Having long hair is amazing. It can add so much to your personality, style, and attitude. There are so many ways to style, color, and cut it that it will always give you options on changing your look.

But when you have long hair, you don’t always want to wear it down. Sometimes, you need to tie it up. Whether it’s for work, the gym, or just to get some grocery shopping done – sometimes you want that hair out of the way!

However, did you know that tying your hair up can be extremely damaging to it under the right conditions? That’s right – this seemingly innocent thing that we all do could actually be wrecking your hair.

In this article, we discuss the rights and wrongs of tying it up so that you can prevent breakage and prevent unnecessary stress on your hair.

Is your tight ponytail damaging your hair?

Is your tight ponytail damaging your hair?

The biggest mistake people make when tying their hair up is making it too tight. Tight ponytails are America’s #1 cause of tension headaches, a statistic that we just made up just now.

But something that we didn’t make up is that when you make your ponytail too tight, it puts a lot of strain on your hair follicles. This can lead to breakage and even bald spots in extreme cases.

Also, what is happening is that the pressure from your hair being pulled back is also putting stress on the muscles that lay on top of your skull.

This extra pressure can lead to all kinds of problems, ranging from migraines and toothaches to overall tension headaches.

How to know if you have hair damage from tying it up

The best way to check if you have any damage from tying your hair up is to look at the hair that you typically use to tie it back. If you see any bald spots or thinning patches, then this is a sign that you are causing damage to your hair.

Another way to check is to simply feel your scalp. If it is tender or sore in any way, then this is another indication that you are damaging your hair.

The dangers of tying your hair up

There are a few dangers that come with tying your hair up.

Hair loss

Hair Loss in Women

The first is that it can lead to hair loss. If you are constantly putting strain on your hair follicles and muscles, then you will eventually cause them to break down entirely. This leads to balding and thinning in the worst cases.

In extreme scenarios, it can lead to traction alopecia. This is most often seen in women who wear tight hairstyles such as weaves and cornrows.

It is important not to freak out if you notice any thinning or balding spots. There are steps that you can take to reverse this damage, regrow your natural hair, and even prevent it from happening in the first place.



Another danger is that it can lead to headaches. When you put pressure on your muscles, they become tense and feel sore. This can lead to painful migraines or even tension headaches.

If you find that you are getting headaches more often after tying your hair up, then this is a sign that you need to take a break from hairstyles that pull on your scalp.



Another danger of tying your hair up is that it can damage the actual shaft of your hair. When you pull your hair too tight, it can cause the shaft to break. This leads to split ends and overall weaker hair.

Also, if you are wrapping the hair too tightly in whatever hairband you’re using, the pressure of the band can crush the hair – destroying the keratin fibers themselves.

Tips for tying your hair up without damaging it

Now that we know how tying your hair up can damage it, let’s talk about how to do it without causing any damage.

Use the right hair tie

The first thing to keep in mind is that you want to use a hair tie that is gentle on your hair. This means avoiding any rubber or metal bands, and instead opting for ones made out of cloth, fabric, or silicone.

The problem with rubber and metal bands is that they can be too tight and cause a lot of friction on your hair, leading to breakage.

Also, if you have fine or thin hair, it is best to avoid tying your hair back with any kind of band entirely. Instead, try using a scarf or a loose braid for keeping your hair in place.

Tie loose ponytails

The key here is to make sure that your ponytail isn’t too tight. If you can feel any pain or tension in your scalp, then it is too tight.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you can fit at least two fingers between the hair tie and your scalp. This will ensure that you aren’t putting too much pressure on your follicles and muscles.

Don’t tie your hair up too often

Don't tie your hair up too often

Tying your hair up should not be a daily occurrence, if possible. If you are constantly putting strain on your scalp, then you will eventually cause damage.

Yes, we know it’s convenient to pull your hair back into a ponytail so it’s out of your face while you run errands. And we’re not saying you need to wear it down instead. But there are thousands of ways to style your hair and many of them will keep it out of your face. We’ll go over more options soon.

Use heat-free hairstyles

When you do need to tie your hair back, try to opt for heat-free styles whenever possible. This means avoiding any hairstyles that require you to use hot tools such as curling irons or blow dryers.

Not only will this help to protect your hair from heat damage, but it will also give your scalp a break from all the styling products and chemicals.

This is especially important for those who have dry hair. If you’re looking to minimize damage and avoid breakage, then you need to be extra careful if your hair is dry.

