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B-Boy Q&A: Headspin Bald Spots!

Myself, with headspin bald spot in full effect! Photo by Bold Creative

I’ve received another great question from a B-Boy:

Is there a way to avoid that awkward bald spot from head spins? Do beanies help or hinder?

– JP

Good question! This is something I’ve wanted to learn more about myself.

As can be seen in the photo – I’m like the Hair Club president – “I’m also a client”.

Here’s Sy Sperling making TV history at 0:49…

Not your usual baldness…

It’s not just a unique baldness because it’s caused by spinning on your head.

Baldness is medically known as alopecia. When most people think of baldness, they’re thinking of androgenic alopecia – the kind that causes “male pattern baldness” associated with aging. But when baldness is caused by a pulling force to the hair, it’s known as traction alopecia. 1

Traction alopecia is typically caused by hairstyles that pull the hair very tightly (like very tight ponytails, pigtails, cornrows, etc.). It may also be caused by tight helmets and headgear.

This is definitely the “type” of hair loss we experience from headspins – a traumatic hair loss caused by extreme pressure and pulling on the hair. Pressure is obvious (the weight of my body), but pulling occurs too. Personally, when I do headspins without a hat, my hair feels like its twisted in little matted chunks.

Research – are there solutions?

Did I find any research articles on traction alopecia in B-Boys / B-Girls? Of course not!

The closest thing I found was a case study on a ballerina – and hers was caused by wearing her hair in a tight bun every time she trained. 2 Still, there was some interesting information in this study that may be useful to us.

First, the good news: the hair loss “stabilized” (didn’t worsen) after a year when she stopped wearing the tight bun. However, at 7-year follow-up, her hair loss was worse. This was because she wore a 1.5 pound hair piece for two years to cover her initial hair loss. Clearly, it has to be stopped early to prevent it.

The bad news: when looking at skin biopsies, it appears the hair follicles are damaged, preventing hair to grow from them again. Does it heal? It wasn’t clear, since she didn’t give it a chance to heal. Hopefully more research will be published soon.


In the mean time, here’s what I suggest:

  • Spread practice out over your sessions rather than doing it all at once.
  • Take breaks from practicing a lot of headspins – spend weeks simply maintaining what you have instead of drilling them. Hopefully, this gives your scalp time to heal.
  • Minimize other risk factors – don’t constantly wear tight hairstyles or tight hats outside of practice.
  • Wear a headspin hat – personally, I’ve found they help the “pulling” of hair, but they don’t stop the pressure.
  • Try a helmet – they can spread the pressure out over your head, so it’s not concentrated on one spot on the top of your head.
  • Shower right after practice (you probably should anyway) to “un-knot” your hair.
  • If you really don’t want the little bald spot – don’t practice headspins. Sorry!

Hope this helps!

Sorry there’s no perfect answer or solution – but that’s how most things in health science are. At the end of the day, a small bald spot on the top of your head is probably not a big deal. You can still impress the opposite sex with your skills!



1. Springer K, Brown M, Stulberg DL. Common hair loss disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Jul 1;68(1):93-102. Review. PubMed PMID: 12887115.

2. Samrao A, Chen C, Zedek D, Price VH. Traction alopecia in a ballerina: clinicopathologic features. Arch Dermatol. 2010 Aug;146(8):930-1. PubMed PMID: 20713841.

Share the love!

    18 Responses to B-Boy Q&A: Headspin Bald Spots!

    1. Isaac Hughes says:

      Don’t practice headspins? You got it! *heads off to train my crickets again*

    2. Im very biased on this one, use padding and slick material, solves the problem. Added benefit, the more comfortable it is to be on your head the more you will practice headspins. I made my own headspin padded hat after trying all the other options, beanies, helmets. I use Neoprene padding with a trucker hat. I sell them on my website but you can make your own, just stuff an elbow pad in your hat and refine it later.

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Neoprene? That’s interesting, I’ll have to try that. Good suggestion. I agree, headspin hats make it way easier to keep practicing because your hair doesn’t get pulled. But I still find the top of my head gets a little sore after practice, and I do have a little bald spot.

