X
X

Enter to win a hair treatment from Moroccanoil!

*By entering to win, you agree to receive future emails from Moroccanoil and SheFinds.

beauty

Once And For All: Are Ponytails Really Bad For Your Hair?

January 9, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Ponytails may be classic, but if you’re relying too heavily on this cute ‘do, you may be unknowingly doing severe damage to your scalp and hair. “The current trend of tight ponytails worn all day in our exercise/gym-oriented culture can definitely contribute to hair thinning and hair loss,” says Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a dermatologist at Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills.

The culprit behind ponytail damage is one you may have heard of: traction alopecia, which refers to hair loss as a result of prolonged tension on the hair follicles. When you pull your hair back into a pony and tie that hair band around it so tight that you fear actually breaking the elastic? Yeah, that’s not so great.

But ponytails aren’t flying solo in this too-tight-for-its-own-good category: you can add tight buns, braids, hair extensions, and any style that calls for you to pull hard with a brush, tease, or wrap your hair in constricting hot rollers to the list, as well.

Traction alopecia hair loss and thinning can occur anywhere on the scalp, but Shainhouse says with tight buns and ponytails, the hair loss is most common along the sides of the scalp, including the frontal, temporal areas, and especially the temples and above the ears.

How can you tell whether you’re damaging your scalp and hair? Simple: “If your scalp hurts from your styling, then your hair is being pulled too tight,” Shainhouse says. “That feeling of scalp tenderness after taking out your ponytail at the end of the day means that your hair was pulled too tight.”

What’s worse is that the damage isn’t always 100 percent reversible, especially if you’re committed to one specific tight hairstyle. “Continual pulling or traction of the hair roots results in changes known as ‘follicular degeneration syndrome’, which can eventually scar and cause permanent hair loss,” Shainhouse says. “With tight hair styling, the hairs get pulled, the follicles get traumatized and eventually the hair shafts become deformed and can be pulled out. If this occurs once in a while, the hairs will grow back. With persistent tension and trauma to the follicles, however, the follicle can be destroyed because fibrous scar tissue can develop around and within the old hair follicle. Hair cannot grow back.”

Now that we’re all thoroughly terrified, it’s important to remember that treatment is all about prevention. Shainhouse provides three tips to avoid traction alopecia:

1. Wear looser hair styles. “Buns and ponytails are okay, as long as your give your hair a break once in a while.” Shainhouse says. “Don’t wear them every day. Your scalp should not hurt when your take them out.”

2. Be nice to your hair while styling it. “Avoid pulling your hair too hard while styling; don’t tug with round brushes while straightening and be careful with any back-teasing,” Shainhouse says.

3. Rethink hair extensions. “Hair extensions are heavy,” Shainhouse says. “They are often used to mask thinning hair, but this is exactly who is most prone to traction alopecia–the tension and traction from the extension can traumatize the follicle and lead to scarring and more hair loss. Be very careful and consider using clip-in extensions for short periods only like special occasions. And of course, don’t sleep in them!”

For more beauty tips, check out how to erase a scar and Target’s new nail care line.

 

Tags:

Beauty, hair

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

beauty

Pinrose's Fragrance Style Kit Is So Good, I Can't Choose A Favorite Scent

August 17, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
They're all so good.

beauty

6 Anti-Aging Drugstore Night Creams That Work Better Than Botox

August 17, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
These are the best.

beauty

What Is Crepe Skin? Here's Everything You Need To Know About Preventing & Treating It

August 16, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
Here's what you need to know.

beauty

The One Food You Should Eat To De-Bloat Your Face, According To Experts

August 16, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
This is actually kind of amazing...

beauty

This New Anti-Aging Product Gets Rid Of Wrinkles SO Fast It Keeps Selling Out At Sephora

August 16, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's already our favorite product!

beauty

This $14 Retinol Product Is SO Good It Keeps Selling Out On Amazon

August 16, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
So affordable!

beauty

I Have *Really* Oily Skin & This May Be The Best Moisturizer I’ve Ever Used

August 15, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
I'm never going back to my old moisturizer!

beauty

The 8 Best Face Sunscreens For Every Skin Type-- Find The One That's Right For You!

August 15, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
We've done our research.

beauty

5 Benefit Hoola Bronzer Dupes That Are So Good, You Can't Tell The Difference

August 15, 2018 by Jennifer Hussein
Save your money with these!

beauty

Bar Soaps Are Back "In" And This One Is The Best

August 15, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards

beauty

This Cheap Natural Eye Cream Is Selling Out At Target Because It Works SO Fast

August 15, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It'll blow your mind!

beauty

The Super Affordable Drugstore Product Celebrities Swear By For Thinning Hair

August 15, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's cheaper than we thought!

beauty

The Bizarre $17 Anti-Aging Product That Works Like Botox For The Skin

August 15, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
We didn't think this was possible!

beauty

Use Our Exclusive Promo Code To Take 35% Off Everything At Makeup Eraser

Calling all beauty lovers! We have a deal you definitely ...

beauty

Pinrose's Fragrance Style Kit Is So Good, I Can't Choose A Favorite Scent

I'm not a big perfume person. I lather myself ...

beauty

Here's How To Get Five Maybelline Lipsticks For Just $14.99 #YesPlease

If you want to update your makeup collection for fall, ...

beauty

5 Benefit Hoola Bronzer Dupes That Are So Good, You Can't Tell The Difference

Every contour queen knows that the only way to really ...

beauty

These Are The New Beauty Products You Need In Your Makeup Bag For Fall

Raise your hand if you can't wait for fall! ...

beauty

Bar Soaps Are Back "In" And This One Is The Best

I don't remember exactly when it happened, but somewhere ...

LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS