If you have long hair, you know that it comes with its own set of challenges. Specifically, you’ve probably had at least one case of a “long hair headache”.
Those headaches can become a serious problem and I have heard of several people, who cut off all their beautiful locks just to solve this. Don’t worry, in all likeliness, you won’t need to do anything drastic like this.
In fact, with a little knowledge about how long hair can cause headaches, you can quite easily avoid the pain!
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Can long hair cause headaches?
Anyone who has long hair has had a headache related to their hair at some point. It is not the length though, that’s causing the headache directly.
So the answer to the question “Does long hair cause headaches?” is yes and no.
What are the reasons for a long hair headache?
So first of all, you want to identify the source of your long hair headache. There are a few different reasons for this particular type of pain. Let’s start with the most unlikely one.
Reason number 1: The heavy hair headacheMany people think that the weight of their hair alone is responsible for their headache. This is very unlikely for three reasons.
One, even reeeeeaally long hair doesn’t weigh all that much.
Check out this video of a lady who has very, very long hair. (I think it’s floor-length!) As you can see, the scale ends up showing ~350g, ~12oz, ~.77lbs.
Your scalp is perfectly able to deal with that amount of hair.
Second of all, your hair doesn’t grow long from one day till the other. This gives all those muscles that help you hold your head up the time to get used to the weight.
Third of all, if weight really was the culprit of your hair headache, you would need to be in pain constantly. It’s not like the weight is sometimes there and sometimes it isn’t.
So unless you always have a headache, regardless of your hairstyle, the weight of your hair is probably not the reason.
Can the weight of your hair cause headaches? Not directly. Read on to find out which things are more likely to cause a headache rather than simply having heavy hair.
Headache reason number 2: Going against the grainA way more common reason for the infamous long hair headache is styling your hair in a new way. You can recognize this by the scalp pain that goes with it.
Specifically, pulling your hair roots in a direction they are not used to go, cause quite a bit of discomfort.
For me, this happens quite often when I let my hair dry in a certain way and then later want to make a hairstyle that pulls them in a different way.
Also parting your hair differently than you usually do can lead to this kind of headache.
Headache reason number 3: The fake faceliftThis reason is pretty similar to our headache cause number two. It’s also related to increased stress for the hair roots.
Just in this case you are not simply pulling your hair in a new direction. You are pulling it back way too strongly. Hence the name “fake facelift”.
A good example of a hairstyle that causes this kind of headaches is the super chic, sleek ponytail. Yes, they look amazing, but they can also hurt quite a bit!
And in the long run, it will weaken your roots and might even lead to “traction alopecia” – hair loss due to pulling on the hair roots.
So if your hair roots hurt after a ponytail or any other hairstyle, you know you need to do something differently!
Headache reason number 4: Straining your neck musclesLast but not least, your long hair headache might be stemming from your neck muscles.
Those can be aggravated in two main ways.
You make a tight, low twisted bun. I don’t know if you have worn one of those, but I can tell you: It doesn’t only twist your hair. Those sensitive neck muscles get quite some tension from it, too! And it hurts after a while!
Your hairdo throws off your head balance. By this I mean: Your updo requires your neck muscles to balance the head in a way different from normal. Putting all the weight of your hair in a big bun that is not in the right position will increase your chances of creating a headache big time!
Avoid the long hair headache
If you are unlucky, you might experience a combination of headache reasons. And this might lead you to think that long hair simply isn’t for you… But there are some things you want to try first.
Keep the following tips in mind, and it will be easy to find some headache free hairstyles!
Headache solution number 1: Spread it out
When you put your hair up, make sure the weight is evenly distributed over the head. This way your neck muscles don’t need to find a new way of balancing.
Granted, the Tymoshenko crown is not everyone’s style. But what about a comfy top knot? You can easily adjust the position to make it feel like there is no weight at all!
By learning where your “balance point” is, you’ll figure out how to wear your hair up without getting a headache.
Headache solution number 2: Keep it close
If you make buns on the back of your head, make them close to your head. You don’t want them to “stick out”. Because the longer your bun, the further away from the natural balance you get.
A great example of a flatter bun that you can do even with very long hair is the lazy wrap bun. (You’ll need a hair stick like this one* or a pencil for this!)
Check out the video below for a quick tutorial.
Headache solution number 3: Double it
If your hair roots always hurt after a ponytail but you still love very it, this tip might save you from headaches. Simply try the “double tail” variant, a headache-free ponytail.
First, separate a section of hair from the top of your head. Don’t take too little, it should be about half of all your hair.
Make a ponytail exactly where you want your final ponytail to be.
Then, take the rest of your hair, brush it towards the first ponytail and combine the two hair parts. Now fix the double ponytail up with a second hair tie.
This way the weight should be distributed a bit better. This way, even a ponytail can be a headache free hairstyle!
Headache solution number 4: Yin and Yang
Another important criterion for hairstyles that don’t cause headaches is balance.
Make sure you to make your hairdo neither too loose nor too firm. Both extremes can contribute to your discomfort.
Making a loose updo definitely means stress for your poor hair roots. When you have a loosely tied bun, the pull doesn’t go to your hair tie, but to your roots instead. And stress for your hair roots means scalp pain!
Pulling your hair up too tight is definitely also a bad idea. But you know that already. (Remember what we said about traction alopecia? Brrrr!)
So always look for that sweet spot when styling your hair.
Headache solution number 5: Change it up
There will be times when you and your scalp will be just more sensitive than usual. No matter what you try everything seems to give you a headache.
For days like that, I make it a habit to simply change my hairstyle every few hours. This can be as easy as making my lazy wrap bun in a slightly different spot. This way you don’t have the pressure (or the pulling) in the same place all day.
And if no updo will work, I simply make a loose braid and wait for better days.
Headache solution number 6: Get creative
The last of my tips is a bit more of a general advice.
Figure out which way of styling your hair is the most painful for you. Then do some research to find new styles giving you an easier time.
If taking your hair straight back is a sure fire way for you to get a headache, maybe try braiding them along the temples and then back.
If a top knot just makes your scalp scream, do a bun on the back of your head. There are always alternatives! And you might learn some cute new hairstyles along the way!
How do you deal with the long hair headache?
How are you dealing with headaches from your hair? Got any tips? Let me know in the comments and remember to pin this for later!
*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.