TORONTO — Four to six weeks of continuous “man bun” is enough to cause traction alopecia says dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon Dr. Jeff Donovan.
“Traction alopecia is the loss of hair from a force that is greater than the hair was designed to have,” said Donovan. “So we see this with ponytails we see this with man bun, braids and corn rowing.”
Donovan said the tight pulling of the scalp is what causes the damage, adding that releasing the man bun daily can delay or even stop the effects of balding. Wearing a looser ponytail or man bun can also help.
The hairstyle has become popular among hipsters, especially around Toronto’s Queen West and Parkdale neighbourhoods. Parody videos have been created poking fun at the trend.
Celebrities like Jared Leto and Leonardo DiCaprio have also been spotted sporting the hair style, along with professional athletes.
“I’m not entirely sure, but like most hair trends that started in Europe, I would point the finger squarely at [David] Beckham, because he started wearing a samurai top-knot years ago,” said Caleb O’Donovan, owner and co-director of MANKIND grooming studio for men. But he said the man bun’s days may be numbered.
“Whatever comes in as being counter-culture, when it becomes mainstream, the people who made it counter-culture won’t want to wear it anymore,” O’Donovan said.
Certain ethnicities and activities are more susceptible according to Donovan.
“Men and women with afro-textured hair are certainly prone to traction alopecia,” he said. “Certain people like ballerinas for example are very prone to traction alopecia as well with the tight pulling of hair.”
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