Q: Will hair extensions damage my natural hair? I read that Naomi Campbell is going bald because of her hair extensions and I don't want to lose my hair when I get extensions.
A: Properly applied and cared for, hair extensions are safe for wear. However, often women will skimp on the care aspects of their extensions or put off maintenance visits, which can result in more damage caused by the extensions.
In many cases, the extensions are attached to the natural hair at or near the scalp, and the hairs to which the extensions are attached provide even distribution of the
added weight of the extensions. However, as the natural hair grows, the extensions are further from the scalp, and the amount of movement possible increases, putting added tension on the perimeters of the
hair segments to which the extensions are attached. This can lead to loss of hair caused by the weight of the extensions pulling the natural hair loose from the scalp.
The loss of hair from this type of situation is called traction alopecia. It is commonly seen in improperly maintained or applied extensions and braids, though virtually
any style that puts the hair into a situation where the follicles are under tension can lead to traction alopecia.
As long as you go to a reputable stylist for your extensions, and you follow up regularly with your stylist to maintain your hair extensions, you should feel confident that your
extensions will be safe and give you the results you desire.