The iconic chignon is an elegant, twisted-bun hairstyle favored by women around the world who want a chic, polished look. Whether on the red carpet, in a board room or at a PTA meeting, this classic updo is truly an attention grabber. But is this tight, sleek hairstyle damaging your hair?
The answer is that any hair style which pulls too tightly on the roots of the hair may result in a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia. Chignon alopecia is a specific form of traction alopecia, which is caused by wearing your hair in a tight bun for extended periods of time. The hair loss pattern associated with chignon alopecia is in the occipital region of the scalp, which includes the area at the lower back of the head, behind the ears and down to the nape of the neck. This is the area where hair is under the most stress from the tension created when wearing a classic chignon. Women serving in the military and professional ballerinas may find themselves suffering from chignon alopecia as their jobs often require wearing tight buns daily for years at a time.
But, you don’t have to give up the sophisticated look of an updo entirely. Instead, go for the kinder, gentler version of the typical bun with a looser messy bun and be sure to wear it on different areas of your head so one section of your hair is not always bearing the brunt. Messy buns and soft, fishtail braids won’t put extra pressure on your hair follicles and they still give you an elegant, finished look.
You should know that traction alopecia and chignon alopecia are preventable. Early intervention may be able to stop or reverse the condition, according to researchers. Try alternating your hairstyle frequently and avoid styles that constantly pull at the roots of your hair.
For informational purposes only. The exact cause of hair loss can only be determined by a medical professional.