Careful, hipsters -- it seems the man bun may be a dangerous trend.
Though it’s the go-to of male fashionistas Australia-wide, experts say the tight hairstyle and its trendy cousin, the top knot, could actually be causing hair loss.
The culprit is traction alopecia -- a type of gradual hair loss caused when hair is tightly pulled over months or years.
The tension of the hair being pulled damages it, causing thinning and eventual failure of the follicle to produce hair. The hair loss is most visible around the temples and hairline.
In the U.S., dermatologists say they’re seeing top-knotted men with traction alopecia once or twice a week.
And it seems the condition could be on the rise with men here too.
“We are seeing an increase here. I would say five years ago I saw women with it but never men, now we’re seeing it in men,” director of the International Association of Trichologists David Salinger told the Huffington Post Australia.
Salinger, who’s based in Sydney, sees about one man a month with traction alopecia as a result of a hairstyle.
He said because the man bun trend was only a few years old, men wouldn’t be seeing the full effects of traction alopecia yet.
“It’s a bit early, they might be starting to get some thinning. As time goes on it will get worse and worse,” Salinger told HuffPost Australia.
“Men don’t realise in the future they’re asking for trouble.”
But Anthony Pearce, a trichologist who runs his own practice and consults internationally, said male traction alopecia wasn’t widespread in Australia.
“I haven’t seen too much of it. I’ve seen one or two [cases], but it’s not too much here,” he said.
Where he had seen it, he said it was often the result of men wearing dreadlocks.
“Young surfers who like to dreadlock their hair, you see the traction alopecia through their scalp, not just along the frontal hairline margin.”
Both Salinger and Pearce said the condition was much more prevalent in women compared with men.
“What I find in Australia is it commonly happens to girls who always have to wear their hair up,” Pearce said.
And both agree that the fix for male fashionistas is easy - stop wearing the hairstyle, or at least don’t wear it so tight.
“If you’re going to do it, realise you’re going to cause the damage. Or if you’re going to do it, just don’t do it tightly,” said Salinger.
Unconfirmed reports suggest fashion victim hotspots include Surry Hills, Fitzroy, and West End.