View Full Version : Ponytail junkies...what helps with breakage?

October 5th, 2008, 07:32 AM
I love having long hair, but my go-to style is a ponytail. In trying to get away from this is how I found this site.

Since I spend way, way too much time analyzing my hair now, I've noticed I have a tremendous amount of breakage suspiciously close to where I typically put my ponytail. I use the metal free elastics that are coated, they look like black circles. I'm trying to learn more braids and stuff to eliminate the damage, but well, I'm quite uncoordinated and don't often end up with anything I can leave the house with. Changing the location isn't really a solution because I find often that I'll throw it up in a tail without thinking about it.

Is there anything in particular you have tried that helps break the addiction but doesn't break your hair?

October 5th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Scrunchies help.

Really, though, I've found that the best thing is to to a bun with an elastic. I used to wear my hair in a ponytail all the time (I mean that quite literally), but now I hardly wear them at all. Just gather your hair into a pony, twist it into a loop and throw an elastic or a scrunchie over the top. It's actually easier than a ponytail for me now.

October 5th, 2008, 09:02 AM
I love this question. The last time I had long hair, I was getting sick of it and putting it in a ponytail every day. I ended up having alot of breakage, and ended up cutting my hair.

Now, that I'm growing my hair again, I don't want to fall in that trap.

October 5th, 2008, 09:03 AM
What are you using to hold the ponytails? Avoid the elastics held together with metal clips - you want the ones that are fabric all the way around, or scrunchies.

Is your avitar pic one of your hair's current length? If so, it may be a little too short to do one braid with ease, but you may have better luck doing two braids. You might also be able to do french twists.

October 5th, 2008, 10:06 AM
I had bad ponytail breakage a few years ago. I hate to tell you this, but what made the difference was not wearing ponytails. I was a daily ponytailer, and typically used these nice ~2inch diameter elastics with no metal, but a little melted join between them -- it wasn't that they caught the hair and broke it the way metal can do, but that the stress of a ponytail day after day was causing my fine hair to break at that point.

I basically swore off any style that required an elastic close to my head to hold it and learned how to make buns. Having a hairstick or a few Wavelength pins (double-pointed knitting needles bent into a U or V shape) rather than an elastic handy helps, but since I normally wear my hair back, the trick was to bun it before I left the house.

Good luck!

October 5th, 2008, 02:16 PM
I'm in the same boat with the ponytail addiction. Further exacerbating my problem is the fact that since I have fine straight hair, the pony doesn't last and I have to redo several times a day... If it's too tight I can't blink, but if it's too loose, what's the point?

When you do wear a ponytail, I would suggest not only varying where you anchor the ponytail (high, low, middle), but also the tightness of it.

Also, due to damage I don't use elastics, but instead use fabric covered ponytail holders (ie. terrycloth, chenille). You can usually even find those in discount stores.

I'm still trying to master hairsticks, and am again challenged due to the straight thin hair. I'm experimenting with buns and twists as well....

October 5th, 2008, 03:52 PM
@ Longlove. If your hair is ii/iii, I wouldn't call it thin hair. It may be fine, but definitely not thin.

I would simply advise you to forget ponytails. A ponytail is not a gentle hairstyle. Learn to make gentle buns that protect the lengths and ends. Learn to braid.

I was never a great fan of ponytails although in pre-Forum times, I was not aware how much damage they can do.

October 5th, 2008, 03:58 PM
From another angle here--do you secure your hair with just one elastic? And if so, does it slip gradually during the day, so that you have to split the tail and hoist the elastic back into position? If so, this could be another source of breakage for you. By adding another elastic on top of the first, I've found that my ponytail slips less, so I don't have to do that damaging hoist. Just an option to consider, in case you don't want to swear off ponytails entirely.

October 5th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Hi. I am a fellow ponytail addict:( I try to change, but it takes some getting used to. I also have to have all the hair up and secure for work and I use a ..eh.. ponybun. Anyway. I use a really soft and thick elastick, which doesn't have any metal or seams. I think I bought it at H&M. You could also use an elastic fabric hairband as an elastic. It might be better to use other styles to protect the hair but getting the thickest softest elastics might reduce the damage when you need (or want) a ponytail anyway.

October 5th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Scrunchies or those really soft circles that feel like a plush bathrobe are gentle on hair. They slide on fine, slippery hair like mine, though. But when I need to get my hair quickly out of the way, there's nothing better.

October 5th, 2008, 04:49 PM
I like to use Flexi 8s to secure my ponytails www.flexi8.com This way, you can just put it around your ponytail and secure it, instead of having to drag the length of your hair repeatedly through the elastic. I find that this is what causes the most breakage for me.

I also use ribbons to tie ponytails sometimes, as they are very gentle as well.

Ohio Sky
October 5th, 2008, 04:49 PM
@ Longlove. If your hair is ii/iii, I wouldn't call it thin hair. It may be fine, but definitely not thin.

I don't see where4 she said her hair is thin, she said it was fine. :flower:

I used to be a major ponytail werer too, and I still do it on occasion without too much damage. I use silk scrunchies when I wear a plain ponytail. All you can do is try to minimize the damage until you can find another updo that you can pull off. Cinnabuns and figure 8s are a good place to start.

October 5th, 2008, 06:02 PM
I don't use elastics anymore except at the end of braids because I got major breakage a couple of years ago from using them every day to ponytail before bunning.

I don't wear ponytails much but when I do I use a Hairagami (http://www.hairagami.com/ht_hairagami.html), you can get them at Claire's (and Icing in the States I think). It's a very different way to hold the hair and it makes your hair look super thick, which is good for me as the waves/curls at the end make my hair look a bit triangly with a regular elastic. I haven't noticed any breakage from using it. The instructions say to snap it upwards but I find it much more comfortable to snap downwards.