    3. Patrick says:

      Fortunately for me I’ve never been a fan of headspins and therefore they aren’t part of my armada of moves! Not saying it ain’t cool or anything hehe.

      Although I am surprised it causes baldness even when you have very short hair, I thought medium to long would be bad because of pulling, I didn’t take into account pressure.

    4. bboyleok says:

      a mi también me encantaba girar de cabeza, ya no lo hago muy seguido, aunque ya es tarde, porque ya tengo mi calva :), es un muy lindo truco y una de las sensaciones mas geniales y gratificantes para un bboy. saludos y respetos. “yo sigo girando si el momento lo amerita”

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Hey Loek! I used Google Translate to figure out what you said! haha

        I agree, headspin is a very rewarding move to get. It feels awesome, and everyone loves to watch it. Like you, I don’t do it often, mainly because I am worried about my neck, but also because I’d rather my bald spot not get worse!


    5. spazmatic says:

      Just found your website, very interesting! I will have to take more time to read everything else you have on here. I have been to at least two dermatologists and its bad news, you really do damage permanently and hair really wont grow back. Pretty much you scar shut the openings and the hair folicles can no longer get out. I have a major bald spot and i guess i will have a small fohawk for the rest of my life so that i can cover the baldspot. I find that i do still have hair on the bald spot but it is very thing and weak and falls out easy. Yes it is a very good idea to take breaks from praticing…what about all of the dry skin that comes off from time to time? It can be pretty painful to take a hot shower after doing a lot of headspins…

      Have the bald spot, it wont go away, gotta be proud, and your girl really wont care at the end of the day…


      • Tony Ingram says:

        Hey Spazmatic,

        Thanks for the comment – great information! I also had the dry skin falling off problem. I’ve since stopped practicing a lot of headspins because I now have neck issues, but that’s another post! Still, I’m glad I learned them. When I do them (occasionally) they are still very fun. Peace!


    6. Alex says:

      Tony,do you know if windmills,halos and freezes on the head create the same bald spot like head spins do? Thanks a lot for you future answer :)

      • Tony Ingram says:

        Hey Alex,

        I’m sure it’s possible, as the problem is the force and traction on the scalp. Halos especially (if you do them without a hat) since you sort of have to drag your head across the floor slightly. I don’t think any of these moves come close to the headspin though. The headspin involves staying in precisely one spot on the top of the head for an extended period of time. Most other moves involving the head are brief and have more variability.



    7. spazmatic says:

      Hey again, to comment on what Alex said above, yes you can get a bald spot on other parts of your head (just not as bad as the headspin one because of what Tony said). After years of doing freezes and using the right side of my head and practicing shoulder spins with my head on the floor I do have a slight bald spot on the side of my head that can be a little visible with short hair. hahaha…learn to live with it.


    8. Baldspotfellow says:

      I also have a bald spot, about 3 inches long, 2 inches wide… And it’s scary because everything in shower, hair falls out…it’s been relatively the same size for a whole but I hope it doesn’t get bigger..
      I sometimes use black eye shadow to cover the spot.. Idk the Heath risks on that but it’s been a dagger in my side for a whole and can’t have certain hairstyles… Soo annoying

    9. Stephen says:

      hey i was wondering whats the best way to prevent a herniated disc while still practicing headspins?

    10. Ryuz says:

      Hello Tony Ingram!
      I’ve been learning headspin for only 3 months and realised that I have lost some hair on the spot I spin. Of course I am not a pro, so I will skip headspin. I will heal this spot for 1 month and will see, does any treatment helps here/doesn’t help, what will be the hair there and the skin. I think I will write my results here.
      Here is my question: Does simple headstand can cause a bald spot aswell? And if I will practice halos, wont there be the bald lines?
      Im looking forward hearing from you!

    11. calvo says:

      for what is worth, I used to headspin in my younger days and I’ve also got a bald spot, but it makes me look like a medieval monk. It’ll come in handy if I ever decide to change lifestyles….

      take cold showers and drink a lot of lemon juice, Ive heard is good for your hair

    12. Perttu says:

      Does anyone know could the hairtransplant be done to that callused bald area from spinning?

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