Hair extensions causing irreparable damage?

February 6, 2013 8:27:29 PM PST
Consumer Reports is issuing a new alert about hair extensions. It's something that may have you thinking twice about this beauty trend.

Let's face it, a lot of what we do to our hair is not good for it -- straightening it, curling it, coloring it. But now there's a warning about something else that could permanently damage it.

Lady Gaga gets a lot of attention for her outrageous hair. Most of her styles are created with fake extensions. Other celebrities, like Jessica Simpson and Raquel Welch, even have their own lines of hair extensions, touting a more "realistic," luscious look.

But the dark side of this beauty trend is beginning to emerge.

Jennifer Aniston reportedly had to cut her hair because it "was getting thinned out again from all the extensions."

Latesha Parks is no celebrity, but she can relate.

"I've been wearing them about nine years," she said.

And now, her hair is breaking off. She even has a spot where it won't grow anymore.

Randee Bank is having similar problems.

"I still have bald spots. The hair has not grown back," she said.

Consumer Reports' Dr. Orly Avitzur became concerned when one of her patients with hair extensions complained of excruciating headaches.

"There are people who use hair extensions without complaint. But extensions add excess weight, pulling on the hair, which can lead to damage of the hair follicles," Avitzur said.

Hair extensions are applied to your natural hair or scalp by either weaving, gluing, taping or clipping them in.

"If you wear extensions and start to see signs of hair loss, stop right away before the problem becomes permanent," Avitzur said.

Salon owner Dawn DiDomenico has seen the dangers, and now she is refusing to use hair extensions.

"It looks like really beautiful hair, but what it does underneath is quite scary," DiDomenico said.

If you have thin or weak hair, you are at higher risk of permanent damage from hair extensions. And the longer you keep them in, the worse the damage can be.

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