And to repair some of the head damage, you can try one of these hair oils.

Protect your hair at night

If you like to sleep with your hair down, that’s great. But if you prefer to tie it up, there are ways to do so without damaging your hair.

First, always use a satin or silk pillowcase. This will reduce friction on your hair and prevent it from getting tangled overnight.

Second, try a loose braid or bun. You don’t want to pull your hair too tight when you tie it up at night.

Finally, consider investing in a sleep cap or bonnet. This will protect your hair from becoming damaged as you move around during the night.

Don’t tie up wet hair

Don't tie up wet hair

Remember that your hair is especially fragile when it’s wet. So if you decide to tie up your hair after washing it, make sure you don’t pull on it too tightly or apply any excess pressure or friction.

Or better yet, wait until it’s completely dry before you tie it up.

If you already have breakage in your hair from tying it up while it’s wet, try using a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and reduce the damage.

Tie your hair in a French braid

If you’re looking for a heat-free way to keep your hair out of your face, try a French braid. This is a great option for all hair types, but it works especially well for people with curly or wavy hair.

To do a French braid, start by dividing your hair into three sections. Then, begin braiding each section by crossing one piece over the next, adding more hair with each pass.

Continue this pattern until you have a full braid that covers your entire head. You can secure it at the end using an elastic or any other type of hair tie.

Another benefit of French braids is that they keep your hair off your face and out of the way, while also adding volume and texture to your hair.

Don’t use tight elastic hair ties

Don't use tight elastic hair ties

It’s important to avoid using hair ties that are too tight, as tight elastics can cause damage to your hair shafts and lead to breakage.

If you do need to use an elastic, look for one that is made from a stretchy fabric such as nylon or latex. Avoid using metal elastics, as these can damage your hair by snapping it or pulling it out.

You should also avoid using hair ties that are too small, as they can dig into your hair and cause damage. Instead, look for hair ties that are at least 3/4 of an inch wide.

If you have particularly thick or curly hair, you may need to use a wider hair tie to avoid damaging your hair.

Try some different hairstyles

Try some different hairstyles

For people severely damaged hair, cutting it short might be a great way to start fresh. It’s also a perfect opportunity to try that short hairstyle that you’ve been meaning to try for so long.

If you’re looking for some new and popular hairstyles to try, there are plenty of options out there:

  • low ponytail
  • bob
  • pixie cut
  • updo
  • buns

For example, the “lob” (long bob) is a great option for people with all hair types. This style is both trendy and easy to maintain.

Another popular option is the “pixie cut.” This style is perfect for people with thin or fine hair. It can also be a good option for people with damage, as it can help to camouflage any broken or split ends.

Whatever style you choose, make sure you consult with a stylist to find something that will work well with your particular hair type and texture.

Put your hair in a high bun

Put your hair in a high bun

One of the best ways to protect your hair is to tie it up in a high bun. This will help to keep your hair off your face and out of the way, while also minimizing damage. In fact, if you simply replaced your tight ponytail with a high bun, you’d do wonders to preserve the health of your hair.

To do a high bun, start by brushing your hair back away from your face. Then, gather all of your hair at the top of your head and secure it in place using a hair tie.

If you feel like your hair is too short to make a high bun, try using some bobby pins or a headband to help keep everything in place.

Massage your scalp after a long day of having your hair up

Massage your scalp after a long day of having your hair up

One last tip for keeping achieving healthy hair is to massage your scalp regularly. After a long day of wearing a ponytail, you may notice that your scalp is tight and sore from the tension.

A great way to soothe this pain and reduce tension in your hair is to give yourself a scalp massage. This can be done with your fingers, or you can use a massager.

To do a scalp massage, start by applying some pressure to your scalp with your fingertips. Then, use your fingers to make small circular motions. Do this for a few minutes, or until you feel the tension release.

In addition to helping your scalp feel better, a massage can also help to stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth.

Final Thoughts

In summary, there are many dangers associated with tying your hair back, including breakage and damage to the shaft of the hair itself.

To protect your hair from damage, try using gentler materials such as silk or satin bands instead of rubber or metal ones. You should also avoid tying your hair back too tightly and make sure to give your scalp a massage after a long day of having your hair pulled back.

By following these tips, you can help to keep your hair healthy and strong. Do you have any other tips for protecting hair from damage? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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