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Use of Hair Extensions Can Lead to Hair Loss

By HERWriter
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Women use hair extensions for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they want a new longer look, or to add fullness to their hair, or they just want to try something that seems fun.

However, the use of hair extensions can cause damage to the scalp and breakage of the hair they are attached to leading to hair loss -- a feature no woman wants.

Hair extensions are typically attached to your own hair using either hot fusion bonding that attaches the extensions using a hot glue, cold fusion bonding that uses a keratin-based polymer to attach the hair instead, or the weave method where the hair stylist braids the hair into your own hair.

Costs for hair extensions range from $300 to $3,500 but can go even higher depending on how much hair and the quality of the hair is added.

Dermatologist have observed that the extensions can put excess tension on the hair follicles and cause the hair to fall out by creating a form of traction alopecia. Dr. Benabio describes in his dermatology blog that constant pull on the hair follicle damages it so over the long term, the follicle can no longer produce new hair.

Once the follicle is damaged, new ones do not grow so as more follicles are damaged, permanent hair loss occurs. The only treatment for this form of hair loss is topical minoxidil (Rogaine), which may or may not help, or a hair transplant, which is very expensive.

In the U.K., there has been an effort to ban the use of hair extensions fueled by lawsuits that have occurred from women with damaged hair. Barry Stevens, from the Trichological Society, has been involved as an expert witness in court cases involving women who have developed permanent baldness from hair extensions.

He reported to the daily mail online, 'I've had people in tears at my clinic over this. The extensions can destroy the follicles so that hair cannot grow back. He went on to say, 'Women using extensions may not be aware of the presence of traction alopecia. But with time this becomes permanent alopecia.'

Women should question whether it is worth the risk of permanent hair damage to have attached extensions.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some extensions. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my natural hair. I just don't know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

December 6, 2015 - 8:56pm

Unfortunately, this information isn't true. Yes some hair extensions can cause damage to the hair and scalp, but ONLY if they are done improperly or with damaging agents or materials.

What could a damaging agent or material be?
Glues, bonds, tapes or any other kind of adhesive. These generally attach directly onto your scalp and require heat or chemicals for removal. All of these are detrimental to the growth of your hair and integrity of your scalp.

What other alternatives may exist you might ask?

The microbraid technique. African-Americans have the finest hair of all races, but people are led to believe their hair is the strongest, just as they have thick looking hair .. i.e. afro styles. Traditionally, braiding and cornrowing was created to GROUP all of the hair together to allow it to grow without being exposed to heat damage or chemicals etc.

If that works for the fine hair of African-Americans, why couldn't it work for other races that have fine hair? It's important to note that a microbraid technique is not a weave, just as it's not as bulky, and the technician need not braid the entire head.

We conducted an experiment here with a lovely woman by the name of Laura Cuthbert. She has been suffering from trichotillomania for the past 14 years, and needed a solution where most of her hair was covered, to prevent her hair from becoming damaged. Her hair growth, from a microbraid system, will truly astound you:

Many women who suffer from alopecia, trichotillomania, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, chemotherapy hair loss and fine hair are turning to non surgical hair loss solutions, due to it's low cost. Hair transplants don't always have a high success rate.

You need to be careful with clip-ins, as too much usage can cause friction on the scalp from the clips.

And, Josh, microbraided extensions are incredibly low maintenance :)

Be sure to always do your research and don't believe naysayers to a technique that is quite life changing!

May 13, 2015 - 12:22pm

Our hair grows only a few centimeters in a year, and if you used foreign materials you just increase the risk of it breaking. Various chemicals will have different effects on the hair, and if you abuse it, you might as well decide if bald is a good look on you, because that is where you’d be heading. That's why there are lots people even women opt for hair transplants.

January 17, 2012 - 11:50pm

Clip in hair extensions is a better option than the contemporary ones as you can easily clip them in and out. It is the best alternative to weaved, braided and adhesive hair extensions which are difficult to handle and can damage your hair.

January 9, 2012 - 11:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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