Friday, September 17, 2010

Protecting Hair From Ponytail Breakage

I received an interesting question from a new reader, asking how to prevent or minimize the breakage at the nape that can occur when wearing ponytails frequently. I know that many people perpetually have some shorter hairs at the nape, so I thought it would make a good discussion.

First of all, a lot of us find that we have short hairs or flyaways around the nape, and it's not necessarily due to breakage. Many of us have "baby hairs" at the nape that have a very short terminal length. I know that I have some, and I've always had them, no matter what the length of my hair. I rarely have ever worn ponytails either. This could be what you're experiencing. 

Some people also have the same type of baby hairs at the temples or on either side of the forehead. Again, that's usually not breakage, it's just an area of the head that often has a very short terminal length and also you may notice that the hairs are finer than on the rest of your head.

However, if you really are experiencing breakage due to wear and tear from ponytail ties, there are a few things you can do.

Obviously, the simple answer is not to wear ponytails frequently, (as you said yourself). I know that is easier said than done. Ponytails can be so handy.

Even no-damage elastics will wear away at the hair if worn in the same place day after day. One thing you might try is varying the placement of your ponytail. One day wear it low, the next wear it high, another day wear the ponytail in the middle of the head. Then try wearing a side ponytail. As long as the same hairs aren't put into contact with the ponytail tie in the exact same position day after day, you won't be stressing the hair as much.

As well, you may want to look into alternative hair ties. Many people make their own hair ties from cutting circular strips from nylon pantyhose or stockings. The good thing about that is that hosiery comes in so many colours. Aside from the usual flesh-toned shades, you can find black, white and other shades that don't end up looking like hosiery when it's in your hair.

Silk or satin scrunchies are excellent as well, and cause minimal friction.

Yet another thing to remember is not to pull the hair too tightly before putting it into a ponytail.

I think the best idea though, is to learn some quick and easy hairstyles that contain your hair without damage. Braids are a great option, and of course there are a lot of buns that are easy to do. Ponytails are still fine, but try to really minimize how often you wear them.

If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

I would like to say hello and welcome, PassionKiller, and thank you so much for the comments you left today.

'Til tomorrow my friends. Much love to all.


  1. Franny, yet another helpful post! I wish I had known this years ago, when I put my hair every day in a ponytail and then braided it. But I found out the hard way why it's not good to tie my hair with the harsh hair elastic often.
    That's why I seldom wear ponytails. If I do, then I secure it with one of those plastic banana clip thingies. I have found the right size of the clip, so it doesn't compress my hair at all.

  2. Thanks for this topic! I have the same problem. I have never thought of using old nylons as elastics! That is my biggest concern. Even with braids, I still have to use some kind of fastener and I am hoping this will work! Thank you again!!

    Have a great Hair Day!

  3. Wow, my question got an entire post as an answer! Thank you! Well, they aren't baby hairs since I only noticed them appear after spending my vacation in my hometown, where the water is cleaner, causing the shampoo to work more intense than normal, stripping my hair too strongly of sebum. And I am pretty much "confined" to wear pony tails (or, from now on, updos) almost every other day since I have greasy hair and it only looks good loose in the first day after washing. I wouldn't have thought about stockings as alternatives to hair bands, so that's one great idea, especially since I have lots of them who have been worn maybe once and then got a small pinch or hole, deeming them pretty much unwearable. Hair care and recycling, sounds very good to me! Satin or silk scrunchies are incredibly hard to find here in Romania, I'm not sure why - I remember them being very fashionable when I was a kid, but now they seem to have vanished from the stores, and all I can find are these horrible hair bands tied together with metal pieces (I usually ask friends who travel to Germany to get no-damage elastics for me).

    And now a bit of offtopic: I haven't been using my blogspot profile for almost 4 years now, and today was the day I had enough time and patience to change the username (from PassionKiller to the one I'm using for almost anything online, blueblackhusky). And since your blog is the only one I comment on at the moment, I uploaded a picture of, of course!

    Thank you again for the answer!


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