Angelica Curiel & Dr. Tim Neavin
As a top stylist, I often am asked about why my clients may be experiencing hair loss or thinning, and most of them are women. Well the answer is “for a number of reasons.” I interviewed Dr. Tim Neavin from Beverly Hills looking for answers to some of those questions from men and women who feel they have hair loss or thinning hair.
Why do we have hair, anyway?
Dr. Neavin: That’s a great question. For many of us, life would be easier if we didn’t have it. Hair probably evolved in humans to protect the scalp and face from the sun and rain. It may have even served to help retain heat. Today of course, hair on our head serves us more cosmetically than functional. For both men and women, hair has become another area on the body for us to accessorize and shape in fun and sexy ways. For many, it can even help characterize persona (hello, Carrot Top and Don King).
What makes hair healthy and beautiful?
Dr. Neavin: For both men and women, “thick and full” are the hallmarks of beautiful hair. Straight, wavy, or curly are more personal preferences, but “thin and sparse” are not usually the look anyone is going for. Like anything else in the human body, both genetics and environment play major roles in our hair thickness and growth density. Some men are unfortunately dealt a hand that predisposes them to hair loss. In those cases, environmental influences such as diet and even medications can sometimes slow down the process – to an extent. While women don’t experience this male pattern loss of hair, they are still at risk of thinning based on genetics, diet, and even hairstyles!
Hairstyles? That’s interesting. Is it true that ponytails can cause hair loss?
Dr. Neavin: Great question and “yes”! Excessive tension on the hair for prolonged periods of time can cause what is called ‘traction alopecia.’ How long is too long? It’s tough to say, and likely different for everyone. But the most common areas where one can see thinning or loss are the hairline and temple regions. Before the hair falls out, it can thin and become frizzy. Consider this an early warning sign. The main culprits of this rather prevalent problem include buns, chignons, twists, and various braids. The good news is that early stages of traction alopecia can usually be reversed. The better news is that it can be totally avoided with a looser pony or bun, or by changing hairstyles frequently to reduce traction damage.
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