I’m a trichologist – here are the 3 worst hairstyles for hair loss and what to wear instead

SOME hair loss is completely normal – we can lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair a day without even realizing it.

However, if you’re losing more of your prized locks than you’d like, there might be a simple explanation.

Bella Hadid wore a wet-look updo that a trichologist said could cause hair loss


Bella Hadid wore a wet-look updo that a trichologist said could cause hair lossPhoto credit: Getty
According to hair experts, Rita Ora wears a different style that can cause damage


According to hair experts, Rita Ora wears a different style that can cause damagePhoto credit: Getty

Experts believe it may be due to the way you wear your hair on a daily basis.

According to Fabian Martinez, a trichologist at the London Hair Clinic, some of the most common styles can cause serious damage.

Here the specialist explains why you should avoid a chic ponytail – and what you should do instead.

1. Ponytails

It is the first choice for many when exercising or relaxing at home.

However, wearing a ponytail repeatedly can lead to hair loss known as traction alopecia.

Fabian said, “This happens when the hair is constantly being tugged or pulled, particularly at the base of the ponytail or where the hair is attached.”

He explained that when a ponytail is pulled tight and then held in the same position day after day, it puts “undue stress” on the hair follicles.

“Over time, this constant tension can weaken the hair shaft and lead to breakage,” he added.

“The repeated stress on hair follicles can also disrupt the natural hair growth cycle, causing hair to become thinner, weaker and more prone to hair loss.”

Not everyone has the same susceptibility to hair loss due to style. Factors such as hair type, thickness, and general health contribute to this risk.

But overall, Fabian would advise avoiding ponies that are too tight to minimize potential damage and casualties.

2. Braids

Like ponytails, tightly braided braids put pressure on hair follicles, says Fabian.

“This constant stress weakens the hair shaft, leading to hair breakage and damage,” he said.

“The tension can disrupt the natural hair growth cycle, resulting in thinner, weaker hair that’s more prone to hair loss.”

He said braids aren’t great, but braids that are extra long or done with extensions can make things worse.

“They can really aggravate the situation,” said Fabian.

“The extra weight puts extra stress on the hair follicles and increases the risk of traction alopecia.

“It’s important to give your scalp and hair regular breaks from braiding.”

3. Wet updos

The final style that Fabian would avoid or keep to a minimum is any wet hair updo.

This is because wet hair is far more delicate and prone to breakage than dry hair.

He said, “When hair is wet, it swells and becomes more elastic, making it more prone to stretching and breaking when subjected to traction.”

“Styling wet hair tightly or setting it in an updo can put undue stress on the strands, causing breakage and damage.

“It’s in a weakened state as it absorbs moisture.

“The weight of wet hair combined with the pulling and twisting of creating an updo can stress the hair follicles and roots, increasing the risk of hair loss or traction alopecia.”

But there’s another, pretty gross reason why Fabian doesn’t like styling with wet curls.

“When it’s styled and pinned in an updo, it takes longer to fully dry,” he said.

“Trapped moisture creates a moist environment that encourages the growth of bacteria and fungus on the scalp.

“This can lead to scalp problems like dandruff, itching and even infection.”

To maintain a healthy beard, Fabian recommends letting the hair at least partially dry before styling.

Promoting hair health and minimizing damage are key to hair styling with hair loss in mind.

Fabian MartinezThe London Hair Clinic

So without ponytails, braids or updos, what can you do with your hair to keep it from falling out?

Fabian has seven safer alternatives that can be worn stress-free.

He said, “Promoting hair health and minimizing damage are key to styling hair with hair loss in mind.”

“These are some safe styling options to consider.”

1. Focus on the volume

“Improve the appearance of fatness by using volumizing mousses, sprays or dry shampoos,” he said.

“But avoid strong styling products, which can weigh hair down.”

2. Loose braids

Fabian said, “Choose hairstyles that don’t stress the hair follicles, like soft updos, loose braids, or low ponytails.”

“Avoid tight hairstyles that create tension at the hairline or scalp.”

3. Gentle, heat-free waves

By loosely braiding or using foam rollers, you can create gentle waves or curls without heat or tension.

“These methods add body to the hair without damaging it,” said Fabian.

4. Equip accessories

“Add style while diverting attention from the thinning areas by experimenting with headbands, scarves or hats,” Fabian said.

But remember to choose accessories that don’t pull or put pressure on your hair, he added.

5. Get a layered cut

Fabian said, “Opt for a layered haircut to add volume and dimension and create the illusion of fuller hair.”

“This style creates balance and helps create a fuller look.”

But whatever you choose to do, Fabian urged people to seek advice from a professional.

The Scottish beach has been voted one of the best in the world
Helen Flanagan flaunts her boobs in a plunging playsuit in Ibiza

“You can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and hair condition,” he added.

“They can also guide you with effective styling and grooming techniques.”

What is traction alopecia?

Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by an overload on the hair follicles, often caused by hairstyles that are too tight.

The most common problem styles are:

  • Tight ones, like dreadlocks, braids, cornrows, ponytails, and buns
  • Hair extensions and weaving
  • Tight-fitting headgear such as helmets, hair clips, or rubber bands
  • Very long hair
  • Hair straighteners and other chemical treatments
  • Extensions and relaxers together

It can appear anywhere the hair is stressed, including the top of the head and the beard area.

It’s fairly common among ballet dancers and other sports professionals who have to wear tight hairstyles for long periods of time.

In addition to hair loss, other signs of traction alopecia include:

  • Pimples, redness, itching and ulcers on the scalp
  • Spots with thinning or broken hair in places where the hair has been stressed
  • Patches of shiny, scarred skin

Diagnosis is based on your medical history, styling habits, a scalp exam, and a biopsy.

If caught early, it is usually not permanent and can be reversed by avoiding hairstyles that are too tight.

Source: British Association of Dermatologists And Alopecia UK

A slicked-back bun or ponytail, like the one worn by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, is also taboo


A slicked-back bun or ponytail, like the one worn by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, is also tabooPhoto credit: Splash News
Beyoncé wears a


Beyoncé wears a “safer” twist — long, loose wavesPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor
Blake Lively accessorizes her with a crown headband


Blake Lively accessorizes her with a crown headbandPhoto credit: Getty
Another less damaging style is a loose braid, like Emily Ratajkowski loves


Another less damaging style is a loose braid, like Emily Ratajkowski lovesPhoto credit: Rex

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button