Author: Mark Pinsky, MD
You may be familiar with androgenic alopecia, which affects an estimated 30 million women in the United States; however, another leading cause of permanent female hair loss comes from hair styling. Many women over style or over treat their hair with damaging chemicals, styling tools, and tight hairstyles that can harm the hair follicles and cause hair to fall out. In some cases, this hair loss is permanent, which can be devastating for women. Among women who are genetically predisposed to developing androgenic alopecia, harmful hairstyles and damaging hair styling methods can speed up the hair loss process.
How to Avoid Damaging Your Hair Follicles
Preventing hair follicle damage is much easier than fixing permanent hair loss with hair restoration techniques. It is important to be aware of how you are styling and treating your hair if you want to maintain a healthy scalp and hair follicles. To help you avoid irreversible follicle damage, we have compiled a list of informative tips:
- Make sure braids, ponytails, and hair extensions are not pulling too tightly on the scalp. When these hairstyles tug on the scalp day after day, you can cause a condition called traction alopecia. This type of hair loss may be temporary at first; however, with repeated trauma, scarring alopecia can develop, leading to hair follicle atrophy and permanent hair loss. If you start to notice follicle inflammation, try a new style to give your hair follicles a much-needed break. Reducing tension can help prevent both temporary and permanent hair loss.
- Be careful when applying chemical treatments to your hair. Hair bleach, perm solutions, and chemical hair straighteners can be incredibly dangerous when they come in contact with the scalp. Make sure you know how to use these products properly or have an experienced hairstylist apply them for you. Chemical burns on the scalp from frequent treatments or treatments that are too strong can burn the scalp and lead to scarring. The burns and scar tissue can destroy the hair follicle creating bare patches where hair won’t regrow.
- Avoid scalp contact with hot styling tools. Today’s ceramic heated hair styling tools can get incredibly hot, along with more traditional curling irons and straighteners. Be mindful that these tools can burn your scalp and lead to permanent hair loss if you are not careful.
What Can I Do if I Have Permanent Hair Loss from Overstyling?
If tight hairstyles, chemical damage, or heat burns have resulted in permanent hair loss in areas of your scalp, you may be relieved to know that the NeoGraft® automated hair transplant system can potentially help. This innovative system represents state-of-the-art hair transplant technology and provides hair restoration solutions that surpass what was possible with older, outdated hair transplant methods. Until the NeoGraft® system was developed, hair transplants could only be placed around the outside of a scar with the hope that the extra hair would provide better superficial coverage. Another option may have been surgical removal of the scar, which is painful and often has limited results. With NeoGraft®, healthy follicular units from unaffected areas of the scalp can be extracted and then carefully transplanted into bare areas of the scalp — even areas with scar tissue. With proper care, between 95 and 98 percent of these transplants survive and grow hair.
Disclaimer: The content within this site is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or specific medical advice. The products and claims made about specific products and treatments through this article have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Please consult with a NeoGraft Certified Physician or other healthcare professionals regarding any medical or health-related diagnosis.
Dr. Michael Kanosky
Mississippi board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in hair growth and new follicular unit hair transplants. Well known for success individualizing hair regrowth protocols, Dr. Michael Kanosky uses a combination of the latest medical therapies. All procedures are performed in our quality-controlled center. So, there are no out-of-state travel costs, fewer return visits and personal physician attention every step of the way. Dr. Kanosky also offers reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures at the Face & Body Center in Flowood, MS.