Unsplash | Artboard Studio

People Give Warning Over Christmas Decor That Can Cause Our Hair To Fall Out

If there's one plant that's synonymous with Christmas, it's a poinsettia!

The red leaves of the December birth flower go great with any green decorations you have, and it's said to symbolize good cheer and success.

Unfortunately, this famous plant could also be causing hair loss... that's not so jolly! Keep reading to find out why.

The history behind poinsettias goes way back.

Unsplash | Jeffrey Hamilton

It all started in Mexico, where the plant originates.

There's a legend that tells the story of two poor children, Pablo and his sister, Maria.

Their church always displayed a beautiful Nativity scene to honor the birth of Christ.

Unsplash | Ekaterina Shevchenko

Pablo and his sister had no money to buy gifts for their family, or to buy a gift for Baby Jesus.

So the tale goes that on the way to the church, an angel comforted them and instructed them to pick short weeds that were growing by the road.

They were told to bring the weeds and place them in front of the manger as their gift to Baby Jesus.

Despite the odd looks from others, they did as they were instructed.

Unsplash | Dan Kiefer

The crowd watched, amazed, as the dull weeds suddenly turned into the star-shaped red and green flowers that we call poinsettias.

Since then, the tradition of poinsettia at Christmas has blossomed all over the world.

But as touching as this backstory is, there is something about these plants that will make you want to steer clear from them!

They contain a noxious element within their sap that can lead to hair loss.

"The sap extracted from the plant has a depilatory (hair removal) effect," Hair transplant surgeon Dr Bessam Farjo, from the Farjo Hair Institute Clinic in Manchester told the 'Daily Mail'.

Yup, it's true.

Unsplash | Towfiqu barbhuiya

"If the sap were to make contact with hair on any part of the body, including the scalp, and is then wiped away, it can potentially remove the hair with it," he said.

"This is especially the case if the sap has been on the hair or part of the skin for a considerable amount of time," he continued.

This is why doctors are issuing out a warning about the plant this holiday season.

If you don't avoid it entirely, you're advised to wash your hands if you've been in contact with one.

Sam Cinkir, CEO of skin and hair clinic Este Medical Group, agreed.

He told Wales Online that the sticky substance can have a similar effect to commercial hair loss products such as Veet.

You can see the sticky substance for yourself if a poinsettia leaf is broken off.

But I wouldn't suggest touching it, or owning it...I love my hair too much to risk it!

The plant was never used as decoration by the Aztecs.

Instead, they used it for practical uses.

Unsplash | Mel Poole

For example, Dr. Leonard Perry, a former horticulture professor at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, said that it was used as a fever medicine.

"They made a purplish dye from its bracts (the coloured parts we think of as the flowers), and it's milky latex sap to treat fevers," he said.

They also used the plant as red dye for fabrics. Then, "in Guatemala, the latex has been used as a remedy for toothache and vomiting, and poultices of the leaves used for aches and pains."

Finally, in Mexico, the latex has been used as hair removal cream.

Unsplash | Kasia Serbin

But since most of us don't want to lose hair on our heads, either steer clear of this Christmas decoration or follow the precautions to use it wisely.

Always wash your hands after touching it.

Unsplash | Chad Madden

And maybe add some sanitizer just in case...

There are so many other Christmas decorations to consider as well, for those who, like me, might be too afraid to chance it!

So maybe look for something else if you're scared!

While this Santa decoration that's accidentally NSFW is out, you could try these DIY mini hat garlands, which are super adorable. Or this woman's hack for hanging ornaments that will make your life so much easier!