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Hair loss from man bun or top knot? Is this traction alopecia?
09-26-2015, 09:24 AM (This post was last modified: 09-26-2015 09:28 AM by Mike Lowe.)
Post: #1
Hair loss from man bun or top knot? Is this traction alopecia?
Hi guys, one of my friends has been complaining of losing his hair from styling his hair with a man bun. I can see the receded hairline and he is the type of guy who ties his hair way too tight, so much it looks like he had a brow lift done. I'm not kidding here, the wrinkles on his forehead are smooth out when he ties his hair really tight into a man bun.

Also maybe the hairstyle name is a top knot and not a man bun, I'm not so clear about the difference between a man bun and a top knot. But he is tying all the hair on his head, sides and back included, into one big bun on the top of his head. We're in New York and man buns are extremely common here. Don't get me talking about Brooklyn though... it's a Man-Bun town!!

So is there any chance that the man bun may have caused a receded hairline or some hair loss in my friend? No one in his family is bald and he has a lot of hair, much more now that his hair is very long, it almost reaches his shoulders. I'm growing my hair longer but I would also be interested in knowing the opinions of the barbers of this forum.

I've read about traction alopecia and this seems to be the case with the man bun or with the top knot. There is also another thread about a forum member who had some massive traction alopecia from wearing a bun 24/7 but I can't find that thread. His hairline had receded an inch from the forehead.

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10-06-2015, 06:54 AM
Post: #2
Manbuns and Topknots can indeed cause hair loss and a receding hairline in young men.
Manbuns and topknots can indeed cause traction alopecia and a receded hairline. This is something that we've discussed in our forum many times before. Such type of hair loss isn't just limited to manbuns and topknots; any type of tightly-tied hairstyle will also cause traction alopecia in men and a receded hairline. I'm talking of cornrows, braided hairstyles and tightly-tied ponytails; these hairstyles have been known for decades as "hairline destroyers", and, these days, we also have manbuns and topknots in our list of hairline-destroying hairstyles.

This issue is particularly worrying for men with male pattern baldness (i.e. the typical form of irreversible hair loss in men). In male pattern baldness, the hair follicles are weakened and are slowly miniaturized, so the hair strands attached to the follicles are much easier to come off when pulled and tensed when compared to follicles not affected by male pattern baldness. I've seen it myself (in customers) how the hair strands when balding are literally ripped out with the slightest manipulation (e.g. tying the hair or sweeping it with pomade).

I'm also seeing more and more young men with receded hairlines caused by wearing manbuns and topknots for too long. The man-bun trend exploded in 2013 and wearing a man bun tied tightly every day for a year or longer (as your one-and-only daily hairstyle) can cause (and, many times, will cause) traction alopecia and a receding hairline in young men. Bear in mind that young men aged 16 to 25 years of age and with no male pattern baldness have extremely-sturdy scalps and hair strands as that's the age period when one is producing the thickest and densest hair strands. If manbuns and topknots are causing traction alopecia in such a young male population, then you can bet your money that these 2 hairstyles will wreak havoc on the heads of older men or on the head of men with male pattern baldness. Add to that the fact that about 50% of men are balding by the age of 50 and you can now see why those of us in the men's hair industry regard the man bun and the top knot as hairline-destroying hairstyles.

Tying a man bun or a top knot puts a lot of stress on the hair follicles. In balding men, the use of a man bun or of a top knot is a recipe for massively accelerating the hair-loss process. We've also discussed this in the forum and, as a rule of thumb, we always recommend balding men to avoid tying their hair in any hairstyle. The only benign hairstyles for balding men with medium-length hair and long-length hair are those hairstyles that hang down and that are not heavily manipulated. A good example of a useful hairstyle for a balding guy with long hair is the middle-parted curtained style as the hair is casually parted at the center of the head and the hair is left to dangle freely.

The topic of traction alopecia is a serious one because traction alopecia (over the long term) becomes irreversible; most men aren't aware of this fact and, by the time that they notice their receding hairlines, it's too late and the hair will not grow back. I've seen plenty of traction-alopecia cases caused by manbuns and topknots and the visible results are not pretty. Men with traction alopecia from manbuns and topknots will have wholly-receded hairlines that can recede as far back as 3 inches on the scalp! Here in the forum we've even had a forum member who has unfortunately suffered from traction alopecia due to his long-term (and daily) use of a man bun. Here's the picture of his receded hairline:

[Image: FMqngnF.jpg]

Here is a set of pictures of traction alopecia in males caused by cornrows and braided hairstyles:

[Image: 8au0HT1.jpg]

The solution to avoid traction alopecia and any hair loss from the man bun hairstyle and the top knot hairstyle is to always tie these hairstyles with some loose hold. Never tie your bun or knot so tight that your head hurts or that you feel your forehead's skin pulled up and back. The top knot hairstyle is specially known for having to be tied tightly, so I recommend to stay away from topknots if you care about your hair's long-term health and to instead grow your hair to the minimum length for a man bun which is 8 inches in length. Ideally, you want to be tying your man bun with over 10 inches of length as such a length (or a longer length) will allow you to tie the bun with some loose hold while still maintaining the aesthetics of the man bun hairstyle.

Tying your hair tightly (even if it hurts your head) isn't a problem if it's done every once in a while. There's no doubt that the top knot hairstyle can look great when done properly, so using a top knot with tightly-tied hair is fine unless you resort to this hairstyle for your everyday hair-styling.

If you're going to be wearing a manbun or a topknot frequently, then make sure to release some tension from the tied hair strands (i.e. locks) located your forehead's hairline by softly pulling these locks in the opposite direction of the bun. This will release some tension from the tied hair and the follicles involved, and it will not break the aesthetics of the man bun or of the top knot. The hair strands located across your forehead's hairline are the ones that take most of the tension in a man bun or in a top knot, and these same hair strands (and their follicles) are the ones that are usually the weakest on a male's scalp, hence it's very easy to rip out the hair strands across your forehead with a man bun or with a top knot, which then leads to a receded hairline.

To conclude this piece of advice: do not wear a man bun or a top knot if you suffer from male pattern baldness. However, if you're not balding and have a healthy mane, then feel free to use the man bun and/or the top knot as part of your hairstyle repertoire, but never wear either of these 2 hairstyles everyday for months on end. Likewise, try to release some tension from the tied hair if you're going to be wearing a man bun or a top knot frequently (this piece of advice alone will save your hairline over the long term.

Lastly, for those of you with male pattern baldness still wanting to wear a man bun or a top knot, the best advice to follow is to already have a solid hair-loss regimen consisting of either minoxidil (over the counter) or finasteride (prescription). See our list of recommended minoxidil products, which includes Rogaine, if you've made the decision to still go ahead and tie your hair in a bun or in a knot. Likewise, do also follow the advice that I've posted earlier for men who are not balding: don't wear the manbun or topknot daily, release the tension from the hair strands across your hairline and consider these 2 hairstyles as add-on hairstyles to your daily choice of hairstyles (i.e. do not make these hairstyles your one-and-only hairstyles!).

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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