If you are a guy with long hair, you have likely dabbled in a little man bunning every now and then (or even as your go-to style).
But, there are some things you should consider if you are hoping to don a man bun on the regular.
Not every person who wears their hair in a man bun will experience hair loss, of course. But, in some people who wear their hair in this style, there is a risk of excess hair loss from tension, especially if the style is worn tightly or all of the time.
Below, we will cover exactly why hair loss can happen from wearing your hair in a man bun, the signs of traction alopecia, how a man bun may exacerbate male pattern hair loss, how to reduce the risks of hair loss when wearing your hair up, and what treatment options may be available if hair loss has already occurred.
The reason behind why some men may notice extra hair loss after starting to wear their hair in a man bun is from the extra tension on the front hairline and temples of the head from the style. It is these frontal hair areas that take the brunt of the tightness from these styles, and if done very tightly or excessively, the hair may break or pull out from the root in these areas.
Some of the most common signs of traction alopecia from a man bun is seeing the hair thinning concentrated around the frontal hairline and the edges of the scalp. There may be small broken pieces of hair around this area as well, showing that some hairs were also broken off close to the root from the tension.
Other signs of traction alopecia may be: bumps, redness, soreness, stinging, itching, scaling, inflammation around the hair follicles, or even tiny pus-filled blisters.
If you are already experiencing some level of hair loss from the genetic and hormonal cause commonly referred to as male pattern hair loss, mixing in a tight man bun will not do your hair any favors.
With male pattern hair loss, a hormone called DHT can lead to the shrinkage of and damage to your hair follicles, especially the hair in the frontal and crown areas of your scalp.
These hair follicles may already be weakened from the male pattern hair loss developing, so also placing extra tension on these hairs may cause them to pull out or fall out even sooner than they would otherwise.
This doesn’t mean that you have to forgo the stylish man bun style altogether. But, there may be ways to go with this hairstyle while being more gentle to your hair.
You may help reduce hair loss from wearing a man bun by pulling your hair back more loosely when it does go up, and then giving it a break on some days (or most days) by wearing it down.
Avoid wearing your hair up when you are laying down or sleeping as well. When you sleep with a bun in your hair, the tossing and turning may pull the bun tightly in one direction and place too much tension on your follicles.
The hair tie that you choose to pull your hair up in may also contribute to breakage or too much tension. Rubber elastics that clamp down tightly on the hair may be damaging. The best choice is to use elastics with a piece of fabric over them to allow for more slip and less direct pressure on the hair, as in a “scrunchie” style hair tie.
Additionally, only pulling your hair up (gently) when it is dry may help prevent breakage, as the hair is at its most fragile when it is wet.
Treatment for traction alopecia may depend on the extent of the damage. But, luckily, traction alopecia can usually be reversed when it is caught early. If the follicles themselves are not too damaged or scarred over, the hair that was pulled out from tension normally can grow back to its usual state once the tension is removed. However, if this situation does go on for a long time and the follicles become too damaged, the hair loss can be permanent.
If you have some small open wounds or inflammation from the pulling on your scalp, your doctor may prescribe topical antibiotics or steroids to help prevent infection, heal the wounds, and calm the irritation.
If you don’t have wounds or irritation but just noticed more thinning along the hairline and temples, your doctor may recommend Minoxidil treatment to help encourage healthy regrowth, as well as hair vitamins with Biotin.
The first phase of starting treatment for tension alopecia is to stop wearing the hair in the tight hairstyle so that healing can occur.
Here at Strut, we offer prescription hair loss treatments for various hair loss situations. We carry oral and topical hair loss medications for men that contain popular hair loss ingredients like Minoxidil, Finasteride, or Dutasteride. With our topical formulations, we can combine multiple ingredients customized to your hair and goals.
If you are interested in seeing if our hair loss medications are a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door.
Any questions after starting your medications? No problem -- our team and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups to help you through your treatment.