Do Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss?

Do Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss

Hair loss has become one of the prevalent hair issues. In the quest to get long and voluminous hair, women try all the possible solutions, one of which is the use of hair extensions.

Lately, hair extensions have become a popular hair accessory as they make hair look better, longer, thicker, and more voluminous. However, women experiencing hair thinning claim that one of the reasons for their hair loss is the use of hair extensions. It has created all the fuss in the hair industry and increased the search for, can hair extensions cause hair loss?

In this article we will understand if hair extensions really lead to hair loss or it’s just a myth.

Keep reading to find out!

Does Hair Extensions Damage Hair?

Does Hair Extensions Damage Hair

Hair loss occurs when hair is not well-treated and is subjected to products that contain chemicals (1). At the same time, excessive use of hair styling tools also contributes to the same (2). 

Hair extensions are made of natural or synthetic hairs. Usually, they are clipped, glued, or sewn on natural hair to bring volume. The different types of hair extensions are as follows-

  • Clip-in hair extension 
  • Tape-in hair extensions 
  • Weaves
  • Pre-bond/hot fusion 
  • Cold fusion 

Since there is no use of chemicals in their application, the question arises: how do hair extensions cause hair loss?

Studies have revealed that the use of hair extensions is one of the reasons for hair thinning among women. It can either result into lack of density or full-blown traction alopecia (3) which is hair loss due to repeated pulling on your hair. 

Thankfully, it is not the case all the time. Hair loss due to hair extensions occurs only when you use them continuously for a long time. Application of hair extensions for a short period, for instance, once a month, is highly unlikely to cause any damage. 

Adverse Effects of Hair Extensions

Adverse effects of hair extensions

Women use hair extensions because their hair is thin. Applying hair extensions gives volume and thickness to hair, allowing you to style them in different ways.  

Here, it is important to know that hair extensions, whether they are sewn, clipped or glued cause serious pressure on hair follicles. As a result, they stop growing new hair which leads to bald patches. At the same time, due to sustained pressure, the natural hair near the roots start breaking and falling (traction alopecia). 

All this cause hair to become even thinner and you end up applying more hair extensions, repeating this vicious cycle. While traction alopecia is temporary, sustained pressure on hair follicles cause permanent baldness.  

Mechanism of Hair Extensions That Cause Hair Loss

Consistent pressure and weight on the scalp are the major reasons behind hair loss due to hair extensions. 

  • Pressure: Applying hair extensions pulls on multiple hair follicles in a particular area. It causes multiple hairs to extricate, creating bald patches. 
  • Weight: As you apply extensions, their weight loosens the natural hair shafts from their follicles. As a result, hair fall out gradually, causing hair thinning. 

If you experience hair thinning or bald patches after using hair extensions, it is better to remove them as soon as possible. It will reduce the chances of further damage or causing permanent hair loss.  

Furthermore, you fall at a greater risk of hair damage after using hair extensions when your hair is relaxed or chemically treated (4). 

Should I Use Hair Extensions If I Have Thin Hair?

Your hair stylist may recommend you get hair extensions, especially when you have thin hair. Even though getting them once in a while won’t cause any issues, using them permanently to give a thicker look to hair may make things worse. 

You can definitely use hair extensions when you have thin hair but do not make them a permanent solution to make hair voluminous.  

Does Hair Lost from Extensions Grow Back?

Luckily, hair loss due to hair extensions is not permanent until you use them occasionally. Traction alopecia due to hair extensions is also temporary, and once you remove the extensions, the hair follicles start recovering and producing new hair all over again. 

If you have experienced hair thinning after using hair extensions, you must visit a dermatologist who may prescribe medications such as minoxidil to hasten hair growth

Which Type of Hair Extension Causes Most Hair Loss?

As we have already mentioned, there are different types of hair extensions, and certain types are more likely to cause damage than others. 

For instance, clip-in hair extensions are the least problematic as you can remove them whenever you feel heavy or weighted on the scalp. It will avoid unnecessary pressure on the hair follicles and the hair around it. Similarly, tape-in extensions are also easy to remove but the process of removal may tear out healthy hair as well. 

On the contrary, the use of hot glue in the application of hot fusion extensions and thread in cold fusion extensions create additional pressure on the scalp. Many women also use beads, and rings for cold fusion hair extensions that add to the pressure even more. All this subject the hair follicles to damage, resulting in hair loss. 


Even though hair extensions seem a convenient and easy way to add volume to thin hair, regular and permanent use can cause hair loss. Therefore, using them occasionally will allow you to style your hair differently and look great. At the same time, it will ensure you do not experience adverse effects such as hair loss and bald patches.  

In this regard, it will be good to switch to clip-on and tape-in hair extensions instead of those that require more intensive method of application like glue or thread. Such hair extensions can be removed easily and every night before you go to sleep. 

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