Warning, Your Hair Extensions Could Be Making You Bald… And Here’s Why

So make sure to get yours applied by a professional, ladies.

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Hair extensions are by far the simplest way to add length and volume to your hair, especially if you’re not keen to wait three years for your hair to sloooowly grow out of that ill-advised bob by itself.

But low quality or badly applied hair extensions could be causing severe damage to your hair, and if left unchecked could even lead to permanent hair loss.

Researchers in the US have identified which hairstyles are most strongly linked to traction alopecia – a type of hair loss caused by damage to the hair follicle – and extensions are one of the key culprits.

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A recent review of 19 studies published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology categorises braids, dreadlocks, weaves, and extensions as “high risk” hairstyles for traction alopecia.

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Women with chemically-straightened hair are most at risk, as the chemicals can weaken the hair shaft and follicle and make them more susceptible to damage from tight braids or heavy extensions.

However even women with untreated hair should proceed with caution when using extensions, making sure to only use a reputable stylist to have longer locks applied.

As for braids, the research suggests choosing an “evenly distributed updo” instead of Karlie and Kim’s fave – the boxer braid.

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The scientists behind the review also advise changing up hairstyles from time to time to give follicles a rest – so if you always wear your hair in a tight bun, swap it out for a loose half-up half-down look every once in a while.