Man buns are hipsterdom’s most polarizing product. The trendy top knot has its worshippers — the kind behind Instagram accounts like “Man Buns of Disneyland” — but it’s also got its fair share of haters. Some of those haters are trying to end the trend prematurely using science, but their logic doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
Dr. Sabra Sullivan, a dermatologist interviewed in a recent Mic article suggested that wearing hair in a man bun could cause hair loss. It’s even got a medical term — traction alopecia — a form of localized balding caused by constant pulling on the hair. The Independent added that too-tight man buns might damage the hair follicles permanently and lead to scarring.
Sure, traction alopecia is a thing. Of course excessive pulling on your hair is going to make it fall out. Hair might not grow back if you permanently damage your follicles. But as anyone who’s had to go in for repeated waxing treatments knows, it’s really, really, really hard to damage your roots so badly that they’ll never grow hair again. If it were easy, it would be a billion-dollar industry.
Traction alopecia has been documented in people wearing extremely tight hairstyles — think tiny braids, heavy hair extensions, or weaves, the kind that reveals the scalp. You’re probably never going to see a man bun that tight. If you do, it just means he’s doing it wrong.
But it might make you rethink this next wave man braid thing.