Are Hair Ties Bad for Your Hair?

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Tuesday May 5, 2020

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You love your lengthy locks, but they do get in the way when you go for a run or attend Zumba class. What to do? Tie back your tresses, of course. But what should you use? Are hair ties bad for your hair?

However, doing so could damage the length you worked so hard to achieve. Whether hair ties are bad for your hair depends on the techniques and products you use. Here’s how to rock an updo without risking breakage or baldness. 

First — Techniques to Avoid 

Before addressing the way you should style your hair, it’s critical to know what techniques cause the most damage. Avoid the following practices if you want to keep long, shiny locks. 

Using Regular Rubber Bands 

The answer to the question of whether hair ties are bad for your hair is a decided yes if you use the same products that occupy your work desk. Traditional rubber bands always rip out at least a few strands when you remove them. That may not sound like a lot, but the cumulative effect can be devastating. Most people already lose 50 to 100 strands per day — adding 10 to that number will make a significant difference over time. 

Pulling Your Hair Too Tight 

Another no-no when it comes to styling is pulling those bands too tightly. This practice creates stress on the strands, even when they remain attached to your head. If you always wear your hair in a super-taut ponytail, you could start to notice you have a lot more forehead. That’s because your hairline gradually starts to recede from the constant tugging. 

Sleeping With Your Hair Tied Back 

If you wear hair ties with metal parts, you could damage your locks while you sleep. The metal can tear at your hair every time you shift positions. Plus, if you roll over the wrong way, you could tug at your hairline, which can eventually lead to alopecia or hair loss. 

The Right Way to Style an Updo 

Now that you know what hair ties and techniques are bad for your hair, what can you do when you need to tame an unruly mane? It all begins with choosing the right materials and treating your tresses with TLC. Are hair ties bad for your hair? It depends on what you use to tie your hair back.

Think Scrunchies 

Since you want to swipe left on rubber bands and ties with bits of metal, you can’t go wrong with a traditional scrunchie. These are made from soft cloth that won’t rip or snag your strands. Plus, they make cute accessories when layered on your wrist, and you can put one to use whenever the wind picks up and threatens to leave you in tangles. You can also opt for elastics coated in fabric if you don’t like the bulkiness. 

Make Friends With Bobby Pins 

The humble bobby pin often goes overlooked in department store aisles these days, but you can do a ton with them. You can create an elegant updo or merely pin back one side to create a unique look. Most varieties today come with rubber caps on the end so that when you pull them out, your strands remain attached to your head. 

Keep It Loose

When you do tie your hair in a ponytail, avoid the urge to make it tight. You should leave about a quarter to a half an inch of wiggle space from your scalp to the tie. It should feel comfortable, not heavy or taut. Don’t concern yourself with flyaways — use them to frame your face and create the perfect “messy” look. 

Deep Condition Your Locks Once Per Week 

Finally, even the most gentle styling products will cause breakage if your hair is dry and weak. Give yourself a deep conditioning treatment once per week. You can look for commercial preparations, but for most locks, argan or coconut oil works perfectly, too. Apply the substance to your wet hair and wrap your tresses in a towel to let it penetrate. Then, shower and style as usual. 

Are Hair Ties Bad for Your Hair? Only If Used Incorrectly

Some styling products can damage your tresses, but the techniques you use matter, too. Forget the question of whether hair ties are bad for your hair and focus on practices that preserve your lustrous locks. If you’re worried about losing thickness over time, try to find products that can thicken your hair and leave you feeling more confident than ever.

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