4 Hairstyles That Can Give You A Headache

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

Headaches can emerge from several things. Some of the obvious reasons are stress, high cholesterol levels, uneasy noise, gastric problems, or even uncomfortable temperatures. But one of the most overlooked causes of headaches is how one wears their hair. Surprising, but true! A painful headache might be the result of wearing a hairdo that puts too much strain on the scalp. Here in this article, we have mentioned several popular hairstyles that are not very good for your hair and scalp health if done regularly. Read on to know them all.

1. Ponytail

Image: Shutterstock

There are pain-sensing nerves located underneath our hair follicles or across our scalp. A headache might develop from a ponytail because it can cause stiffness in several nerves at once. Make sure you undo your ponytail as soon as you get home and massage your scalp to soothe the strained nerves.

2. Headbands

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A headache might be a common occurrence in those who wear tight headbands. If anything you wear on your head causes constant pressure on your forehead or scalp, you may be experiencing what is known as an external compression headache. The pain from this sort of headache is localized to the spot where the band is pushing on the head and is usually mild to moderate in intensity. Constant use of such constrictive headgear might aggravate the problem.

 3. Tight Braids

Tight Braids
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A headache from external compression can also be caused by wearing braids that are too tight. Overstressing your scalp by wearing your hair in tight braids can cause hair breakage and pain, in addition to being bad for your locks. Medical professionals agree that certain people are more susceptible to external compression headaches than others, owing to underlying reasons.

4. Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions
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Even though tightly braided wigs or hair extensions might give you a stunning new hairdo, they are well-known migraine triggers. Putting so much pressure on your head causes strain, and constant yanking on your hair follicles can irritate the nerves in your scalp. Hair extensions put continual pressure on your scalp, unlike any other hairdo.

How To Relieve Your Scalp From The Pain

1. Hair Massage

Try massaging your scalp gently around the painful spot and taking a few deep breaths to calm down. Also, you need to think of ways of wearing your hair in a way that doesn’t place too much stress on your head, such as a loose bun, low ponytail, loose braids, or perhaps cutting it shorter.

2. Sleep Well

The aching sensation on your scalp is caused by inflammation that travels from the arteries in the scalp to the nerves there in hair follicles. The sensation is identical whether the pain is experienced in the follicle or the strand. Thankfully, there are means of alleviating the suffering, such as having a full night’s sleep with hair tied up in a loose braid or bun.

3. Wear Loose Hairstyles

Wear Loose Hairstyles
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High updos, cornrows, buns or braids may all strain and even damage cells, leading to hair discomfort. Try not to wear these severe looks more than twice a week, and on the days you do, take them out before bed.

 4. Don’t Use Too Many Hair Products

Dry shampoo, the savior of lazy days, is unfortunately a growing source of hair problems. It’s acceptable to use it once in a while to buy yourself an additional day between washes, but using it daily instead of washing your hair will lead to residue caked into follicles. Most people use much too much or spray all of it on their scalp rather than onto their strands. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply, which, when combined with perspiration, might set off a chain reaction of irritation, itchiness, and discomfort.

 5. Dont Shampoo Everyday

Dont Shampoo Everyday
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Hair is most fragile when it comes to washing; you don’t want to under wash it, but you also don’t want to overwash it and throw off the entire pH balance, which can be another source of the painful scalp. Use a mild baby shampoo, which has glycerin for washing, and avocado oil to help maintain the skin barrier if you need to wash your hair every day or have a sensitive scalp.

Have you ever had a hairdo give you a headache? Is there a particular hairstyle you know of that causes headaches for certain people more than others? Give attention to any form of hair discomfort at the beginning stage because it may be a sign of impending hair loss. Those who are prone to hair discomfort should use only soft silk hair ties (not gripping elastics!) and go for loose styles rather than those that irritate the scalp. Sleeping with your locks tied up or “setting” can cause painful tugging and aching the next day. So which of these hairstyles are you guilty of doing regularly? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Headaches due to external compression, NCBI
  2. Pain and Disability: Clinical, Behavioral, and Public Policy Perspectives.NCBI
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