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The Impact of Hairstyles on Hair Loss : Causes, Preventive Measures, and Treatment

  1. Introduction

    1. Overview of Hair Loss:

      Hair loss is also known as alopecia or baldness. It is defined as a loss of hair from a part of the body and mainly involves the scalp, it can be permanent or temporary as well. It can be due to several reasons such as genetic, hormonal changes, medications, or medical conditions, and may be a normal part of aging. Both males and females are affected by hair loss around the world but most commonly involve males.

      There are certain types of hair loss disorders such as Telogen effluvium (TA), Alopecia areata (AA), Androgenetic alopecia, and Traction alopecia.

      Among these different types of alopecia, Traction alopecia is most commonly caused by the impact of certain hairstyles that cause extra tension in hair and have a pulling effect on hair. However, this is treated by taking a proper hair care routine and following some preventive measures such as no use of chemical and harsh materials or hair and also no use of heat styling tools hence these preventions will lead to decreased hair fall in patients with traction alopecia.

    2. Thesis Statement: Certain Hairstyles Can Significantly Impact Hair Loss

      We use different types of hairstyles for looking attractive and knowingly or unknowingly these hairstyles hurt our hair and can result in hair fall in some cases. Hairstyles such as a long ponytail, and cornrows are some examples of hairstyles that hurt hair and produce extra stress in the hairline which will result in hair loss.

  2. Factors Affecting Hair Loss

    There are a variety of factors that can contribute to hair loss directly or indirectly. Some of the causes of hair fall such as nutrition deficiency, medication side effects, hormonal disbalance, and the selection of inappropriate hairstyles can be results in hair fall.

    1. Genetics: Genetics is one of the major factors that is associated with hair loss. When genetics is the reason behind hair fall then hair fall occurs in a specific pattern, while in the case of males, the M pattern is followed while in the case of females, the Ludwig pattern is followed mainly and termed as male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness respectively. Mainly the genes which are present on the X chromosome are responsible for hair loss.
    2. Medical Conditions: There are several medical conditions that can result in hair loss such as thyroid disorder, autoimmune disorders such as (lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis), and sex hormone imbalance. Various research has found that there is a connection between hair loss disorders and autoimmune disorders and it results in the potentiation of hair loss.[7]
    3. Nutritional Deficiencies: As we know nutrients are the major source of energy for the hair follicle and if it is present in an adequate amount it will result in promoting healthier hair. A deficiency of the nutrients such as iron, folic acid, vitamin B6, and B12 will lead to malnourishment of hair which can result in hair thinning and ultimately hair fall is produced.[6] Among these given nutrients iron is the most important nutrient for hair growth and the absence of iron will result in a hair disorder which is known as telogen effluvium.
    4. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormone balance is necessary for better hair follicle growth, an imbalance between hormones can result in hair loss. Both hyperthyroidism (increased level of thyroid hormone) as well as hypothyroidism (decreased level of thyroid hormone) can result in increased hair fall. Also, females may experience increased levels of hair fall during their menstrual cycle because, during this period inside their body, there are lots of hormonal changes taking place that will result in the potentiation of hair loss.
  3. Hairstyles That Can Lead To Hair Loss

    Haircare is a major issue of concern right now as there are increased cases of hair loss due to the different hairstyles adopted by people. Hairstyles have a significant impact on hair health and if you are using a hairstyle that has a damaging effect on hair it will lead to mild to severe hair loss according to individuals.

    1. Tight Hairstyles: There are a lot of problems associated with tight hairstyles such as restricted blood flow to the scalp and inflammation. Restricted blood flow to the scalp will lead to nutrients and oxygen deficiency in hair whereas inflammation may cause hair scalp inflammation. The two factors together can have a damaging effect on hairs, as malnourished hairs will have thinner in nature, and inflammation of the scalp can lead to hair follicle damage, which will ultimately lead to hair fall.
    2. High-Heat Styling Tools: According to Ona Diaz-Santi, the celebrity hairstylist, excessive heat styling will lead to a decrease of natural luster in hair and make them brittle. Excessive use of high heat will result in several problems in hair such as split ends, hair breakage, and hair thinning. Hair thinning will lead to hair loss in people who are continuously using high heat stylings tools on hair.[2]
    3. Chemical Treatments: In today’s world people put a lot of time, and money on hair so that they look attractive. To look attractive people may use certain chemicals on hair such as hair dyes, colors, etc. They all contain chemicals that are absorbed by the scalp and will lead to a decrease in the quality of new hair growth. Use of chemicals for a long period may even burn the scalp and cause damage to the hair follicle which will ultimately lead to hair fall.[3]
    4. Hairstyles That Pull Or Tug On The Hair: Hairstyles including Cornrows, Dreadlocks, and Tightly braided hair are some examples that can cause a pull effect in hair and will result in hair loss.[1] Continuous pulling in hair may lead to damage to the hair follicle and once the hair follicle is damaged then the hair cannot be regrow, and it will lead to permanent hair loss. A medical term is also given for this type of hair loss which is known as traction alopecia (TA).[1]
    5. Hairstyles That Damage The Hair Shaft Or Root: Hairstyles adopted by us sometimes damage our hair follicle and hair shaft and will result in severe hair loss. Commonly used hairstyles that have a damaging effect on hair are Ponytails. Braids, Wet updos, Pin-straight hair, and use of hair extensions.[4] In Braids, if they are too tight and used for a longer period can create extra pressure on hair will lead to breakage and damage of hair follicles whereas in tight ponytails it has a damaging effect on the hair shaft and ultimately these types of hairstyles result in hair fall.
  4. Preventing Hair Loss From Hairstyles:

