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Can A Top Knot Or Man Bun Cause Hair Loss?

Man buns and top knots may have passed their popularity peak, but many men still sport these hairstyles. However, recent evidence suggests that these hairstyles can lead to thin, patchy hair in a condition known as traction alopecia [1].

So does a man bun cause hair loss? And what about a top knot? We investigate this popular style to see if and how it can damage your hair.

Table of Contents

Man bun: the most popular male hairstyle of the 2010s

The man bun was perhaps the most on-trend male hairstyle of the 2010s. It consists of using the hair to tie and shape a bun which sits on the head. Some men use all their hair to create the bun, while others just use some of it. The hairstyle is easy to create once hair has grown long enough; the ease of creating a stylish look in 1-2 minutes makes this style even more appealing.

Celebrity stars like Harry Styles, Orlando Bloom and Chris Hemsworth fuelled the trending hairstyle, wearing it both casually and at red carpet events.

examples of man buns in celebrities

Top knot: a variation on the man bun

The top knot (also sometimes called the “undercut bun”) is effectively a semi man bun. With this hairstyle, the hair is typically no longer than around 8 inches in length. The hair to the back and the sides is then styled with a hair clipper to the person’s preference. This style is a little more complicated and requires the support of a hairstylist.

Celebrities like Zayn Malik, Colin Farrell, and Kit Harington helped bring the top knot into the mainstream.

celebrity examples of top knots

Does a man bun cause hair loss?

Like ponytails and other tightly worn hairstyles, top knots and man buns can cause hair loss. If they’re worn for any length of time, they are likely to lead to hair breakage or even traction alopecia.

Traction alopecia is traditionally seen in women who wear tight ponytails and buns, as well as people who wear dreadlocks, weaves, or hair extensions. Since the rise of the man bun, traction alopecia is becoming more common in men.

Over time the constant pull caused by these hairstyles separates the hair follicle from its root. This causes distinct patterns of thinning, and can lead to permanent damage. Hair loss from top knots and man buns most commonly occurs on the hairline and temples, which are the areas that endure the most strain.

How to restore hair loss after wearing a top knot or man bun

The best way to encourage your hair to regrow is to stop tying it up in tight styles. You can choose to wear a looser bun or ponytail, or stop tying your hair back altogether. If you’ve had your hair cut in a specific style to enable you to wear a top knot, this may be disappointing — but it’s the best way to encourage your hair to grow back.

Check out loose buns on celebrities like Jason Momoa and Brad Pitt to see how you can restyle your bun to reduce hair loss.

Using soft hair ties like scrunchies or non-snagging ties can also prevent breakage in your hair, which can make it appear thinner. Invest in some safe hair ties to continue wearing your preferred style with minimal damage.

Permanent hair loss after traction alopecia

If it isn’t addressed, traction alopecia can ultimately lead to permanent hair loss. If you suspect you might have permanent hair loss after wearing tight hairstyles for too long, speak to a hair loss specialist to find the best form of treatment.

Not all hair loss treatments are surgical interventions like hair transplants. There are plenty of medical and alternative hair restoration therapies available to try.

Am I balding, or am I losing hair because of my top knot?

Male pattern baldness affects a large proportion of the population. As a result, it may be difficult to tell if you’re losing hair as a result of your hairstyle or your genes.

If you’re developing a bald spot on your crown as well as at the temples, pattern baldness is likely to be the main cause of your hair loss. Pattern baldness — also known as androgenetic alopecia — causes permanent hair loss, so your hair won’t grow back even if you let your man bun loose (although continuing to wear these styles can make the problem worse).

If you’re concerned about hair loss, speak to a hair loss specialist at the Wimpole Clinic to find the right course of action to restore your hair.

Can A Top Knot Or Man Bun Cause Hair Loss?, Wimpole Clinic


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