Alopecia and Lindsay Lohan

Awhile back I read an article in the Metro, in the entertainment section that said that Lindsay Lohan’s hair was thinning due to extension usage.

I chose to address this topic now because extensions are becoming more and more fashionable especially this summer in the hair industry. Extensions are being used for hair shows and creativity of the highest illusion in the hair industry. It can be used for lengthening of one’s hair, for adding various highlights instead of using hair colours that are chemically selected. It can be used for concealing baldness or hair loss thus giving confidence to men and women who would otherwise have to wear wigs.

There are several techniques of extensions: stranding fusion, interlock, threading, lace, tracking, weaving, etc. and many more. The principle of hair growth is as follows: hair sheds daily from “wear and tear”. “What you are not combing you are not breaking”. Therefore the hair appears to grow faster when braided or weaved for example.

However if the weave or extensions are removed professionally as manufactures instructions dictates, one will notice a considerable amount of dead hair in the area where no combing was present. Why? Hair sheds 60 to 70 strands daily and in thicker hair more, shedding ac[censored] ulates in that area and when combed it is visible.

Professionals are trained to remove this hair without disturbing the new growth thus avoiding breakage. It is the responsibility of each person receiving an extension service to communicate any discomfort when the service is being applied, for too much pulling or tightness can cause hair loss. Cleanliness, hygiene, overstaying extensions more than the recommended time can cause hair loss.
Generally braiding, weaving and extensions are blamed for hair loss (Alopecia), especially if the individuals have that service during the observation of the hair loss.

NOTE: Definition of Alopecia

Alopecia is a term for hair loss of the scalp, eyebrow, eyelashes and beard. It is recognized by circular round bald patches on the scalp. These patches in most cases grow back. However medication, diet and proper hair care can aid in a speedier recovery. A dermatologist should be seen if these signs are present.

Traction or alopecia caused by braiding is recognized in a pulling pattern. Systemic alopecia has a definite circular pattern. They are similar in my experience, but should not be confused in their formation. Over the years I have found them to be totally different in pattern.
Braiding pulling is almost like a recession effect. Traction alopecia is caused when braids or weaves are too tight and braided in the same fashion on a continuous basis. Therefore it is mandatory that one informs the stylist of the tightness.


If Lindsay Lohan hair was done by a trained cosmetologist or extensionist there should not be any problems, if the hair care regime necessary for this service was followed:

1: One must make regular visits to their stylist for conditioning and treatments

2: Regular tightening or replacements are necessary as the hair grows. If that is not addressed the weight of the extensions on new growth can cause breakage.

3: A good diet is necessary for healthy hair. A healthy stressed free body, is a healthy head of hair.

While watching a variety of Entertainment News programs, I can see that is not the case with Lindsay. She is in and out of the court system and that alone will cause someone stress and hair loss, assuming she has done all the above.

In my own personal experience as a stylist many of my clients have used extensions to grow their hair. I have witnessed hair loss that has been caused not by the service, but by hair abuse, genetics, lack of maintenance, systemic reasons or sometimes traction from tight extensions. Traction can be eliminated by communication between you and your stylist. The stylist does not know how tight the service is unless the client communicates with them. Sometimes it is visible by noticing the skin irritations and one can discontinue the service, many times this is not communicated.

In conclusion, the weight of the extensions can cause breakage on new hair growth or hair loss. Consult a stylist who specializes in hair extensions and can promote healthy hair without breakage.

Extension usage should not be blamed for the loss of Lindsay’s hair, if all of the instructions were followed correctly. For more information about the effects of Alopecia, I recommend: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow by Beverley Byfield

Daphne has helped many individuals suffering from hair loss since 1980, over 30 years in the hair business and many successful people in recovering from this prominent enemy.

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