Dr. Schweiger, our resident expert on hair loss in women, was featured in a segment about hair extensions on “Good Morning America” and ABC News online.
While many women extoll the cosmetic virtues of hair extensions — they are designed to add to the length and fullness of one’s hair — many others have realized the potential for extensions to cause hair loss.
“We have patients who are in their early 20s come in after wearing hair extensions for six months or one year, and they actually have bald spots,” Dr. Eric Schweiger, a New York City dermatologist, told “Good Morning America.”
Some of the hair loss can be attributed to traction alopecia, which is localized hair loss that occurs with constant tugging on the follicles. However some of the problems occur due to underlying medical conditions, like anemia. Regardless the underlying cause, when someone is exposed to prolonged tension and weight from cosmetic enhancements, temporary or permanent areas of balding can occur. In some cases hair may grow back in those areas, but for individuals with permanent hair loss from extensions, hair transplantation may be the best treatment. In those cases, a visit to a hair restoration physician is the first step towards treating or repairing your hair loss.
This risk of damage to the hair is why it is important to use caution and care with extensions, as well as to have an understanding of potential issues the extensions might cause.
Dr. Schweiger on understanding these risks:
“It’s very important that people out there know the risks of hair extensions before they get them done,” said Dr. Schweiger. “If you’re going to do any extensions, just use them for a few hours and take them out. That’s the safest way.”