Just when we thought the man bun phenomenon wasn’t going anywhere soon – it does after all have its own Instagram account and hashtag #manbunmonday @manbunmonday – it turns out the style du jour could in fact be making men go bald. Yep, a health specialist has spoken out to say that hairstyles that pull at the hairline and create tension around the temples – that would include the man bun – can result in Traction alopecia. The condition, which causes acute baldness around the forehead and temples, is a direct result of hairstyles that pull the hair over long periods of time. Ouch.
Dermatologist Sabra Sullivan told Mic, “It’s really, really common. I see it probably once or twice a week.”
“They’re putting traction on the hair follicles that the hair is not really meant to take,” Sullivan said, adding the behavior could lead to follicle death plus permanent scarring. “Traction alopecia in men is becoming more common,” she said and agreed that man buns were at least partly to blame.
This revelation spells serious bad news for A-list man bun poster boys Oliver Proudlock – we haven’t seen him without a perky top knot in months – and Jared Leto.
However it’s not just the boys at risk from rocking an on-trend ‘do Sullivan also revealed that the condition affects women too, with the most common culprit being a weave or tight ponytail. In fact, experts say any hairstyle that creates overly tight hair pulling, regardless of gender, could produce irreversible long-term consequences. “Once you damage the hair follicle, it will not grow back,” Dennis Zuniga, a high-end stylist at New York’s Donsuki Salon, told Mic.
But there is some good news for man bun lovers – “There are lots of men who wear man buns and don’t get traction alopecia,” Sullivan said. She and other experts agreed that for those looking to sport pulled hairstyles, there was one simple rule: Keep it loose. “The idea is not to pull so tight,” she said. “You don’t want to have to go for hair transplants later.”
So there you have it boys, think undone chignon rather than Croydon facelift next time you scrape those locks back.