Post by Candace Dantes | Photography by Kevin Dantes
These social distancing days are rough. But your hair styling routine at home doesn’t have to follow suit. It’s so easy to just throw hair into a high bun or ponytail and call it a day on the couch. Not a good idea on a daily basis, though. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you naturally shed between 50 to 100 hairs daily. However, pulling hair up too tight and too often can lead to extensive shedding you just don’t want to find yourself trying to reverse. Ever heard of traction alopecia? If not, it’s a real hair loss moment. It’s actually caused by tightly pulled hairstyles for a long period of time.
Those super-slicked, high ponytails fall into this hair loss category if you constantly strain your strands with this look. Although reversible, you have to catch traction alopecia early or hair follicles can become so damaged they won’t grow back. Ouch! Clear cut signs you’re heading up traction alopecia alley:
- Small bumps on the scalp or base of loc, braid, updo styles;
- Broken or thin patches in stressed areas;
- Wider hair parts;
- Itching, ulcers and redness on the scalp;
- Receding hairline around the nape, forehead and temples; and in more advanced cases,
- Scarred, shiny patches of skin.
But have no hair or beauty fear — especially during these pandemic times. The academy offers recommendations to prevent hair loss from tight styles like updos:
RESTRICT TENSION-PRODUCING OPTIONS
If possible, save them for special occasions only. In addition to pigtail or bun updos, tightly twisted or styled locs, cornrows, weaves and braids contribute to the development of permanent hair loss. Even rolling up your hair too tight can weaken strands and trigger thinning.
ROTATE HAIRSTYLES OUT
It’s perfectly OK to let your crown relax. Give it time to recuperate from looks pulled up or back. A good way to change things up is by going natural. Allow your hair to breathe and do nothing but be for a while. You’re stuck at home anyway, so calm down.
TRY FREE-FLOWING COIFS MORE OFTEN
If you insist on gathering your hair high, do so in a more laxed fashion. Disheveled updos are just as fashionable as the smoothed-out ones. Loosen up this look around the hairline to help prevent hair loss.
CLEANSE WITH TENDER LOVING CARE
Starting to experience hair thinning? Use a gentle shampoo. Black Beauty & Hair suggests ones like Shea Moisture’s African Water Mint & Ginger Detox Hair & Scalp Gentle Shampoo or Organic Root Stimulator Curls Unleashed Rosemary & Coconut Sulfate-Free Shampoo. After shampooing, apply a moisturizing conditioner to cover your crown, reduce split ends and help prevent breakage.
QUIT WITH THE AT-HOME ADD-ONS
On top of stressful topknots, don’t couple this hairdo with perming, straightening or coloring. Leave these additional hair wants to the professionals when society is able to re-assimilate. Your scalp may not be able to take so much manipulation, increasing your chances of damaging tresses even more.
FREEZE ON HEATING HAIR
Love those bone-straight ponytails? Well, they’re not worth losing your edges over. Minimize updos that require flat ironing and hot combing to achieve polished results. Too much heat can weaken strands and literally snap them off.