Top-Knots and Man Buns: Hairstyles that Lead to Hair Loss in Men

Photo credit: thomas autumn photography / / CC BY-ND

It seems that women are not the only ones losing locks from hairstyles, but men too. If you look at Hollywood alone, or any celebrity news, you would see that men are growing from the usual cuts to longer hairs tied up in buns. If women like to volume it up with weaves, a lot of men now find it stylish to roll their hairs up in buns. These adorable hairstyles, though may seem rather attractive, can also have some downside.

Current Male Hairstyles

As men ease into becoming metrosexual, they are now opening themselves up to more interesting fashion sense. Yes, there was the skinny jeans, then there were those man purses, but who knew men would also catch up with their hairstyles. Take a clue from David Beckham, Leonardo Di Caprio, to Chris Hemsworth, all these guys wear top-knots or man buns like it was nobody’s business! And a lot of the guys are following suit.

It’s interesting how this hairstyle may have stemmed for the mere purpose of fixing up the hair, but it has created some sort of style revolution. Let’s admit it, some guys can simply pull this off this look and many women find it hot.

The consequences

As much as these hairstyles may be attractive, these can also be harmful to your hair in the long run. Experts are finding a lot of men losing their hair these way nowadays.  According to dermatologists, the longstanding traction or pull on your scalp can end up pulling the hair out. It may even result in permanent scarring into something called traction alopecia. These seemingly hipster top-knots and man buns with their extreme tension bring men to permanent hair loss.  This means bald patches often around the forehead and the temples.

What is traction alopecia?

Harry Styles and Jared Leto seems to be rocking the man bun, but it may not look to cool if the roots of your hair end up being pulled for too long. As it is seemingly pulled forcibly from the scalp with that tight knot, the hair will end up ceasing to grow.

There are different types of hair loss and traction alopecia is one of those that are caused by the person himself. As its name implies, it is hair loss caused by traction or the pulling action. When a hair follicle is pulled it creates a tension through its length right down to the root. This damages the root and pulls it out. Just think about plucking your eyebrows. If you regularly pluck it out, it eventually ceases to grow back.

Unlike androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness which is something your DNA has something to do with, this type of hair loss can be within your control. Fortunately, this hair loss is localized and it can be temporary. However, in a bad twist of things, this may also be permanent.

When the hair follicles end up being scarred, there’s a good chance that you could lose your hair permanently. This may not only scar your hair follicles but your confidence as well. These celebrity women realized the price they had to pay after months of being on those tight weaves, and this could also happen to men if those tight buns are maintained.

Men who lose their hair from the center, or those who end up with a regressing hairline, tends to wear to wear their hair long and into a ponytail. What makes this picture so wrong is that it can only make matters worse.

So what causes traction alopecia?

Aside from man buns and top-knots, tight braids, dreadlocks, and cornrows are also common reasons for traction alopecia in men. Tight headgears, like helmets, which are worn frequently for long periods of time can also create a rubbing and pulling motion which could also result in hair loss.

What can be done about it?

If you notice some areas of your scalp starting to thin out some parts of your hairline starting to widen, you should learn to lay off the buns now. Don’t wait before more follicles get damaged because once it goes there, hair may never get back.

But I’ll let you in on some good news, traction alopecia is relatively rare. So not all men who wear man buns can get hair loss. The idea here is just to avoid pulling your hair too tight. It also helps to dry your hair first before putting them in a bun or a knot because wet hair can be more sensitive, or more vulnerable to hair loss. Other hair experts also advise that you can also slick your hair back and still create the same effect.

What happens with permanent hair loss due to traction alopecia?

In the event where you permanently lose hair due to too much traction, there are still several treatment options available for you. Aside from changing your hairstyles, these also include the following:


This may not create dramatic results, but it does help promote better circulation. With proper blood flow, the affected scalp areas are then nourished to promote better hair growth. You can also add in natural oils like Rosemary or castor oil. Aside from possessing several nutrients, it also has the properties to promote good circulation.


There are over-the-counter medications that can reverse traction alopecia. There are some medications that are known to show certain improvements after three months of use. Antibiotics and even intralesional corticosteroids can also do the job when you beat the problem early. However, these treatments may require a physician’s prescription and administration.


Permanent scarring of the follicles can be corrected with surgical hair transplantation. In a procedure called a “flap surgery,” hair transplant surgeons attach healthy scalp to the affected areas. This is not necessarily the first option, but it is definitely the best treatment available.

Top-knots and man-buns may be the cool way to wear your hair, but it can have some consequences. To avoid the damaging effects caused by too much traction, learn to let loose once in a while. Damage can be prevented, and it lessens the extent when you loosen it up now.

If you aim to address the permanent effects of traction alopecia, come to Sydney Hair Transplant today. We aim to provide the appropriate treatment based on your own hair loss concern. Call us today for a consult.

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