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The Worst Hairstyles for Hair Health

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When we heard that the man bun can lead to baldness, it led us to wonder—does the same hold true for women?

"Absolutely," says Jet Rhys, a celebrity stylist in Solano Beach, CA. "Regularly keeping your hair in a tight bun can cause hair loss, particularly in the spot where the bun sits at the back of your head."

The constant tension leads to traction alopecia, hair loss that occurs when there's constant pulling on the root. So if it turns out the top knot is not so good for our locks, are there other 'dos that have similarly damaging effects? Here, three common hairstyles that cause tress stress.

An Overly Taut Ponytail
While a tight, perky pony may look great, pulling your hair back too tightly is a prime cause of traction alopecia on the sides of your head (not to mention headaches to boot). Your elastic may also be doing damage. Rhys suggests using a soft, fabric option, without any metal that can cause snags and breakage. Try: Scunci No Damage Elastics ($2.79; drugstore.com).

Braids Arounds Your Hairline
Sure, delicate plaits that frame your face look pretty, but the effects are anything but. "The hair around your hairline is the thinnest and most delicate, making it especially susceptible to breaking and snapping anytime you pull on it," Rhys explains. A better bet: Keep braids further towards the back of your head, and leave them loose to minimize tugging at the root.

A Daily Blowout
Simultaneously brushing and blow-drying is a major no-no, says Rhys: "Hair is the most fragile when it's wet. Brushing it before it's at least 80 percent dry can cause baldness or breakage," he adds. To further safeguard your strands, use an ionic, tourmaline brush—it smooths hair and reduces static electricity, so you don't have to brush so vigorously. One to try: Ion Ceramic Round Boar Bristle Brush ($9.99; sallybeauty.com).

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