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The man bun: From trendy guy hair to traction alopecia

We have seen many hairstyles brought into the pop culture spotlight this year, and one of them could be causing premature balding in men.

The hair sensation — known as the man bun — has been seen across college campuses on men of all ages, donned by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom. There is even a video circulating the Tumblr universe on how to recreate the perfect man bun, shown by a Chris Hemsworth doppelgänger with long golden locks.

However, studies have shown that men with this popular updo could be subjecting themselves to gradual hair loss or traction alopecia. The American Academy of Dermatology states that traction alopecia is caused by hairstyles that constantly pull on the scalp, damaging the follicles overtime and causing the hair to fall out.

Since the man bun demands a higher positioning on the head and a tighter grip to the scalp, it strains the men’s hair follicles, which are not meant to undergo the repeated stress associated with this style. The real damage comes from the result of constant and extended use.

In an interview with “Mic,” a Jackson, Mississippi dermatologist, Sabra Sullivan, spoke about how she sees this problem once or twice a week from her patients.

“Traction alopecia in men is becoming more common,” Sullivan said.

There is a way to fight the hair loss, as there are a good number of men that don’t get traction alopecia simply by keeping it loose.

“The idea is to not pull so tight,” Sullivan said “You don’t want to have to go for hair transplants later.”

As long as you style your man bun correctly, you can still keep up with the hip trend without the long-term damaging effects.

About The Author

Allie Taylor

Allie Taylor is a rising senior in the journalism program, and has dedicated most of her life to writing (whether scooping stories on campus, or practicing her creative fiction). She can recite the entirety of Bo Burnham’s “What?” and loves marathons… of Netflix, of course. When Taylor is not in the newsroom, you can find her rehearsing with the cast and crew of S(He) Will Fade, drinking her weight in coffee at Starbucks or burrito-ing herself in a blanket in her dorm room.

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