Got a sweet man bun, bro? Sweet! Except not so much, because your style choice might be making you bald and pretty soon you’ll have nothing to show on your head except a couple of scraggly hairs you tried to grow back with Rogaine. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
According to Mic, more and more men are suffering from something called traction alopecia, which is what happens when you pull your lustrous mane into a tight little bun and plop it on top of your head. Even dermatologists are now worried that the hipsters of today will be Hairclub for Men customers in the future:
Traction alopecia. “It’s really, really common,” Jackson, Mississippi, dermatologist Sabra Sullivan told Mic. “I see it probably once or twice a week.” The condition, which causes acute baldness around the forehead and temples, is a direct result of hairstyles that pull the hair over long periods of time.
“They’re putting traction on the hair follicles that the hair is not really meant to take,” Sullivan said, adding the behavior could lead to follicle death plus permanent scarring. “Traction alopecia in men is becoming more common,” she said and agreed that man buns were at least partly to blame.
Ouch! Once to twice a week? Follicle death? Permanent scarring? Maybe it’s time to get a haircut or just let that hair fly in the wind like nature intended. At the very least get a hairnet—those are definitely making a comeback. But don’t worry, dudes with man buns, you’re in good company:
“In spite of the repeated admonitions, the pony tail in recent years has enjoyed unusual fascination and popularity among our younger females,” Dr. Albert H. Slepyan wrote nearly 60 years ago. “It is clear that those who wear the pony tail longer and more tightly drawn are considered more accomplished in the eyes of their contemporaries. It is the prolonged pulling of the hair backward and upward into a smoothly compacted corded hair bundle that has caused loss of hair in many of these persons.”
Experts told Mic any hairstyle that creates overly tight hair pulling, regardless of gender, could produce irreversible long-term consequences. “Once you damage the hair follicle, it will not grow back,” Dennis Zuniga, a high-end stylist at New York’s Donsuki Salon, told Mic.
Mic also talked to a professional braider, who pointed out that her clients with tight weaves are also at risk for losing their hair. Not only that, but the tightness can bring on migraines so bad that Ibuprofen is required.
So what to do? Keep your buns and ponies loose! They may look a little messier, but that’s certainly going to be more acceptable in the long run than a scar on your head. We’re not posting the pictures here, but Mic has got some really tragic examples of what a too-tight man bun can do. Check it out if someone you know is at risk.
(Via Mic h/t Bro Bible)