If you’ve ever had long hair, you’ll know that pulling your back into a ponytail is an absolute must when it comes to exercising, or skipping a shampoo day. It’s also one of the easiest styles to pull off, and suits all occasions, from brunch with your besties, to a dinner date. But believe it or not, medical professionals have warned that you need to be extra careful when wearing your hair up to ensure that it’s not too tight.
According to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, wearing your hair in a tight ponytail can lead to hair breakage and loss, and even alopecia (via Self). Ken L. Williams Jr., D.O., FISHRS, a surgeon at St. Joseph Hospital and founder of Orange County Hair Restoration agrees that chronic tight ponytail wearing can harm wearers. He explained to the outlet, “When you begin to put tension on the hair shaft and hair follicle, that constant and chronic pressure leads to eventually destruction of that hair shaft and harm to the follicle itself.”
Wearing your hair in a tight ponytail may cause headaches
Worse still, wearing your hair in a tight ponytail actually has the potential to cause headaches and migraines. “When you put your hair in a tight bun or ponytail, or a weave or extensions, that will pull the nerves in the scalp. That pulling of the nerves will activate the sensory nerves even more,” neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Denise E. Chou, told Elle. “That can result in the headache itself, or it could be that the headache is beginning,” she continued.
To avoid all these potential ponytail problems, opt for loose styles when wearing your hair up. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests mixing your style up regularly and opting for loose braids. Ideally, you should wear your hair down as much as possible to avoid any tension. Look to hair accessories like clips and headbands to keep your hair off your face instead, and maybe infuse a hint of style.
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