It’s a bummer that so many of the things we do to our hair end up damaging it. Blow drying, dyeing, hot showers, straightening, curling… the list goes on. But the most shocking it the ponytail. Yep, we’re talking about the beloved classic.
It’s time to get educated on ponytails and learn how to prevent the damage they can cause.
Why Ponytails Are So Damaging
The issue with ponytails is that they put constant tension on your hair follicles. The pulling caused by the tautness of the updo can create damage and breakage. In the long-term, this can actually result in hair loss.
The official term for this hair loss phenomena is called “traction alopecia.” There’s a variety of types of alopecia, but traction alopecia specifically refers to hair loss that is caused by repeatedly pulling of the hair over a long period of time. It can result from wearing tight braids, cornrows, or dreadlocks; using weaves or hair extensions; using rollers overnight; or—yep, you guessed it—regularly putting your hair in a ponytail or bun.
How To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Ponytails
The simplest, most obvious way to prevent traction alopecia is to avoid the hairstyle that cause it in the first place. However, I’m sure more than a few of us have no interest in staying away from ponytails forever (sometimes, they’re just a must). Luckily, there are tips and tricks on how to do ponytails better. That way, they won’t cause as much damage.
Switch Up Your Styles
One strategy for reducing breakage and hair loss is to switch up where you’re securing the actual hair tie. Try to avoid doing a high ponytail in the same place too often or always doing the same low, tight pony you love so much. Switching it up helps distribute the tension so that you aren’t pulling at the exact same hair follicles every time, leading to an increased risk of damage.
Use Smooth Elastics
Another strategy is to use snag-free, smooth elastics. Fabric hair ties are a great example. Stay clear of tightly wound rubber hair ties that will pull and snag. Your hair will thank you later.
Dry Your Hair First
You should also stay clear of ponies when your hair is wet. Hair is more susceptible to damage and breakage when it’s not dry.
We recommend using a heat protectant and blowdrying your hair, or naturally air drying your locks before putting it up.
Don’t Sleep With A Pony
Finally, keep your hair down when you sleep. We have our head on a pillow for about six to eight hours a night, and that adds a whole lot of extra pressure to your hair follicles. So, skip the pony in the p.m.
With these simple tips and tricks, you can keep your hair happy, healthy and damage-free.