Expert explains reasons behind Kim Kardashian's natural, wispy hair

EXCLUSIVE: As Kim Kardashian exposes her natural hair, experts reveal the damaging toll ONE YEAR of bleaches, extensions and hair glue have had on her locks

  • Hair extensions, a Kardashian favorite, pull on hair follicles and cause breakage
  • Over time, bleaching, weaves and constant heat leads to thinning and damage
  • READ MORE:  Kim Kardashian reveals her real hair after dye-jobs and extensions

It appears as though years of chemical and heat treatments on Kim Kardashian’s hair have taken a toll, leaving her strands thin and wispy.

Fans of the reality TV star were no doubt shocked by her appearence in the trailer for this week’s episode of The Kardashians.

The 43 year-old unveiled her natural hair during a scene in the gym – revealing short,  brittle-looking strands.

It’s not the first time the glamorous social media icon has given fans a glimpse of her real locks.

In August, Kim was pictured disemarking a private jet in Los Angeles (below) without her characteristic long, thick hair. 

Kim Kardashian’s hair is seen to be shorter and more brittle than usual, which experts say is the result of years of bleaching, extensions and hair glue

Instead, it was tied up in a bun, with thin wisps falling out the back.  And last December, the mother of-four posted a video to her TikTok channel, revealing thin, crispy hair that was clearly damaged from several rounds of bleach. 

In December 2022, Kim shocked fans with videos of her natural, wispy hair free from extensions

Now, experts have revealed to the likely reasons why Kim’s natural hair looks as it does – based on the past two years of her extreme hairstyles.

Kim Kardashian is a known hairstyle chameleon, often sampling a range of different looks from platinum blond waist-length extensions to a taut long dark ponytail all within the same month. 

But hair damage is unavoidable when the scalp is subjected to extreme treatments no matter how talented the stylist is, though the most qualified among them are typically better able to gauge how much the hair can take.

Recent photos of Ms Kardashian disembarking from a plane reveal shorter, thinner hair

Bleaching hair to strip it of all color and applying high heat repeatedly takes a toll on the integrity of the hair as well as the health of the scalp, raising the odds of seeing permanent hair loss.

Ms Kardashian often wears hair extensions extending to her navel, though it is not clear whether the extensions are installed via microbeads fused to the hair, taped in, or sewn in.

But experts maintain that no extensions are good for the hair.

Anabel Kingsley, a hair and scalp specialist and Brand President of Philip Kingsley hair products, told ‘I wouldn’t recommend hair extensions, full-stop.

Pulling the hair back so that the face is taut places pressure on the scalp and looses hair in the follicles

‘When you take them out, it’s not only a case of kind of going back to what your hair was before, you’re often left with worse looking hair. It might not be because you’ve caused permanent hair loss, but it could just be because you have quite a lot of breakage.’

Hair extensions place strain on the hair follicles, which are the roots of the hairs. Over time, the hair in the follicle becomes loose and falls out, a condition called traction alopecia.

Signs of traction alopecia include thinning or balding spots around the forehead and temples, but it can be reversed if treated early by avoiding tight hairstyles that place tension on the scalp.

Wearing wigs, as Kim did in the autumn of 2023 for a photoshoot for CR Fashion,can also damage the scalp, blocking hair follicles and leading to a build up of bacteria.

Wigs that fit too tightly can cause hair loss and breakage around the perimeter of the head. 

Kardashian sported a cropped wig for a shoot in CR Fashion Book this year

Bleaching the hair is no better.

The actual act of bleaching uses strong chemicals to strip the hair of melanin, the natural pigment that determines hair color. 

Bleaching also harms the integrity and structure of hair, leaving it dry and brittle.

Ms Kingsley said: ‘Bleaching, any kind of permanent chemical processing, whether it’s highlighting or bleaching,  damages to hair -the extent of which is very much dependent on how big the change is.

‘So if you were a brunette or a deep brunette and went to a platinum blonde, that would be more damaging than if you were a naturally a kind of like dirty blonde and went to platinum blonde.’

Ms Kardashian underwent 14 hours of hair bleaching before the Met Gala last year to resemble Marilyn Monroe

Ms Kardashian’s slicked back platinum bun was in homage to Marilyn Monroe. But the taut style and extensive bleaching to achieve the look doubtless damaged the integrity of Ms Kardashian’s natural hair

Kim Kardashian, a natural deep brunette, famously dyed her hair platinum blonde in May last year to fully resemble Marilyn Monroe, as she wore her dress to the Met Gala.

She said at the time: ‘I did want a physical change, too, so I thought I would wait and do it for this, so I’m spending a day straight dyeing my hair — 14 hours straight! — to get it done.’

The cure for thinning hair might be waiting for you at the pharmacy

Men looking for a cure for their baldness may be able to get help from affordable over the counter supplements such as zinc and pumpkin seed oil, which can promote hair regrowth. 

Healthy hair is covered with scales called cuticles that lie flat like tiles on a roof. But when the hair cuticle is subjected to bleach, scales become raised, making it easier for toxins to get through the gaps. Hair is therefore prone to tangling and breakage.

Ms Kingsley added: ‘The outer layer of the hair is left weaker, but then also that the inner part of the hair can be damaged as well. 

‘If you over-bleach your hair, there’s a point at which your hair just kind of can’t take it anymore and it will break off.’

Extreme heat causes similar damage to the integrity of the hair, especially when used often, causing it to burn in a similar way to how skin does. 

Using heat such as a hair straightener or a curling iron on dry hair also saps the remaining moisture in the hair, causing strands to become dry and frizzy.

Ms Kingsley said people should still enjoy the freedom of changing their hair when they want to, but stressed the importance of knowing how much chemical or heat intervention the hair can take.

She said: ‘I’m totally for coloring your hair – it’s there to have fun with.

‘Just know what your hair’s limits are, so if your hair is very fine and it’s already fragile and you’re a brunette and you want to go platinum blonde, that’s probably not something you should do.

‘But maybe opt for kind of a honey blonde or highlights – and then do conditioning treatments once a week.’

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