When Hair Weaves Go Wrong

Naomi Campbell is no stranger to hair weaves gone wrong.

ByABC News
August 9, 2012, 11:59 AM

Aug. 10, 2012 — -- intro: There are bad hair days and then there are bad weave disasters.

The latter can actually have serious repercussions. The latest case in point may be a recent photo of model Naomi Campbell revealing a receding hairline -- most likely the result of her over-reliance on hair weaves and extensions during her long modeling career.

Florida hair surgeon Dr. Alan Bauman, who has not treated Campbell, said the 42-year-old former supermodel appears to be suffering from traction alopecia, hair loss caused by extensions.

"Extensions, weaves, anything artificial hanging on hair -- no matter whether you attach it with glue, special magnets, tape -- it's going to cause damage over time," Bauman told ABCNews.com. "And unless you give your hair a break from those extensions, it won't rebound."

Bauman said the weight from extensions pulls on a person's natural hair over time, causing it to rip out by the root. The hair follicle can be damaged or destroyed -- in some cases, permanently. In the latter case, the only option is a hair transplant, which involves moving healthy hair follicles from one part of the scalp to the damaged area.

It's unclear whether Campbell's damaged hairline is permanent, but two years ago pictures of the British-born model surfaced showing a similar bald patch along her hairline.

"Being in the public eye and beauty business, her hair has to look amazing 24/7, and she's worn extensions for many years -- decades even," Bauman said. "I guess you could call it a hazard of the job."

Moreover, wearing weaves has become almost like an addiction for celebrities and others.

"It's very difficult to break the addiction," said Bauman, whose patient roster is 50 percent women, many of them weave wearers. "It's instant hair. It looks great and you feel great, but you don't realize the damage you're doing, especially if your is hair thinning or thin to begin with. It's literally getting ripped out from the extension."

Ironically, August is hair-loss awareness month and, with this latest photo, Campbell has unwittingly become its poster child. But there are other examples.

Click through to see the others.

quicklist: 1title: Britney Spearstext: Pop star Britney Spears does a lot of things right, but hair extensions don't seem to be one of them. Over the years, Spears has been photographed with visible tracks from her extensions, her scalp clearly showing beneath matted extensions and the roots of her natural hair noticeably darker than her weave. Ultimately, she shaved her head bald, but that only required new extensions. media: 16970050

quicklist: 2title: Lindsay Lohantext: Lindsay Lohan recently revealed what can happen after years of extensions, weaves and dye jobs: a bald spot.media: 16970018

quicklist: 3title: Paris Hiltontext: Paris Hilton's weave disaster extended beyond seeing the tracks from her extensions while out in public. The hotel heiress was sued in 2010 by HairTech International, which claimed she signed a multimillion-dollar contract to promote the company's fake locks but was instead seen wearing a competitor's extensions. The suit was dropped a year later.media: 16969997

quicklist: 4title: Nicole Richietext: Back when she and Paris Hilton were BFFs, Richie wore a few weaves herself. Unfortunately, her natural hair is a different texture from her hair extensions here, resulting in the nest she dragged around on the back of her head.media: 16970038