No matter what your hair type and how stubborn it might be, there’s one hairdo that’s always sure to kill it. Yes, it’s the ponytail – a super sexy high ponytail for a date or night out, or just a regular ponytail to keep your hair out of the way when you’re sweaty and grimy in the kitchen or gyming. Unfortunately, as with everything good it would also appear that there’s bad, as we’ve come to learn from warnings about using hair dryers to the risks of using cheap cosmetics. So, is there any truth to the association of ponytails with hair loss and receding hairlines, or is it yet another myth?
How Ponytails Affect Hair Growth & Quality
“Tying your hair in a ponytail regularly will cause hair loss & do even more damage, increasing the risk of breakage & receding hairlines – the problem can be permanent if tension is enough to damage the follicle itself”
Logically, ponytails should be bad for your hair because of the pressure applied on a specific point of the hairs, as well as the pull on the roots when you tie your hair tight. This reasoning is actually backed by science and experts even have a term for the phenomenon – Traction Alopecia or Tension Alopecia.
Traction Alopecia refers to the condition in which a disproportionate amount of stress and tension is applied on to hair that’s at the outer edge of those tresses that have been squeezed through hair bands or ribbons. In the case of high ponytails, the bulk of the weight of your hair is then borne by the edge of the hairline, increasing the risk of a receding hairline.
The stress on hair strands at the outer edges increases as the tightness of the ponytail increases; so, tying a light ponytail may not be much of a risk, but a tightly tied pony will certainly damage your hair. Tying your hair in a ponytail regularly increases the risk of breakage, hair loss, and receding hairlines – the problem can be permanent if the tension is enough to damage the follicle itself.
Does This Spell The End For Ponytails?
The very thought of never being able to tie a ponytail may bring on an urge to pull out your hair, but you really don’t have to abandon what is perhaps the most convenient and easy to do hairstyle. Instead, we’d advise you to experiment with different hairdos and when you do opt for a ponytail, follow these simple tips.
1. Mix It Up: To minimize repetitive stress on the same strands, avoid placing your ponytail in the same spot each time.
2. Keep It Low: Yes, you love that sexy high pony, but you don’t always have to flaunt it. Low ponytails are a better idea as there is less stress on the hair from gravity.
3. Avoid Rubber Bands: Ribbon and smooth slippery elastics may slip from time to time, but that’s a small price to pay for protecting your hair.
4. Avoid Chemical Treatments: Hair that is subjected to harsh chemicals is already weak and therefore more susceptible to breakage and thinning; this includes the use of hair dyes.
For those of you who have already suffered hair loss and breakage, don’t despair just yet. There are a few natural treatments like onion juice and olive oil that have been found to help strengthen hair and promote growth. And, if all else fails you can visit a trichologist for hair transplants or hair weaving – but, be prepared to cough up a fortune.
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