Guest blog by Katherine George
Move over, ladies. Men are growing luscious locks and staking a claim on the beloved bun.Historically, chignons have graced the heads of male warriors, worshippers and Japanese samurais. Fast-forward a few hundred years and this hairstyle has been reinvented into what’s commonly known as “the man bun.” It's making a comeback among male trendsetters and fashion-forward hipsters and has even been seen on the heads of Hollywood heartbreakers like Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto and Chris Hemsworth. But these tightly wound topknots might have their drawbacks. Experts warn that the style can result in traction alopecia, preventable hair loss caused by constant pulling or tension on hair follicles over a long period. Read on for more about this condition and the au courant coif that causes it.
What is the man bun?A true man bun consists of long hair that falls down to the collarbone, says Matthew Collins, hairstylist for CTV’s The Social and Celebrity Style Story. But the man bun that is gaining popularity and raising concerns over hair loss is a new form of topknot: a high, tightly wound bun. It’s often seen on men who are transitioning from a previous trend known as the pompadour haircut, which is long on top and short at the sides. For men, growing their hair is a commitment, and some don’t have the patience for it. As a result, men have created this new skyward-pointing, tightly wound man bun, says Collins. Should men be concerned about traction alopecia? According to Collins, traction alopecia isn’t a result of men wearing their hair in buns; it’s a result of how they are handling their hair. Traction alopecia could be a concern for short-haired men who, in order to bundle up all the uneven lengths, are pulling too tightly on their tresses. Others are simply less cautious and tend to rip their hair out of the elastic, causing the hair to rip. However, traction alopecia isn’t gender-specific. “I’ve seen a general rise in alopecia and dry scalps in men and women across the board,” says Collins. It is more commonly seen in women who wear tight hairstyles, such as weaves or cornrows. How can traction alopecia be treated? Traction alopecia is preventable and treatable in its early stages. People should alternate their hairstyles to avoid constant tension in the same areas of the scalp. For example, swap out a tightly wound bun for a low, loosely wrapped chignon that puts less pressure on the hair follicles, reducing the constant tugging sensation. Leaving the house with wet hair is another surefire way to cause scalp problems, says Collins. B efore putting hair up in a bun or topknot, m en and women should dry their locks completely and avoid using rubber bands at all costs! If it’s too late for prevention, try a natural home remedy. Collins recommends massaging tea tree oil or aloe vera onto the dry sections of your scalp. Men and women can also strengthen their hair by eating a more nutritious, healthful diet. Photo courtesy Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons