A doctor has issued a warning to women using hair extensions, highlighting how wearing them can lead to hair loss and even baldness.
Dr Nestor Demosthenous says traction alopecia – caused by pulling force being applied to the hair – is on the rise due to the growing popularity of extensions for women wanting thick, long tresses.
So how can you avoid unsightly bald patches – and what can you do if it’s too late?
Campbell has previously spoken about her hair loss, caused by years of wearing hair extensions and having her hair over-styled for catwalk shows and shoots.
But it’s not just supermodels who are desperate for luscious, healthy-looking hair – some £43 million worth of human hair is bought by British women each year, many of whom wear extensions on a daily basis.
Dr Nestor, who runs the Edinburgh Hair Clinic, told MailOnline: ‘Generally, wearers are unaware of the extent of the damage that hair extensions can cause.
‘Force being applied to the hair, day in, day out, will cause a recession of the hair due to this chronic traction, and this can result in a sunken hairline, or bald patches throughout the scalp.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimise – and in some cases reverse – the effects of hair loss caused by extensions. However, in severe cases surgery may be your only solution
‘When bald patches start to come in, naturally women will become panicked at the idea of hair loss, and will often try to cover up the loss with more extensions – it is a vicious circle.’
He adds: ‘Traction alopecia is more serious than hair simply snapping off; instead, the constant tension in the affected area will either pull out the root of the hair completely, or it can cause the follicle to become inflamed.
‘As time goes on, the damage to the follicles can cause them to atrophy and if left to continue, they will reach the stage where they no longer produce hair at all.’
Hair loss: What are your options?
Dr Nestor, who focuses on hair restoration procedures, shares his expertise on what you can do before the damage goes too far, and how to disguise patches of loss.
Dr Nestor reports a huge uplift in enquiries about hair restoration procedures from women across the country, looking to discuss how they can resolve the effects of traction alopecia.
‘We are getting several calls every week from women looking for advice on what to do about hair loss,’ he tells us.
‘In the first instance, if you are worried about hair loss or damage to your hairline, immediately stop wearing hair extensions or tying hair back tightly – let your hair relax and wear it loose as often as possible.
‘A consultation with a dermatologist or a hair restoration doctor is the next step, to assess the damage and see whether you are a candidate for either topical treatment or a restoration procedure.
‘Try not to panic; in many cases, hair will grow back after a few months of being left alone, and if not, there are more sophisticated treatments on the market now than ever before, so your hair loss can be covered and disguised if necessary.’
Dr Nestor told FEMAIL: ‘Generally, wearers are unaware of the extent of the damage that hair extensions can cause’
TURN BACK THE CLOCK
‘Depending on the stage that the hair loss has reached, it may be possible to grow some hair back and stop any further hair loss – as long as no further tension is applied to the areas.
‘This means no more hair extensions, no tight ponytails or braids, no rollers and no hair slides, clips or grips. Hair must be left well alone for several months in order to recover. Your doctor or a medical hair restoration specialist may also be able to prescribe you a topical treatment to help encourage regrowth in more extreme cases.’
WHEN SHOULD YOU RESORT TO SURGERY?
‘Once follicles affected by traction alopecia have ceased producing hair, any kind of topical treatment will not be effective. You will be left with areas that are completely bald, and will often appear shiny.
‘In this instance, hair restoration surgery is your best option. At The Edinburgh Hair Clinic, we offer both FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) techniques, depending on what suits your needs best.
‘Both offer fantastic results for patients, providing a natural-looking, restored hairline and fuller, thicker hair restored over time.’
Source– Daily Mail