When we think of what could damage our hair, we think of the products and the heated tools we use, as well as our hair care routine.
But, do you know that your all-time favorite hairstyle, the ponytail, can be the cause of your hair breakage?
Packing your hair into a ponytail is practical as it helps pull the hair off your face, whether you’re feeling overheated, or you’re at the gym, or you don’t have the time to do a more complex hairstyle. However, ponytails have a seriously unwelcoming side effect – hair breakage.
Figuring out how to repair hair breakage from ponytails is really not an easy task. Think of how upsetting a bad haircut is, hair breakage is worse.
Imagine seeing several strands of broken hair on top of the rest of your hair. Annoying!
Do ponytails cause hair breakage?
Hair breakage is when your hair breaks off unexpectedly before it reaches a complete lifecycle. It usually breaks close to the root or mid-way around the shaft, and it leaves the pieces significantly shorter than the rest of your hair.
The potential for hair breakage varies according to the natural strength of your hair (some people are born with durable, thick hair, while others have more brittle, thinner hair), and how often you pack it into a ponytail.
When you pack a ponytail, especially a tight one, you pull on the hair, and you cause tension at the root. If you do this frequently, your hair will become weaker, leading to hair breakage.
If you’ve taken an elastic band off your ponytail, and the band is full of hair, then it’s irrefutable proof that you’re surely doing something wrong.
Even more terrible, you can’t just tame hair breakage by curling or flat ironing the broken pieces as this will only cause more breakage.
Also, you can’t cut the rest of your hair to be the same as the broken length, except you’re ready to go on full low-cut. So, in answer to the question asked above, YES, ponytails, especially when frequent, do cause hair breakage.
How do I stop my hair from breaking in a ponytail?
We all love ponytails, and it is rather unfortunate that it can result in hair breakage.
Lucky for us, there are a few tips and tricks that we can use to keep our ponytails healthy and unsusceptible to breakage.
Tip #1 – Never tie your hair up into a ponytail when it’s wet
This cannot be overemphasized. Our hairs are delicate, fragile, and at its weakest when wet.
The regular snags and dents that often occur in a dry ponytail are ten times more when the hair is wet. So, ensure that your hair is dried before you pack it up.
Tip #2 – Apply a serum
Before you pack your hair into a ponytail, first apply a top-quality serum over it. This will give your hair a healthy shine, and it will aid the tie glide over the ponytail without snagging or pulling it.
Tip #3 – Try out different styles
Yes, we love ponytails, but it isn’t right to make it an everyday hairstyle. High ponytails are prone to cause hair breakage, especially if it’s pulled too tight.
So, the best thing is to alternate between tight and loose ponytail days, as well as “all hair down” days. You should also consider a half-up ponytail style. You’d be surprised; there are many different ways to tie your hair up in a ponytail.
This will keep the hair away from your face like a regular ponytail, but it will minimize the strain on your hair follicles.
Tip #4 – Sleep time should be downtime
To give your hair scalp a break, it is best to wear your hair down while sleeping. If you really must tie it up, then it’s best to sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase.
Tip #5 – Hair Ties
“Hair ties can cause breakage.”– Mark Debolt, Hair Colorist at Wella Professionals and Marie Robinson Salon (source)
Using only fabric hair ties is critical to keeping a healthy ponytail. If your current band has metal on it, then it is prone to catch on your ponytail.
Also, tight elastic bands can snag your hair and leave it dented. So, fabric hair ties are the best.
Tip #6 – Be careful with your hairline
While pulling your hair into a ponytail, be extra careful with the hairline as it’s the weakest part of the hair.
If you pull the hairline too tightly, it can result in breakage and even extreme bald patches.
Besides, the trend now is to leave the front of your hair a bit loose to achieve an undone, tousled finish.
How to Repair Hair Breakage
If you are experiencing hair breakage already, do not despair, it can be fixed. Follow the steps discussed below to learn how to rejuvenate your hair, and stop it from thinning out.
If your hair is breaking, then your hair is most likely brittle, weak and also dried out. To repair this, you need to add sufficient hydration and moisture back into your hair by utilizing argan oil deep conditioning treatment. You can also use coconut oil for conditioning.
If you’ve also noticed that your scalp gets itchy or sore after wearing a pony for hours, then you need to use a conditioner with the ability to soothe inflammation and irritation.
Avoid Excess Heat
If your hair breakage is caused by a ponytail, and you want to effect a full repair, then you have to guard your hair against excessive heat.
Reduce the temperature of all your styling tools. Also, rather than using a blow dryer, it is better to allow your hair to dry naturally.
It would help if you also use a heat protectant spray before using a curling iron or other heat styling tools. Without the spray, heat can penetrate into your hair shaft too deeply, leading to more damage.
Make your hair stronger by eating certain nutrients and vitamins that can keep your hair healthy. Your diet should include a substantial amount of calcium, folic acid, Vitamins B, C, D, protein and Omega 3’s.
Use only accessories that do not tug and pinch at the tie. You can either use a fabric hair tie or a loose elastic tie.
If you are suffering from hair breakage caused by a ponytail, then, for now, it is best to avoid salon-style chemical treatments such as digital perm, straightening, hair bleaching and coloring. This will only make the damage to your hair much worse.
Image Credits: Deposit Photos