How you can suffer from hair loss due to tight hairstyles such as a ponytail

POSTED: 05 November 2019

Many people are unaware that you can permanently damage your hair and suffer premature hair loss by adopting tight hairstyles such as a ponytail.

Crown Clinic's client, the model Calum Best, believes that wearing his hair in a ponytail in the 1990s contributed to the onset of his male pattern baldness in his early 20s.

Calum has had three FUE (follicular unit extraction) hair transplants with Crown Clinic's consultant hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak to address the problem.

He says he feels and looks ten years younger as a result of the successful treatment.

Calum isn't the only one.

Hair Loss Due To A Ponytail? 

Kourtney Kardashian, the eldest of the famous American sisters, said recently that she had suffered hair loss problems due to her love of tight hairstyles.

Her problem was featured in a recent episode of the family's hit TV show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. 

Kim Kardashian West first noticed Kourtney's problem and told her: "Kourtney, you have a really big spot on the top of your head. Look down, Kourtney. Have you seen that?

"Kourtney, your hair is gone. You're bald."

Kourtney went on to explain that her hair loss had been caused by a high ponytail extension she had worn to a recent event.

She explained that the extension had been so tight and painful that she had been left with a bump on her heard and the hair around it had fallen out, leaving her with a bald patch.

What Kourtney had suffered from is a condition known as Traction Alopecia.

Another previous sufferer has been the supermodel Naomi Campbell who was left with bald patches at the front of her scalp due to problems with her hair extensions.

Hair extensions, tight braids and high ponytails and weaves can all put extra strain on the hair follicles, leading to a receding hairline, particularly around the temples. 

This problem is particularly acute in women of colour - explaining Naomi Campbell's issues - due to the Afro hair type being naturally more fragile.

However, anyone can suffer from Traction Alopecia if they do not care for their hair properly and they don't give it regular breaks from the hair treatments.

Whilst Traction Alopecia tends to be a temporary problem, and the hair should grow back naturally in the long-term if those hair breaks from treatment are introduced, some people believe that they suffered permanent hair damage as a result of adopting tight hairstyles.

In Calum Best's case, he was probably already in the early stages of male pattern baldness when he also suffered from Traction Alopecia - so there were twins threats to his hair.

The only long-term solution to sustained hair loss is a hair transplant such as the FUE procedure Calum had. Others FUE patients with our surgeon Asim Shahmalak include the Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd, Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts and the former footballer Didi Hamann. With FUE, the donor hair is obtained individually by removing grafts one-by-one from the back and sides of the scalp, thereby minimising scarring.

Some patients at Crown Clinic prefer the more traditional method of hair transplantation, FUT (follicular unit transplantation), where a strip of skin is removed from the scalp to obtain the donor hair. The TV doctor Christian Jessen had two FUT transplants with Dr Shahmalak. FUT is not suitable for patients who like to wear their hair short or shaved because the scarring is more visible than with FUE.

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