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5 min read

Are hair ties bad for your hair? Damaging mistakes and easy tips

Are hair ties bad for your hair? Damaging mistakes and easy tips

Headed to the gym, you pull your hair back in a hair tie. It’s too hot, same thing. Going to bed, there’s a chance you’re relying on that hair tie again. If you think of how many times you opt for a ponytail or a messy bun, you might realize you have a hair tie addiction.

While hair ties are great for getting your hair out of the way and convenient styling, traditional elastics might actually not be so great for your hair. There’s a good chance that you’re doing some damage to your hair and causing it to break or be thinner without even realizing it.

Damaging hair tie mistakes:

Too tight

That slicked-back hairstyle with a neat, crisp pony is a fierce look. Your scalp and follicles are not as thrilled with it as you are. The super-tight pony puts more pressure on your follicles. It can even cause them to be damaged and pull hair out by the roots.

Much like wearing braids too tight for too long, wearing tight ponytails and buns can cause permanent hair loss. Traction alopecia is baldness due to chronic pulling on the hair, which causes permanent damage to the follicles and an inability to grow hair. In most of these situations the hair loss is in the front and sides of the face.

Sleeping tied up

Many people wear their hair in a ponytail holder while they sleep to get it out of the way. Others opt for tying their hair up because they’re creating a style for the next day.

No matter the reason why you’re sleeping in an ordinary elastic hair band, you need to stop. The tossing and turning you do during the night add more pressure to your hair roots and shafts and can cause friction breakage or weakening.

You don’t necessarily have to give up this habit entirely, switching to a soft, damage-free hair tie or a fabric scrunchy and having a looser fit can resolve the problem.

Stale style

Wearing a ponytail can become a habit—you pull your hair back into the same spot every time and off you go. The problem is that your hair is constantly being tugged in the same spot, and the shaft is getting abused in the same area every day.

This repeated pulling and tying in the same area causes breakage that really adds up over time.

Wet hair

Did you know that your hair is most vulnerable when wet? Wet hair is very stretchy, but it’s not elastic, in that it doesn’t snap back after being stretched.

When it’s stretched, the outside protective layer (the cuticle) cracks, and the scaly edges are ruffled up. This makes your hair feel rough and damaged and looks frizzy. It also leaves your hair more vulnerable to breakage.

When you put a hair tie in wet hair, you’re actually applying pressure and stretching hair in a few different areas, causing it to pull out at the root or be damaged at the hair tie.

Metal fastenings

A little metal fastening used to be ubiquitous on hair bands, but snag-free elastics are now more common and cause less damage to your hair. If you have the ones with metal fastenings, throw them away and get the damage-free hair bands.

Ways to prevent hair damage

If you’re not willing to give up the ponytail but want to protect your hair, try the following suggestions:

♦ No metal fastenings on elastic bands (i.e. damage-free hair ties)

♦ Try cloth hair ties

♦ Sleep in soft scrunchies

♦ Bobby pins can create fun styles

♦ A brand new hairstyle could be the trick

♦ Put the ponytail in different spots

♦ Loosen up on the ponytail to avoid traction alopecia

♦ Never use an elastic band with wet hair

Final thoughts

If you’re wondering if hair ties are bad for your hair, the answer is–it depends. There are a lot of different hair ties on the market, but if you’re using the standard colored elastic band ones, then they probably are, and for a few different reasons.

You don’t need to throw all of your hair ties away to wear your hair up or back without damage, but you need to stop wearing elastic bands to bed and opt for something else when your hair is still wet.

If you’re looking for other options, try damage-free hair bands, scrunchies, hair ties, bobby pins, hats, or even a new hairstyle that doesn’t need to be pulled back so often. This way you can keep styles you love and keep the hair you love even more.

At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

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    At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

    Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

    Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

    JOIN THE GROUP