You could be forgiven for thinking she had torn out clumps of hair during one of her infamous temper tantrums.
Posing for a photoshoot for designer Dennis Basso in New York's trendy Meatpacking District this week, Naomi Campbell
revealed startling bald patches either side of her head.
As the 40-year-old pulled back her hair while a stylist adjusted her clothing, she revealed a vanishing hairline just above her ear.
The supermodel, originally from Streatham, South London, has worn straight extensions over her naturally curly hair for a number of years.
Experts say this may have permanently damaged her natural follicles.
Marilyn Sherlock, from the Institute of Trichologists, which represents hair loss specialists, added: 'It looks like traction alopecia, hair loss caused by the use of extensions.'
Traction alopecia occurs when the extensions pull on the natural hair causing it to break.
It usually affects the hairline just above the forehead or the sides, where the hair is weaker.
It can take between three months to a year for hair to grow back in moderate cases.
But if the pulling continues the hair will never grow back and the only option is a hair transplant.
Celebrities including Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Britney Spears and Alexandra Burke are all reported to have suffered traction alopecia as a result of hair extensions.
Hair transplant surgeon Dr Peter Williams said: 'It is very common in people who wear braids and tight buns, as well as extensions.'
Trichologist to the stars Philip Kingsley said tight hair styles, pony tails, hard brushing and hair extensions could all lead to traction hair loss.
'The old-fashion hair extensions were put in by weaving threads which had hairs attached to them between the natural hair,' he said.
'They were weaved next to the scalp and tightly knotted at each end to secure them.'
'Because of their proximity to the scalp, the thread, which the hair knotted onto it, rubbed on the scalp, caused irritation, consequently making it sore and sometimes breaking the skin.'
He said the new way to put in hair extensions, which involves glue-heating them onto natural hairs, could cause similar problems.
'The biggest potential problem is traction hair loss and breakage because of the pulling involved.'
But Naomi appeared oblivious to the revelation as she posed at a gas station.
She wore a green swimsuit that put her long, lean legs on show and also paraded a series of fur coats.
The former Peta campaigner famously declared in the Nineties that she would rather go naked than wear fur but she had a change of heart some years back.
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