Why Braids Can Cause Baldness

Out of the hairstyles that can cause baldness, braids are one of the most common. The tugging and pulling on your hair when you get your braids done does more harm to your hair than good. But why braid can cause baldness and frustration? 

Our hair grows out of small follicles on our scalp. Hairstyles that require our hair to be tied very tightly, like braids, put stress on the ends of our hair. The hair even gets pulled out of their follicles, damaging them and leading to baldness and frustration. 

However, that’s not end. Regarding the topic, we’ll go in-depth with the causes so that you can be careful next time your wear braids. 

Can Braids Make You Go Bald?

tight braids lead to baldness

The easy answer is tight braids, especially the braids that require a lot of tugging and pulling on your hair can cause hair loss and lead to baldness. 

How Much Hair Loss is Normal? The Average Amount of Strands Lost Per Day 

Now, it’s normal for a person to lose about 50-100 strands of hair every day. But any more than that should be a concern for us all as it’s known as a condition called Telogen Effluvium.

15 Hidden Causes of Baldness from Braids 

Causes of Baldness from Braids

If you’re suffering from hair loss and have no idea why, here are 15 reasons that may be playing a factor in you slowly going bald:

1. Poorly Applied Braids
Poorly Applied Braids

Braids have always been in fashion but did you know that braids come with their own problems? If you do not do your braids in a proper manner and fail to take the time required to care for them, your braids will cause you to go bald.

2. Genetic Pattern Behind Male & Female Baldness
Genetic Pattern Behind Male & Female Baldness

Androgenetic Alopecia causes men to lose hair starting from their hairline while also slowly losing hair from the top of the head.

In females, androgenetic alopecia works differently. Instead of losing hair from one part of the head, their hair starts thinning all over the head at the same time.

3. Nutrient Deficiencies 

Lack of nutrition in your scalp and hair can also lead to hair loss and baldness. Low levels of vitamin D” and iron can be some of the leading causes of hair loss. 

4. Air Pollution and Radiation 

Air pollution is another major cause of hair loss. Particulate matter found in polluted air can get stuck in your hair follicles and cause itchiness, dry scalp, and reduce the protein in your hair follicles responsible for hair growth.

Radiation therapy kills the cells that make your hair grow. But this is not permanent as, once the therapy ends, your hair slowly starts growing back.

5. Itchy Scalp 
Itchy Scalp

Continuously and heavily scratching your scalp damages your scalp and hair follicles. Damaged hair follicles lead to less hair growth and at times, even baldness. To avoid this, ensure your scalp is clean and moisturized at all times.

6. Not Enough Moisture 

Lack of moisture in your hair, or simply dehydrated hair is a big reason behind baldness. Dehydration causes your hair to become brittle, dry, and easily breakable. 

7. Hair Breakage 
Hair Breakage

It’s caused by dry hair, stress, use of excessive heat on your hair, etc, and occurs when your hair strands break off at different places instead of just the root. 

To avoid hair breakage, keep your hair moisturized, and use heat protection sprays before applying any heat to your hair.

8. Untreated Dandruff On Scalp  
Untreated Dandruff On Scalp 

Dandruff, like a dry scalp, can cause extreme itchiness. If you continuously keep itching your head, you’ll end up with inflammation in your hair follicles. This can cause thinning of hair and even hair loss.

9. Harsh Chemicals 

It’s common knowledge that chemicals are one of your hair’s biggest enemies. Using products that have harsh chemicals in them can damage your hair beyond repair, leading to baldness.

10. Braiding Cause Stress-Induced Hair Loss

Braiding your hair tightly causes stress at the ends of your hair as it requires rough pulling and tugging on your hair, leading to hair loss and baldness.

11. Traction Alopecia Caused by Tight Braids 
raction alopecia occurs due to continuous hair pulling

Braiding or tying your hair too tightly can lead to a form of baldness known as traction alopecia. Traction alopecia occurs due to continuous hair pulling and causes too much tension on your hair follicles, permanently damaging them and causing baldness. 

12. Fungal Infections
Fungal Infections

They occur when you don’t clean your hair and scalp regularly and properly. The fungus’ can get into your hair fibers causing breakage and bald patches on your head. 

13. Allergic Reactions to Hair Products 

Sometimes we use products on our hair without checking their ingredients. If you are allergic to even one of these products, it may cause inflammation of the scalp. An inflamed scalp can lead to damaged hair follicles which in turn leads to baldness.

14. Waiting Too long Between Maintenance

Going to a barber or a professional hairstylist every once in a while can do miracles for your hair. Waiting too long between getting hair maintenance can cause too many problems to rise up. 

15. Picking Out Lint  

Lints are the result of dust, dead scalp, and small fabrics getting stuck in our hair. Picking these out by pulling at them can cause your hair to fall out. 

Do not pick at lints, instead shampoo your hair properly and use a fine brush to keep your hair lint-free.

Best Ways to Actually Stop the Progression of Hair Loss and Avoid Balding ( best way to avoid baldness from braids)  

Ways to Actually Stop the Progression of Hair Loss

Now, let’s talk about how not to lose hair and avoid balding. Especially if you have braids. 

To avoid hair loss and baldness without losing your braids, do the following:

  • Make your braid loose.
  • Get thicker braids.
  • Don’t wear your braids for more than 2-3 months at a time.

Are There Any Products I Should Use to Help Protect My Scalp And Hairs During Styling? 

Products I Should Use to Help Protect My Scalp

Yes, many. It’s actually recommended to use protective products on your hair and scalp before styling them. 

  • Oiling your hair on a regular basis helps open up your hair follicles and improves blood circulation inside your scalp.
  • Products such as exfoliating shampoos are great for cleaning up clogged hair follicles. 
  • Heat-protective sprays protect your hair from the heat of hair straighteners and dryers.  

What Are The Types of Braids That Commonly Cause Hairline Loss?

Braiding styles that require constant excessive tugging and pulling on your hair can cause hairline loss. These hairstyles include but are not limited to:

  • Cornrows
  • Dreadlocks 
  • Tightly tied braids.


Our hair and hairstyle are a part of our identity, and losing hair can be a reason for frustration for a lot of people. Amongst the many reasons behind hair loss and baldness, braids are one of the biggest. The strain they have on your hair is why braid can cause baldness and frustration.

However, If you’ve read through the article so far, now you know what the causes are. Be careful and take care of hair to keep your hair damage free and avoid baldness.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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