    As we have seen hairstyles have a damaging impact on hair but there is no need to worry about this because fortunately, this condition is reversible if one takes early preventive measures for this as opting proper hair care routine, regular washing of scalp is some of the measures to prevent the hair loss caused by the hairstyles.

    1. Choosing Hairstyles That Are Gentle On The Hair And Scalp: Choosing hairstyles that do not have a damaging effect on the hair shaft and follicles is one of the main preventive measures.[5] The main aim of selecting these hairstyles is to minimize hairline stress. Hairstyles that reduce hairline stress such as Bangs hairstyles, Low ponytail hairstyles, Messy bun hairstyles, and Natural hairstyles are some of the hairstyles that cause less level of stress as compared to other hairstyles and will result in decreased hair fall.
    2. Minimizing The Use Of Heat Styling Tools: The use of heat styling tools is one of the major causes of hair loss due to hairstyles, so minimizing the use of heat tools or using the lotion or a liquid that can avoid direct contact with heat with hairs can help in reducing the hair loss caused by the heat styling tools.
    3. Avoiding Hairstyles That Put Too Much Tension On The Hair: Hairstyles such as Cornrows, Dreadlocks, and Tightly braided hair are some examples that cause tension on the hair and increase hairline stress, so avoiding these types of hairstyles and choosing a hairstyle that has fewer damaging effects on hairs can result in prevention of hair loss caused by hairstyles.[1]
    4. Using Protective Hairstyles That Minimize Damage To The Hair Shaft: The use of protective hairstyles is increasing nowadays because they have proven to prevent hair loss. Protective hairstyles such as Box braids, Bantu knots, and Twists are some of the hairstyles that are used to prevent hair loss. In Box braids, the hairstyle does not require daily styling and in Bantu knots twisting a small portion of hair is done this will reduce hair loss.
    5. Avoiding The Use Of Chemicals: Increased use of chemicals has increased the chances of hair fall in both males as well as females. Reducing the use of chemicals or hiring a trained professional to apply these chemicals on hair can result in decreased hair fall because the professional knows how to apply the chemical that causes less damage to the hair.[3]
    6. Seeking Professional Advice From A Hairstylist: Seeking professional advice from a hairstylist is very important when it comes to reducing hair fall. The hairstylist can determine the cause of the hair loss and determine the type of hairstyles according to the cause moreover he can suggest the proper treatment of hair fall and also what precautionary steps need to be taken which helps in the prevention of hair fall due to hairstyles.
  5. Conclusion

    In today’s world there is increased awareness regarding hair fall that is caused by hairstyles which are previously unknown. There is a significant effect of hairstyles on hair loss, hairstyles that can create a pull effect on hair can result in increased hairline stress which will cause hair loss in individuals also the use of chemicals such as hair dyes and high heat involving hairstyles can potentiate the hair loss.

    As we have seen hair care is necessary to prevent hair loss caused by hairstyles, for the prevention of hair fall opinion of a hairstylist is play a major role as he can determine the cause of the hair fall and suggest the treatment according to the cause of hair fall, also suggest proper hair care routine such as stop using harsh chemicals on hairs, and also stoppage of heat drying of hairs can be part of hair care and have a significant impact on preventing hair loss.

    The Genetics of the individual has a major role in hair loss disorder. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common example of genetics-based hair loss that affects men (80%) and women (50%) around the world. The AR gene is associated with hair loss. However, hair loss does not have any damaging effect on human health it only alters their physical appearance which can result in decreasing their overall self-confidence.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 1, 2023

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