Consumer Reports: Ugly Side of Hair Extensions

Lady Gaga has received a lot of media attention for the outrageous hairstyles she creates with hair extensions. Other celebrities, including Jessica Simpson and Raquel Welch, have hawked lines of hair extensions. And many women longing for a full head of hair are following their lead.

But that beauty trend has a dark side. Jennifer Aniston reportedly said she cut her hair because it "was getting thinned out again from all the extensions."

Latesha Parks, influenced by celebrity fashion and her friends, got hair extensions. But now her hair has broken off, and she has a spot where her hair won’t grow anymore.

Randee Bank also had problems after using hair extensions. She says that she still has bald spots.

Consumer Reports’ Orly Avitzur, M.D., became concerned when one of her patients with hair extensions complained of excruciating headaches.

Dr. Avitzur says, "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."

Hair salons use a wide variety of ways to attach the extensions to natural hair, including glue and tape, as well as clips.

Consumer Reports advises that if you wear extensions and start to see signs of hair loss, stop using the extensions right away before the problem becomes permanent.

If you’d like to have fuller-looking hair without extensions, hair salons recommend trying gels and sprays that say they add volume to your hair.

Complete ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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