I’m a trichologist – from buns to ponytails – the 6 worst styles for your hair | The Sun

VARIETY is the spice of life, but when it comes to how we have our hair, sometimes we like to stick to the same style day in, day out.

Whether you like a bun or a ponytail, trichologists have warned that your favourite styles could be increasing your risk of nasty scalp conditions and even baldness.

One hairdresser recently revealed that one go-to style was leaving people with wonky hair.

She said those opting for a messy bun on a regular basis are leaving their hair susceptible to extreme breakage.

With one client, she said this eventually led to them having several inches chopped off their mane.

Speaking to Sun Health, senior trichologist specialist at FUE Clinics, Arran Isherwood, said slicked back buns could be problematic.

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1. Slicked back buns

The style first gained popularity in 2022 thanks to Hailey Bieber, and it can be hard to imagine that such a simple up do could cause any damage.

But slicked-back buns that pull on your roots can cause traction alopecia, Arran warned.

This is a form of hair loss that is caused by repeated hair pulling, the expert said.

"With the amount of tugging that happens when you put your hair up like this, it's no surprise that it can cause breakage or even bald patches.

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"Thankfully, traction alopecia can be resolved if the problem is recognised quickly and tight hairstyles like braids, cornrows, high ponytails, and sleek back buns are avoided.

"In time, hair follicles will grow back. However, if diagnosed too late, hair follicles may be destroyed, meaning regrowth is not possible," Arran said.

2. Back combing

Stephanie Sey, expert trichologist for Nizoral said back combing could also be damaging for your hair.

“Repeatedly back combing hair is more damaging to your hair than the scalp itself.

"The hair is made up of cuticle hair layers which protect the integrity of the hair shaft – think of roof tiles protecting your house.

"When you back comb, you disrupt this layer, chipping away at those protective cuticle layers and therefore weakening the hair," she explained.

3. Tight braids

Like the slicked back bun style, Stephanie said tight braids can also damage the hair follicle if not done correctly.

"Tight braids that are too tight and sit close to the scalp will cause inflammation and can eventually lead to scarring of the follicle.

"It can also damage the hair strands through mechanical damage to the cuticle layer," Stephanie warned.

4. Hair extensions

Although hair extensions can add length and volume to your hair, improving your confidence, they can seriously damage your natural locks, Arran said.

"Any extensions, whether that's sleeve, tape, weave, or micro rings, tend to be heavy and weigh down your natural hair, causing breakage over time.

"Even clip-in extensions, which can be put in and taken out whenever you want, can damage hair follicles in a similar way to tight hairstyles that tug on the hair.

"The process of fitting the extensions can also cause problems, as your hair specialist will need to pull on your hair to get them in. And if attached too tightly, this can lead to traction alopecia, resulting in hair loss," the expert said.

If you do decide to get hair extensions, always remember to have them removed by a professional to avoid any further damage, Arran advised.

5. Styling damp hair

While it's not quite a style, many people will prep their damp hair, braiding it or moulding it into shape in order for it to look a certain way the next day.

Stephanie said that she sees many clients sleeping with, or walking around with wet hair.

But the expert warned against this, as she said this can encourage the growth of fungus which can lead to an itchy, flaky scalp.

Arran added that when your hair is wet, the proteins in your hair form weaker hydrogen bonds, meaning the strands are more prone to damage.

The expert said you should never put it in a ponytail when it's wet as you could be pulling it at the root, leading to thinning and bald patches over time.

Arran added: "Excessive brushing can also have the same effect, so it's best to use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair after a shower.

"Using heat on your hair when wet and fragile is one of the worst things you could do.

"Let your hair air dry when possible to avoid breakage and split ends, or use the lowest heat setting on your hair dryer if you've got somewhere to be."

6. Using hair ties

Most of the time, hair ties like bobbles are ideal for getting our hair out of our face.

But Arran said they aren't great for the health of your locks.

"As well as tearing the hair when used in tight styles, hair ties can irritate the scalp, especially if you use ones with bits of metal that rub or dig in.

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"Styling your hair with a gentler cotton band or silk scrunchie can avoid this — they'll feel more comfortable and are less likely to irritate or cause a rash.

"Tying your hair with these loosely will also prevent thinning or bald patches that come with pulling your hair too tight repeatedly," Arran added.

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