Posted by Dr. Kari Williams, Licensed Stylist and Trichologist on January 14, 2015
I came across this article on the internet regarding the damage that is caused to little girls hair because of the tension based hair styles that are done on their hair. Dr. Kari Williams, Trichologist responded to this question:
Here’s our first question…
As my son’s hair is growing out I pull it back several times a week into a bun to keep the lint from getting into it (he’s rolling around the floor alot during the day), but I noticed that his hairline seems to be somewhat fragile. I don’t know if it’s because of the pulling, or just that it’s new. I’m afraid of doing semi-permanent damage.
The majority of cases of traction alopecia I have diagnosed are a result of styling choices made in childhood by parents or guardians. If you are pulling your child’s hair back into pony tails, braids or using headbands and you notice thinning around the hair line—-STOP.
Based on the life cycle of hair, the first 5-7 years of your child’s life can have a significant impact on their hair for the rest of their lives. This is the best time to shape and support healthy growing patterns. Any harmful hair care techniques applied in this stage can cause permanent damage to your little one’s hair.
I cannot highlight this point enough. Early perms, relaxers, and rough handling can cause the kind of damage that will prevent your child’s hair from ever reaching its full potential, its full thickness, and full length. Pony-tails and braids pulled too tightly along with extensions can, and likely will, damage your child’s hair in the first five years.
The best thing to do in those first few years is to choose styles that allow the hair to grow free of tension and stress. These styles include double strand twists, individual braids and cute afros tied back with ribbons or headbands. Just make sure the headbands and ribbons are not tied or pulled too tightly. Remember- tension-free styles will provide the best results in preserving your child’s hair as they progress into adulthood.
Dr. Kari Williams is a Trichologist and Licensed Stylist. She is the owner of Mahogany Hair Revolution in Beverly Hills. She teaches Mahogany Baby Workshops for parents and is the author of the E-book Mini Tresses.