Is Your Ponytail Pulling Out Your Hair?

Our friends at the DailyGlow tackle the age-old questions from everyday readers: does wearing a ponytail cause hair loss?!

Q: I like to wear my hair in a ponytail, but now I'm losing my hair near my temples. Does this mean I'm going bald?

A: Ponytails are convenient, not to mention cute - remember Reese Witherspoon's Barbie updo at the Oscars? These days, fashion magazines are filled with photos of models and stars sporting ponytails and braids. While these styles are fun and easy, they can also be hard on your hair. It sounds as if you might have traction alopecia, a type of hair loss caused by wearing hairstyles that pull on your scalp. Here's what may be happening: Your hair grows out from hair follicles that sit deep in your scalp. If your hair is constantly being pulled, the roots get tugged loose from the follicles, and the hairs start falling out faster than they normally would. The good news is, if you catch the condition early, the hair can grow back.

Here's how to protect your hair and avoid traction alopecia:

- When you put your hair up, don't pull too tight. Wear loose braids, buns, and ponytails, and take them down at the end of the day.

- Use coated rubber bands. Try Sephora's Snag-Free Hair Elastics or Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics, which I use to tie up my hair at the gym.

- Alternate the way you put your hair up, or even just the location of your ponytail, so you're not always pulling on the same hairs.

- Instead of tying your hair up, try holding it back with a headband. You can even get headbands that look like your own hair. Try Braidies, which look like a braid, or a Tonyband, which looks like a lock of hair (both at

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