Hair Loss: Are Ponytails To Blame?
Hair loss: Are ponytails to blame?

The ponytail is a much-loved hairstyle, worn by women (and some men) to keep the hair off the face. It’s a practical hairstyle often associated with school, sport and work, however it has also been linked with hair loss.

Yes believe it or not, some women actually experience a condition known as traction alopecia, as a result of wearing their hair in tight ponytails. For those who don’t know, traction alopecia results in hair loss and can be caused by the hair being forcefully pulled towards the vertex of the scalp. In addition to causing hair loss, wearing a tight ponytail may also cause scarring and general discomfort.

Traction alopecia

Traction alopecia is common in ballerinas, who tend to scrape their hair into tight ponytails and buns. It is also common in women that abide to certain cultural traditions, where the hair is not cut and instead, wrapped up in a tight hairstyle. It’s not only the tightness of the hair that can cause traction alopecia in this case but also the sheet weight of it.

Hairstyles such as dreadlocks and braids can also have a similar effect, with both men and women noticing hair loss around the hairline, primarily around the temples and sides of their heads. Some people have also experienced the condition as a result of wearing headgear such as safety helmets for motorcycling, skiing and snowboarding.

Celebrities with traction alopecia

A number of female celebrities are thought to have experienced traction alopecia, as a result of the hairstyles they wear, including Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell, Serena Williams, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Jessie J.

Just last year, Ariana Grande admitted she was experiencing trouble with her hair, which sounded a lot like traction alopecia. On her Facebook page, she explained that having to dye her hair red frequently for her TV role had completely destroyed it and that she had to resort to wearing a wig or extensions. The reason she now wears her hair in a signature ponytail with hair extensions, is because it is too damaged to wear it in any other style and makes her feel uncomfortable.

If you look at pictures of Ariana, you can see that she has experienced thinning around the temples and hairline, which is a classic sign of traction alopecia. The problem is that by continuing to wear her hair in tight ponytails and using hair extensions, she could actually be causing more of her hair to fall out.
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Treating traction alopecia

If you notice signs of traction alopecia early and take action to prevent it from worsening (by not styling your hair in such ways) then your hair should grow back naturally. If you need a little extra help, Minoxidil and other hair loss shampoos and conditioners may be of use.

If however your traction alopecia has led to scarring, preventing your hair from being able to grow back naturally, your best option is to go for hair restoration. Here at Wimpole Clinic, we specialise in hair transplants for both men and women. We have dealt with many cases of traction alopecia and helped people to get back their confidence through hair restoration.

Hair transplants at Wimpole Clinic

You can find out more about our FUE and FUT hair transplants on our website. We highly recommend booking a consultation with one of our trichologists so you can learn more about your condition and the treatment options available to you. For more information please give the clinic a call on 020 7935 1861.


The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology. Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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