Check Up: Are the braids causing her headaches?


June 07, 2017

Dear Readers,

Tonia B is a 23 year-old store clerk who works in downtown Kingston. She has been suffering for several weeks with a terrible headache.

She visited her doctor who has done several tests such as a CT brain and sinus scan, which were expensive. Everything came back normal.

A girlfriend, who is a hairdresser, has suggested the headaches could be due to the braids she put in not long before the headaches began.

Tonia says the braiding is fairly expensive to put in and asks if Check Up agrees they could cause her headaches, and should she have them removed now?

Please make all haste to remove the braids! It is quite likely that given all tests are negative, the tightly braided hair extensions are indeed likely to be the cause of the headaches.

Considering the funds already spent on tests which have come back negative, the removal of the braids to see if the headaches stop is a small cost for possibly large returns!

Your hairdresser should remove the braids immediately and there are several other becoming hairstyles which she can use, so long as the scalp is rested from any weaves or extensions.

Touch your scalp. Is it tender to touch? Then remove the braided hair extensions at once!

It is possible for too-tightly braided hair to result in permanent hair damage and baldness can occur, called traction alopecia, which is due to the pulling weight of the hair extensions.


Scarring to the scalp can occur, resulting in permanent baldness to the scarred areas and expensive investments in dermatological services, which may only partially resolve the problem.

When hair extensions are attached too tightly or weigh too much (very heavy), problems can develop.

There are some positive aspects to using hair extensions at intervals, if properly attached. For example, they require low maintenance and braids help with length retention.

But whenever one's hair is braided then detangled, there is a risk of hair breakage. This can also occur with added braids if left in too long (more than four to six weeks)!

But Tonia may well be experiencing negative side effects and should give braids a break. If the headaches are not resolved, she should obtain a referral to a neurologist for further evaluation.

Write Check Up

PO box 1731




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