For many women with short or thin hair, hair extensions can be a tempting quick fix. There is a long list of celebrities constantly changing their hairstyle with the help of extensions. Today you can get them made form human hair, which looks like if it were your hair. But even though they are a relatively fast way to solve a problem, they are harmful for your natural hair.
How Do Hair Extensions Work?
Hair extensions can be attached to your hair in a few different ways. If added strand-by-strand, small sections of the extensions are attached to your natural hair. If the extensions are added by the weft method, a whole piece of it is attached horizontally, like a curtain. In both of these methods, the fake hair is then fastened. This is done either through bonding, gluing, heat fusing, metal tube clamping, or sewing. This normally takes several hours and could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Hair Extensions Can Cause Traction Alopecia
Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss due to wearing hairstyles that require pulling and tugging of the hair. Orly Avitzur, M.D., said she has had clients that complain over constant and excruciating head pain that were caused by the extensions they wore. Since they had spent so much time and money getting them, many still tried to put up with the pain for as long as possible.
But when one of her acquaintances noticed several bald spots on her head, where extensions had pulled out her own hair, she finally stopped using them. A dermatologist told her that the hair would probably never grow back. This was all because of the damage that had been done to the hair follicles.
It is the combination of weight and tension of the hair that puts a lot of strain on the follicles, which then get stretched out until the real hair simply falls out. This could cause permanent damage and the hair might never grow back again. If you want fuller hair, there are many other ways to boost your own hair growth rather than risking a procedure that could make you permanently bald.
Even Worse: Infections
There are a lot of horror stories of infections caused by hair extensions. Needles are used to weave the extensions into your natural hair. However, a needle that hasn’t been disinfected could cause real damage. Journalist Tina Campbell from Britain went to a hair salon that was suspiciously cheap. At first the extensions she left with looked great for a couple of weeks. But soon afterwards she discovered bleeding bumps on her scalp.
The bumps then spread and Campbell’s whole scalp was itching. It ended with her having to go to the emergency room where the doctors actually drilled a hole in her skull to drain the infection.
“Our skin is very vulnerable to infection even in healthy individuals and the introduction of bacteria with a hair extension needle can easily have the disastrous consequences described,” said Dr Ellie Cannon of DrEllie.co.uk.
Natural Supplements for Healthy Hair
It doesn’t have to go as far as in the cases above. But it is always risky to meddle with the body. If you prefer using a natural solution to help increase volume and strengthen your hair, there are natural hair supplements.
Nutrafol uses several ingredients to help support the fullest looking head of hair possible.
There is also the alternative to use a wig for special occasions. This is perfect if you want to try something more daring like a crazy color. Another alternative is trying different ways of styling to make it look like you have more volume than you do.
However, it’s more important to have an overall healthy lifestyle, than trying risky experiments, to be the most vibrant you.
Text by Emma von Zeipel