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Which Hairstyles Cause the Most Damage?

Let us preface this by saying we heart a sleek, pulled-back updo more than anyone. Although our love is pure and true, we had to wonder if these styles might cause more harm than good when it comes to the health of our tresses. That’s why we decided to ask Dr. Kaveri Karhade, an M.D., board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco, CA for her expert opinion. Here’s what she had to share about the most damaging hairstyles!

High Buns, Tight Braids, Ponytails, & Extensions  

We’re bummed to relay that a few of your easy, go-to styles and hair boosts may be causing serious damage. Dr. Karhadi reports, “Hairstyles that pull the hair tight over prolonged periods of time can lead to hair loss due to traction on the hair.”

Repeatedly pulling too hard on your strands causes trauma to the follicle resulting in what’s officially called traction alopecia. “In early stages, it can be reversible with treatment. However, if prolonged, it can lead to permanent hair loss,” Dr. Karhadi says. This is why it’s no longer optional to incorporate some kind of hair strengthening treatment into your normal hair care routine. Whether that’s a serum, shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in mask, it will help keep potential hair loss at bay.

Hats, Headbands, & Other Head Gear

Dr. Karhadi also warns about the potential scalp friction that can be caused by wearing hats, headbands, and other hair accessories too often. We know you live for a cute hat, but everything in moderation.

Wearing a hat too often can potentially cause damage, but there are also amazing benefits to rocking one that we have to mention. Hats, scarves, and other hair pieces that cover your scalp can actually protect your follicles and face from UV damage as well. We’d argue they’re an absolute must then for the summer months.

What to Do Instead

Like we said above, as long as super tight styles are kept to a minimum, you’ll be golden. However, if you think your mane could use a break, go au natural. “It’s best to keep your hair open and natural to minimize chances of hair loss,” Dr. Karhadi shares. “For those who prefer their hair back instead of open and flowing, opt for a gentle, loose ponytail, low braid, or bun at the nape of the neck.”

Concerned about what else may cause damage? HERE’s why you need to stop using a hair tie.

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