How hairstyle can affect your health

By Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare


It is normal as a woman to pull your hair into a classic high ponytail when you are working outside, exercising, or just puttering around your house. A ponytail is the perfect way to quickly get long hair out of the way to be able to concentrate on other activities.

This convenient way of putting the hair out of your way, especially by sweeping it up into a tight elastic band, puts pressure on the scalp which over time causes health challenges like painful, throbbing headache, which can make it even more difficult to focus on work and other activities.

Everyone loves to find the perfect hairstyle. Sometimes though, that style could be one of the reasons you’re encountering more frequent or severe headaches.

It is a fact that some hairstyles can contribute to your headaches and these headaches may get worse depending on how firmly you have fastened your hair and the pressure on the scalp.

It pulls hair follicles, which have a rich nerve supply and when it is pulled tightly results in serious pain.

People suffering from migraine are more prone to getting headaches by this hairstyle due to the baseline level of hypersensitivity of the nerves around the face and scalp. Pain occurring from a non-painful stimulus of the scalp or skin is called cutaneous allodynia. It can also be provoked by combing or tying the hair, shaving, showering, wearing glasses or earrings. Allodynia can spread all over the head and any contact with that area can make you feel uncomfortable, including your hairstyle.

Also, headbands, braids, hijabs and tight-fitting hats can cause headache and you will usually get fast relief if you let your hair down and massage your scalp gently in the area where you feel pain and take a moment to breathe deeply.

Ponytail headaches are common, but they are more likely to occur if you already get frequent tension headaches, migraines, or have a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia.

If you frequently experience this kind of headache, you may need to reconsider your go-to hairstyle. Getting your hair out of the way with a braided hairstyle that ties at the end is an alternative you might consider.

Shorter hairstyles and bobby pins might also help you avoid ponytail headaches. Any option that keeps a hairband from coming into contact with your scalp directly would be less likely to cause pain.

When you do need to sport a ponytail, take your hair down every hour to give the nerves in the scalp a chance to recover from the constant feeling of being pulled. If you do this often enough, you may reduce the frequency of your ponytail headaches.

The key is to distribute the weight of your hair and minimize pulling on any one part of your scalp. When all is said and done, a loose hairstyle is the least likely to trigger a headache.

Little changes to habits and style can help you avoid headaches; avoid certain types of hairstyle, which put too much pressure on your scalp. Tight ponytail or bun should be shunned at all cost.

A tight ponytail may also not cause headache, but over time it can lead to hair loss along the hairline above the forehead. Try to change your hairstyle from time to time.



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