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  • Writer's pictureSarah - Level Eleven

Traction Alopecia: Bad Extension's Dirty Secret

I was a tape-in extension girl for almost decade. I thought I loved them! They gave me length and volume, and the hair was re-useable! I didn't realize spending 2+ hours in the bath with coconut oil on my head slowly (and painfully!) peeling off the tapes every eight weeks was that much of an inconvenience. I always took them out myself so my stylist didn't have to use alcohol and damage the weft or my hair in doing so. It was also much more cost-effective! Every time I peeled a sandwich apart, so much of my hair would be fused to it. I chalked it up to natural fall-out. We lose, on average, 50-100 hairs a day. Now I have fine-normal hair density. I might lose closer to the 50 mark. I had 15 sandwiches of tape-ins in my head and when I pulled them out- it looked like almost a full row of hair was coming with them. That could be 200 hairs!

It wasn't until a colleague got a beautiful set of nanolinks that I opted to try them out. My wonderful Hair Flair extension technician handed me a mirror and showed me in the back of my head the straight lines of bald. I had no idea. It was shocking and of course I could have shed a couple tears as well, but she talked me through how nanolinks do not pull or irritate when installed and cared for properly and I continued with my installation that day. That was three years ago and my natural hair has grown - no more bald patches either! - and I will never look back to another extension method again. Other types of extension that can cause traction alopecia are clip-ins, sew-ins, braids, and any other permanent extension NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED. Always go to a technician who is properly trained. Even for temporary extensions like toppers, having a 30-60 minute training session with you stylist is always recommended.

Peace, love, and hair, Sarah

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