TikTok's Scalp-Popping Trend Should Be Added to Your "Do Not Try List," STAT

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Oct. 14 2021, Published 1:41 p.m. ET

Another day, another TikTok trend giving us the heebie-jeebies! Folks who are avid users of the app know it’s super common to come across trends, challenges, and comedy sketches that give you pause. With so many creators determined to become the next TikTok star, users often jump on the bandwagon to create questionable content. And the scalp-popping TikTok trend is the latest to rear its ugly head.

So, what exactly is scalp-popping? Get comfortable as we give you the rundown about why it’s a no-no!

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TikTok’s scalp-popping trend is all about making a pop sound with your scalp.

Some people truly need a pop of reality! TikTok’s scalp-popping trend consists of quickly yanking a handful of your precious strands, twisting them, and producing a popping sound. For some odd reason, this trend has become the newest thing for creators to test drive.

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The senseless trend gained major traction after TikToker @yanasemerly posted a video of herself and a friend. In her TikTok, her friend takes a handful of her hair, twists it lightly in a clockwise motion, then yanks her hair for dear life. And alas, the popping sound can be heard.

The girls are shocked by the sound and react by gasping and laughing. Foolishly, they switch positions, so the friend can experience it, too. For the most part, users in the comments are gung-ho about trying the trend out for themselves.

“Try this on me,” one user commented.

“I have a headache now. Is this supposed to happen?” another user commented.

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The effects of scalp-popping can be super damaging to your health.

Anyone with an inkling of sense might think that the effects of scalp-popping can take a toll on your overall health and hair. And of course, it’s true.

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Anthony Youn, M.D., a Detroit-based plastic surgeon, explained what exactly occurs with the trend.

“This is called scalp-popping where you pull the hair so hard, that you pop the galea (soft tissue) off of the skull that creates a popping sound,” Dr. Youn said.

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According to Metro UK, Dr. Youn explained in a now-deleted TikTok that creators need to stop doing this trend STAT.

“Please don’t do this,” Dr. Youn wrote in the comments. “It can tear the inside of the scalp, which can bleed a ton on the inside.”

And in case you’re out of the loop, internal bleeding can cause symptoms including lightheadedness, pain, shortness of breath, a rapid heart rate, and more — per Verywell Health. Complications from internal bleeding can also lead to "shock and tissue death."

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Unfortunately, this is not the only TikTok trend that has caused doctors to issue warnings. From the Blackout Challenge, which led to many people attempting to asphyxiate themselves for as long as possible, to the Penny Challenge, which saw people playing with electricity, the possibilities for TikTok users potentially harming themselves are endless.

That said, we urge users to leave the scalp-popping trend alone. There are various challenges to participate in that won’t put your health at risk. You can also try other things for leisure such as reading a book or learning a new skill — activities that won’t leave you looking stupid and possibly damaging your health.

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