Dr. Boden discusses how ponytails could lead to balding issues later in life

Source: Eyewitness News 3 By Nicole Nalepa

Ponytails may be one of the most popular hairstyles out there, but if pulled too tightly, they could pose problems down the road.

Yaritza Vazquez, 31, said she has to undergo a procedure at the Hair Restoration Center of Connecticut in Wethersfield that she hopes will change her life.

“I have hair loss because when I was younger, I used to put up my hair really, really tight,” she explained.

She said notable bald spots appeared right along her hairline.

“It really, really bothers me,” Vazquez said.

She said it bothered her so much, that she didn't do things she really enjoys, especially in the summer.

“I won't swim,” Vazquez said. “When I'm outside, the wind, when it blows, I'm like, 'Oh my God. I don't want people to see this.'"

Vazquez said she tried medications and devices to help bring the hair back.

“Nothing worked,” she said. “So this is like my last option.”

Dr. Scott Boden said so-called “traction alopecia” is a legitimate issue for women.

“Unfortunately, that happens all the time,” Boden said. “People are continuing to do a hairstyle that contributes to permanent loss when they are older.”

Boden said women often don't see it as it's happening.

Vazquez said she pulled her hair tight in ponytails for the years she was in high school. She's now experiencing the consequences.

She said hair follicles on spots of her head are gone. She believes hair transplantation really was her only viable option.

Boden said he takes before pictures. Then, it's over to the surgical area where he and his team harvest 1,200-plus hair follicles from a strip of hair in the back of the head.

“The hair in the back is permanent,” Boden said. “It will grow forever.”

Those follicles are hearty and ideal for transplant, according to Boden. Once the strip is removed, the follicles are isolated and prepped.

“The hair follicle is basically a tiny little living hair organ,” Boden said.

One by one over a period of hours, the follicles are dropped into the little holes the doctor makes in the scalp. He targets areas that are thin.

Boden told Vazquez that she'd need to be careful for the next couple of days in order for those follicles to take a strong hold.

He said she should see a big change in the coming months.

“By six months, you should have pretty good results,” Boden said. “It's going to take a full year to see complete results.”

Vazquez said she can't wait.

Hair transplant procedures can cost between $2,000 and $8,000, depending on what's done and how many follicles are transplanted.

For more information, head to the Hair Restoration Center of Connecticut's website here.

Read more: http://www.wfsb.com/story/29065584/ponytails-could-lead-to-balding-issues-later-in-life#ixzz3aAHi2t00