Are Ponytails Bad for Your Hair? Everything You Need to Know

Posted June 26, 2020 by in Beauty
Woman putting in ponytail

Did you know that the classic high ponytail look has become more popular since Ariana Grande rose to stardom? It’s her signature look; it’s rare to see her without this hairstyle. However, it’s not a look you can emulate every day. Besides all the styling hours and tools it needs, it’s pretty damaging to your hair.

Why? Are ponytails bad for your hair? Ponytails, in general, can cause a lot of damage if you don’t know how to care for your hair.

How so?

We’ll explain below all the ways this hairstyle can be damaging. Read on to find out if it’s a big bad idea and how you can avoid its effects:

ponytail hairstyle

Are Ponytails Bad for Your Hair?

Ponytails aren’t inherently bad. After all, they’re the most convenient method of getting rid of your hair all over your face. It’s the go-to hairstyle for when you need to work out, cook, or do any activity.

They look sleek and nice, as well, making it a good hairstyle to wear no matter the occasion. Celebrities even wear them to special events, like awards nights and red carpet events.

If you’re not careful, though, you might not enjoy ponytails any longer. So, are ponytails bad for your hair? No, and yes.

No, because of the reasons above, and yes, because of the reasons below:

  1. Hair Breakage

The band you use to tie up your hair causes friction. If you tie up your hair in the same place every day, the friction will cause the hair strands in that area to break, which can then cause fraying, frizz, and flyaway.

After some time, you might notice your hair doesn’t look as sleek as before when tied up. That’s because of all the breakage. As long as you put up your hair in a ponytail, more hair breakage will occur.

  1. Pain

Still, this is more of an inconvenience; it’s not close to the actual dangers of tying your hair in a ponytail.

When putting up your hair to get it out of your face, you often make it too tight to ensure it won’t fall to your face again. Some ponytail hairstyles also require that you pull them tight to achieve certain looks.

However, doing this strains the tissue in the scalp; it pulls the nerves in the scalp and the face, resulting in headaches and migraines. If you feel any pain at all while wearing a ponytail, it’s too tight.

In time, this can also cause pain to your neck and back, especially if you have thick hair. The pain extends to these areas when you wear your hair up tightly for too long.

  1. Hair Loss

Having a tight ponytail can also damage your follicles. This can also lead to traction alopecia. It’s a form of hair loss caused by the constant pulling force of a tight hairstyle.

If you’re noticing some hair loss, itching, redness, and bumps on your scalp, you may have this condition. It can also cause folliculitis and even blisters filled with pus.

The good news is that it’s reversible. Your scalp still has a chance to heal once you stop pulling your hair back.

However, you better do it soon. If the hair follicles end up too damaged, they might not be able to produce new hair anymore. Once this happens, hair loss becomes permanent.

low ponytail

How to Avoid Hair Damage

Do you like the look of a ponytail minus its bad effects? Don’t worry, you can still wear one; we’ll teach you how to tie hair without damaging it. As long as you do the following tips, your hair will remain safe.

  1. Don’t Pull It Too Tight

You can avoid the problems above if you make the ponytail a bit loose. Wearing a ponytail shouldn’t have to feel like giving yourself a botox treatment.

A low, loose ponytail should be enough to keep hair out of your face when doing an activity. Sure, it wouldn’t look as good, but it gets the job done.

If you like the Ariana Grande look, though, keep in mind the next tip.

  1. Switch Up Your Hairstyle

As constant pressure is the culprit of pain and hair loss associated with ponytails, a solution could then be to ease up on the pressure.

You can still enjoy your favorite look, but keep it to a minimum. Wear your hair down most days and reserve the tight, sleek ponytail look on special occasions.

Use this tip every day, too. When working out, try tying your hair in different ways on different days. Try a bun one day, a side ponytail the next day, and a ponytail on the other side the next next day.

  1. Use the Right Ponytail Band

The type of hair tie you use can affect your hair. They can be harsh on the hair, leading to more breakage. Ties with metal parts are also destructive since hair can get tangled on them.

To keep your hair healthy, use fabric and cloth ties. Silk scrunchies, in particular, will keep your hair feeling luxurious.

  1. Don’t Tie Wet Hair

Wet hair is more vulnerable. Hair becomes more porous when wet, so it’s more prone to breakage and any changes. Even brushing or ruffling it with a towel can break the hair stands; it’s best to leave it alone for a while at that state.

It’s safe to style your hair when it has dried up. While you can use a hairdryer, remember that heat causes damage, too, defeating the purpose.

  1. Don’t Wear a Ponytail While Sleeping

Nighttime is when our hair regenerates, so putting stress on it during this time counteracts the healing effects. Leave your hair be when going to bed. While you’re at it, choose silk and satin pillowcases to keep the frizz away.

Woman in sports bra putting hair in ponytail

We’re not stopping you from putting your hair up. That’s an almost impossible task for those who have long hair.

But now that you know the exhaustive answer to the question, “are ponytails bad for your hair?” you’re now aware of the risks you’re putting your hair into whenever you want to tighten your ponytail.

Keep your hair healthy with these tips. If you need more help, don’t hesitate to explore our content and read more guides today!