It seems that years of chemical and thermal treatments on Kim Kardashian’s hair have taken their toll, leaving her locks thin and wispy.
Fans of the reality TV star were certainly surprised by her appearance in the preview for this week’s episode of The Kardashians.
The 43-year-old man revealed her natural hair during a gym scene, revealing short, brittle-looking locks.
It’s not the first time the glamorous social media icon has given her fans a glimpse of her real locks.
In August, Kim was photographed disembarking from a private jet in Los Angeles (below) without her trademark long, thick hair.
Kim Kardashian’s hair looks shorter and more brittle than usual, which experts say is the result of years of bleaching, extensions, and hair glue.
Instead, it was tied into a bun, with thin strands falling behind. And last December, the mother of four posted a video of herself on her TikTok channel, revealing fine, crisp hair that was clearly damaged from several rounds of bleaching.
In December 2022, Kim surprised her fans with videos of her natural, thin hair without extensions.
Now, experts have revealed to DailyMail.com the likely reasons why Kim’s natural hair looks the way it does, based on her extreme hairstyles from the past two years.
Kim Kardashian is a well-known hairstyle chameleon, often showing off a variety of different styles, from waist-length platinum blonde extensions to a long, dark ponytail, all in the same month.
But hair damage is inevitable when the scalp is subjected to extreme treatments, no matter how talented the stylist, although the most qualified are usually better able to assess how much the hair can handle.
Recent photos of Ms. Kardashian disembarking a plane reveal shorter, thinner hair
Bleaching hair to remove all color and repeatedly applying high heat affects the integrity of the hair and the health of the scalp, increasing the chances of permanent hair loss.
Ms. Kardashian often wears hair extensions that extend to her navel, although it is unclear whether the extensions are installed using microbeads fused to the hair, taped, or sewn in.
But experts maintain that no extension is good for your hair.
Anabel Kingsley, hair and scalp specialist and president of hair product brand Philip Kingsley, told DailyMail.com: ‘I wouldn’t recommend hair extensions, period.
Pulling your hair back so that your face is taut puts pressure on the scalp and loosens the hair in the follicles.
‘When you take them off, it’s not just about getting your hair back to the way it was before, you’re often left with worse looking hair. It may not be because you have caused permanent hair loss, but it could simply be because you have quite a bit of breakage.
Hair extensions put pressure on the hair follicles, which are the roots of the hair. Over time, the hair in the follicle loosens and falls out, a condition called traction alopecia.
Signs of traction alopecia include thinning or bald patches around the forehead and temples, but it can be reversed if treated early by avoiding tight hairstyles that strain the scalp.
Wearing wigs, as Kim did in fall 2023 for a photo shoot for CR Fashion, can also damage the scalp, blocking hair follicles and causing a buildup of bacteria.
Wigs that fit too tightly can cause hair loss and breakage all around the head.
Kardashian rocked a cropped wig for a CR Fashion Book photo shoot this year
Bleaching hair is not better.
The actual act of bleaching uses harsh chemicals to strip the hair of melanin, the natural pigment that determines hair color.
Bleaching also damages the integrity and structure of the hair, leaving it dry and brittle.
Ms Kingsley said: “Bleaching, any type of permanent chemical processing, whether highlighting or bleaching, damages the hair, the extent of which depends largely on how big the change is.”
“So if you were a brunette or a deep brunette and you went for a platinum blonde, that would be more damaging than if you were naturally kind of a dirty blonde and you went for a platinum blonde.”
Ms. Kardashian underwent 14 hours of hair bleaching before the Met Gala last year to look like Marilyn Monroe
Kardashian’s slicked-back platinum bun was an homage to Marilyn Monroe. But the uptight styling and extensive bleaching to achieve the look certainly damaged the integrity of Ms. Kardashian’s natural hair.
Kim Kardashian, a natural deep brunette, dyed her hair platinum blonde in May last year to completely look like Marilyn Monroe, while wearing her dress at the Met Gala.
She said at the time: ‘I wanted a physical change too, so I thought I’d wait and do it for this, so I’ll spend a whole day dying my hair, 14 hours straight! – to make it.’
Healthy hair is covered in scales called cuticles that lie flat like roof tiles. But when the hair cuticle is bleached, the scales rise, making it easier for toxins to pass through the gaps. Therefore, the hair is prone to tangling and breakage.
Ms Kingsley added: “The outer layer of the hair is left weaker, but the inner layer of the hair can also be damaged.”
“If you bleach your hair too much, there comes a point where your hair can’t handle it anymore and it will break.”
Extreme heat causes similar damage to the integrity of hair, especially when used frequently, causing it to burn similar to how skin does.
Using heat, such as a hair straightener or curling iron, on dry hair also depletes the remaining moisture in the hair, causing strands to become dry and frizzy.
Kingsley said people should still enjoy the freedom to change their hair whenever they want, but stressed the importance of knowing how much chemical or thermal intervention the hair can withstand.
She said: “I’m all for dyeing your hair – it’s there for fun.”
‘You just have to know what the limits of your hair are, so if your hair is very fine and already fragile and you’re a brunette and you want to go platinum blonde, it’s probably not something you should do.
“But maybe go for a honey blonde or highlights and then do conditioning treatments once a week.”