I often receive emails which ask me which grooming practices contribute to hair loss. One common concern is putting your hair in a ponytail. People often tell me that when they take the ponytail down they’ll see lots of hairs on the elastic or they will notice a lot of spent strands on their clothing after they’ve done this. So, they conclude that the style has pulled the hairs out and they wonder if they should stop this practice. I will tell you my take on ponytails and hair loss in the following article.
Was The Shedding Or Loss There Before?: Often, what I see happening is that the person who writes has been experiencing some hair loss and shedding before noticing the hair in the elastic. This could be due to many reasons like medical causes, issues of the scalp, seasonal shedding, reactions to medications or hormones, and genetics. Often, the person decides to just throw their hair in a ponytail because doing so helps them to keep the falling hairs contained and it helps spare them from gathering up the hairs and worrying about this all day.
However, once they see all the hairs that are spent after they take the tail down, they worry that it was the style that made the hair loss worse. This isn’t often the case. The style has held up many of the hairs that were going to fall any way. So, what you see following afterwards is just the hairs that you were spared when it was up.
Now, that’s not to say that pulling and keeping the hair back is not going to pull some of the more vulnerable hairs that were on their last legs out. But, those strands were not going to stick around anyway. You are just skipping a few days and their coming out was inevitable anyway. Here’s the truth. Healthy, deeply embedded strands can certainly withstand brushing and being put in a ponytail. And, when you are shedding, any kind of manipulation is going to speed along mother nature.
Putting Your Hair In A Ponytail More Gently So That Less Falls Out: This is a very popular, carefree style and it really is nice to be able to put your hair up if you are shedding so you don’t have to keep throwing away strands all day. You can be very gentle when you use this style. One option is to go for a low rather than a high ponytail. Gather the hair at the nape of your neck rather than at the top of your head. This gives the strands less pressure. Also, gather the strands gently and loosely rather than going for a more tight hold.
Finally, here’s another little trick. Take two bands (not the cloth or fabric scrunchies, but the elastic bands.) You’re going to connect these two together holding one on top of the other, twirling the two together, and then pulling tightly. What you’re going to get as the result is two bands that form the shape of the number eight. The two are tied together right in the middle.
So, take either side of this new, larger band and put your hair in a regular, low ponytail. Then, wrap the bottom part around in a circle to make a bun. After this, take the loop that is now hanging down (the spare side of the elastic) and use that to secure the bun. This is requires much less pulling and the fact that you have a bun puts less wait on your roots, making the hair less likely to fall. Plus, the bun keeps the spent hair from getting on your clothes.
Of course, this is only a temporary fix. You’ll need to figure out why your hair is falling and then address this in order to have a permanent fix.