Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Hair Loss - From Tight Hair Style

Definition

  • Broken hairs from tight braids or pony tails

Call or Return If

  • Hair does not grow back by 6 months
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • You child becomes worse

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Broken hairs mainly are seen at the hairline or where the hair is parted.
  • It's usually the same on both sides of the head.
  • A frizzy look from hairs broken off at various lengths.

Cause

  • If hair is pulled too tight, it will eventually break.
  • Finer hair breaks sooner than coarse hair.
  • Mostly seen with tight braids, pony tails or dreadlocks.
  • Hair can also be lost because of vigorous hair-brushing or back combing. Hot hairstyling tools can also cause hair damage.
  • Can also occur during exercise while wearing head phones.
  • Hair loss is not caused by shampoos.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • Some broken hairs are seen in anyone with the hair pulled back.
  • How much depends on how much tension is put on the hair.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Reduce Tension on the Hair:
  • Change the hair style to one that doesn't put tension on the hair.
  • If that is not acceptable, loosen the ponytail or braids.
  • If they feel tight or there's any pain, this means it's too tight.
  • If you don't loosen it, hairs will break.
Pimples in the Hair and On the Scalp:
  • Pimples in the hair are common with tight hair styles. Reason: Damages the hair follicle and makes it prone to infection.
  • Another cause is using any ointment that blocks the hair follicles.
  • Treatment: Stop using any ointments or oils in the hair.
  • Wash any ointment or greasy pomade off the scalp with soap and water.
  • Antibiotic Cream: Apply an antibiotic cream (not ointment) to the pimples 2 times a day for 3 days. No prescription is needed.
Hair Care:
  • Treat the hair gently.
  • Wash the hair no more than once per day. Always use a hair conditioner.
  • Comb the hair rather than brushing it.
  • Be careful at combing out any tangled hair.
  • Don't put too much tension on the hair.
What to Expect:
  • With treatment, most pimples will clear up in 3 days
  • If tight hair styles are avoided, the hair will return to looking normal. It may take 6 months.
  • Warning: If tight braiding continues over 10 years, permanent hair loss can occur.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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