Ponytails can be a girl’s best friend. Ever had those horrible mornings where you miss your alarm? You wake up with barely any time to spare. You just manage to put together a decent outfit but, just thinking of styling your hair makes you anxious. Your solution is simple, a quick, chic high ponytail. And what about those lazy days, where you can’t be bothered to do your hair? You might just be lazing around at home in your sweatpants, getting some cleaning done or simply relaxing. A ponytail is most probably your go-to hairstyle.It’s perfect because it keeps your hair out of your face, it takes barely any time to do, and you’re out the door in less than 5 minutes. Right? Unfortunately, this easy hairstyle can take a toll on your scalp and possibly even cause permanent hair loss.
This common hairstyle seems perfect because it keeps your hair out of your face, it takes barely any time to do, and you’re out the door in less than 5 minutes. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely the case here. This easy hairstyle can take a toll on your scalp and possibly even cause permanent hair loss.
How Ponytails Can Cause Balding
There is actually a scientific name for this condition. It’s called traction alopecia. It occurs when too much pressure is placed on the hairline from excessive pulling and tight hairstyles. Ponytails aren’t the only culprits. Years of tight braids, heavy extensions, relaxers, and harsh dyes can have the same effect. The hair loss is amplified if you have thick, long hair since the extra weight can make things worse. This prolonged pressure can pull hair out from the root and damage the follicle. This means that the hair loss caused by this condition is permanent. Hair loss occurs normally around the hairline, the sides of the head and the temples.
What You Can Do To Prevent This Hair Loss
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent this hair loss before it gets noticeable.
1. Avoid Tight Hairstyles
This one seems obvious but we can’t stress this enough. Of course, a high ponytail or tight braid once in a while, won’t make all your hair fall out at once. If you must wear a ponytail as part of your dress code for work or for practicality’s sake at your workout, try not to make your ponytail higher than the level of your ears. Tying your ponytail or loose bun at the nape of your neck can also take some of the tension off your scalp.
2. Switch It Up
You can alternate between letting your hair down and tight hairstyles throughout the week. Just make sure not to fall back on a ponytail too often.
A mistake that most people make, is to simply bunch up their hair at the top of their head. Doing this just makes the tangles worse when you take the ponytail out. Trying to detangle this mess will simply stress your strands even more. Detangle your hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb before you put it up.
4. Don’t Style Wet Hair
Don’t ever try to tie a ponytail with wet hair. We tend to want to detangle our hair as soon as we get out the shower. and put it up. You must remember that your hair is most fragile when it’s wet and more prone to breakage. Wait till your hair dries out naturally before attempting to even brush it out.
5. Use Clips
Use sturdy, plastic clips to take the weight of the hair. This will put less strain on your scalp compared to conventional hair ties.
6. Use Metal-less Hair Ties
Elastic rubber bands are definitely a no-no. The texture of these bands causes hair to get caught in them, causing even more breakage. Hair ties with metal pieces can also end up catching hair. Your best bet is a scrunchie of some sort covered in soft, smooth fabric.
Before you put up your hair, moisturize the shafts and the ends with shea butter or coconut oil to protect them from damage. The extra moisture will also help the hair tie slip off your hair without too much friction.
The next time you have a bad hair day and you’re tempted to just put your hair up in a ponytail and walk out the door, use these tips to minimize the damage. Your hair and scalp will thank you.