be aware. “The principle culprits on this regard might be weaved in extensions and microbead-type extensions. These are sometimes utilized fairly near the foundation and worn for prolonged durations (many months) and, if achieved incorrectly or too tightly, can harm the follicle, aka the foundation,” Burg explains. “Every follicle has a small muscle connected to it referred to as the arrector pili muscle which can be broken with repeated or extended strain from tight weaves or incorrectly utilized extensions.”

He continues: “As soon as the muscle is broken and indifferent from the foundation, the foundation might die, leading to hair loss. It is also necessary to notice that very lengthy and heavy extensions can even have the identical influence on the follicles no matter the kind of extension, because the sheer weight of the added hair can harm the foundation, particularly if the load is pulling on a small or remoted variety of strands.”

When requested if some persons are extra inclined to hair loss from extensions than others, the consultants once more agreed that the reply is sure. “If you’re already experiencing undesirable hair loss, carrying extensions can exacerbate the problem,” says Shapiro. “Weakened hair could also be extra inclined to this pressure. You probably have different causes of hair loss, ensure to be particularly cautious with hair extensions, avoiding extreme pressure in your hair.”

For individuals who might not be experiencing undesirable hair loss but, be aware that different aggressive remedies to your hair mixed with hair extensions can up your odds of going through the problem. “Individuals who coloration their hair typically or topic their hair to chemical remedies will typically have higher probabilities of experiencing hair loss as a result of the hair breakage and harm is already current,” notes Ayesh.

It is also necessary to know the reg flags that sometimes current themselves with extensions earlier than hair loss happens. “In case your scalp feels sore or tender if you end up carrying extensions, there’s a great probability you might be placing your self in danger for traction alopecia,” says Shapiro. “With out correct intervention, everlasting scarring can happen, and the hair loss can go from non permanent to everlasting.”

How one can Forestall Hair Loss From Extensions

Whereas hair extensions can definitely be damaging, there are methods to assist your hair preserve its well being (and size). “The perfect technique is to present your follicles a relaxation,” Burg states. “Don’t put on the extensions for too lengthy and blend up the attachment areas so that you’re placing rigidity on totally different follicles. If you’re utilizing everlasting or semi-permanent extensions, ensure you have them utilized by an skilled, professional skilled.”

Whereas this doesn’t assure hair preservation, it could typically assist. That being mentioned, one of the simplest ways to stop hair loss from extensions is to keep away from extensions altogether, particularly in case your hair is broken to start with. “If you’re already somebody who has skinny, positive hair or has lively hair loss, using hair extensions might exacerbate your hair harm and thinning,” says Ayesh. “For these with regular or thicker hair who want to use hair extensions, it will be significant that correct utilization directions be understood and adopted and that the scalp is given resting durations in order that there isn’t steady tugging from the hair follicles. Clip-ins are the most secure by far since they can be eliminated earlier than sleep every day or after a particular occasion.”

Shapiro additionally notes that caring for each your hair and your extensions is the ultimate key think about serving to stop hair loss. “The simplest approach to stop hair loss from extensions is fairly apparent: cease utilizing extensions,” he reiterates. “Take steps to enhance the state of your pure hair by investing in high quality hair care formulation, however if you wish to proceed utilizing extensions, caring for your actual hair might help counteract their opposed results. For that cause, I extremely suggest utilizing formulation like Shapiro MD’s shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in each day foamer. These formulation comprise potent botanical compounds proven to struggle the consequences of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that’s identified to trigger hair loss. These components are additionally ample in antioxidants, vitamins that may assist repel the consequences of environmental stressors like daylight and air pollution.”

“Minoxidil is one other nice choice for people who need fuller hair,” Shapiro continues. “Minoxidil expands the blood vessels in your scalp, permitting for extra nutritional vitamins and vitamins to journey to your hair follicles. This retains your hair follicles wholesome, sturdy, and primed for steady hair progress. Whereas carrying extensions, ensure your hair is clear and freed from buildup from merchandise like hairspray, which might make hair heavy, brittle, and extra inclined to breaking and shedding. You’ll additionally wish to keep away from utilizing heated styling instruments as a lot as you may.”

Hair Extension Options

Given the truth that hair extensions are in reality not the healthiest to your pure hair, we requested the consultants what the subsequent finest choices are. Turns on the market is not precisely a solution for that… but.

“There isn’t a actual fast repair to gaining lengthy, superb hair,” Burg says. “This takes time. Lots of ladies use extensions as a result of they’ll’t develop their hair lengthy or previous a sure size. That is very often mistaken for a breakage problem or a problem with the hair high quality, but it surely’s really extra reflective of the hair cycle size. So, as a substitute of extensions, you may go for a long-term repair by taking care of your hair cycle. Ensuring your scalp and physique has every thing it wants is essential to sustaining a wholesome cycle.”

How precisely do you retain a wholesome hair cycle? Burg shares his high suggestions:

  1. “Be sure to are getting sufficient zinc, B nutritional vitamins, iron, and vitamin D. Be sure to hold your stress ranges low. Dietary supplements can assist with each your nutrient ranges and your stress.”
  2. “Maintain your scalp with a serum containing antioxidants and anti inflammatory actives, ideally pure—search for issues like inexperienced tea, mangosteen, rosemary, vitamin E, and vitamin C.”
  3. “Prolong your hair cycle by blocking FGF5. The damaging protein FGF5 builds up in your scalp and shortens the hair cycle, and by blocking FGF5 you can naturally maximize the size of your hair. There are a selection of botanicals that can block FGF5 when utilized as a part of a serum, similar to Sanguisorba officinalis and Swertia chirata.”

Ayesh additionally shares his suggestions for sustaining wholesome hair. “[These are] not alternate options, however we do suggest adopting a couple of common habits to take care of scalp well being if you wish to use hair extensions frequently,” notes Ayesh. “There are all-natural, drug-free hair progress dietary supplements that can enhance the energy and vitality of your hair, and we all the time suggest switching to sulfate-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free shampoos, conditioners, and styling merchandise as the tough chemical substances current in lots of hair care merchandise can have a big influence in your scalp well being. Along with utilizing milder hair care merchandise, selecting much less dangerous styling choices can be necessary as nicely. How typically you employ excessive warmth—blow dryers, straight irons, curling irons, scorching brushes, and so forth.—to model your hair can be a think about stopping hair breakage and hair loss.”

The Ultimate Takeaway

It is secure to say that hair extensions present aesthetic advantages on the expense of your hair’s well being (and size). Whereas good for particular events, the consultants agree that the much less use, the higher.

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