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View Full Version : Should I be avoiding ponytails all the time?



faerielady
April 26th, 2011, 08:57 AM
I have short(ish) layered hair that the hairdresser butchered/trimmed after a big perm fry last year.

In order to get it into an updo, I am pretty much limited to sock buns during the work week (formal office, and my hair won't hold anything else up that isn't "messy"). In order to get it into a sock bun, I have to use a ponytail holder to make a ponytail, then use a form to make the bun.

If I leave it down, I obsess about it too much. It has to be up. However, I keep seeing "Don't put your hair in a ponytail!" and it's starting to concern me. I use hair elastics that are fabric, and they don't contain metal parts. Is there something else I need to do in order to protect my hair as much as possible from the heinous crime of ponytailing it?

eternallyverdan
April 26th, 2011, 09:03 AM
Honestly, it depends how fragile your hair is. If you notice damage right around the ponytail area, then you should probably consider alternatives, but there are a lot of people who do ponytails most days and don't have any problems.

If you're really worried about it, you can try softer alternatives like scrunchies or rolled up knee-high pantyhose , which are very gentle.

Can you do French twists? It might take a bit of gel or mousse to hold the stray hairs in place, but they're very classy-looking and pretty easy to do.

faerielady
April 26th, 2011, 09:14 AM
Can you do French twists? It might take a bit of gel or mousse to hold the stray hairs in place, but they're very classy-looking and pretty easy to do.

Unfortunately, not yet. The cut the hairdresser left me with isn't great, and French twists require a bit more hair length than I have right now because of the layering and thinning the lady did to my hair. As my hair grows back out, it'll be easier to get the hair to go where it's supposed to be... lol

Pickelhaube
April 26th, 2011, 09:25 AM
I used to wear my hair in a ponytail every day, and it eventually started giving me breakage where the ponytail holder always sat. I think it's the repetitive stress in the same spot that causes the damage. Maybe you could try varying where the ponytail sits: low ponytail, high ponytail, over the shoulder, multiple ponytails, etc. Braids would also be neat; I bet your hair is long enough for a French or Dutch braid tucked in at the bottom.

I think it also depends on how tightly you tie the ponytail off. If it's too tight, it may be more likely to cause breakage.

Biedronka
April 26th, 2011, 09:31 AM
I think Pickelhaube said it all.
try to have a bit of variety so that there's not stress in one spot only.and don't tie it too tightly-personally i've found this also gives me headches.You could try leaving your hair down avery now and then,and using accesories to keep it out of your face so you dont have to fuss about it.Like a nice little headband,or temples pulled back with a clip or so

elbow chic
April 26th, 2011, 09:32 AM
I really think the ponytail thing is more for people who have extra-fragile hair, or very long/thick/heavy hair, or who have a tendency to pull them way too tight.

A ponytail was all I could manage for a long time, too, and even now I can't keep a hairstick bun in place for more than a couple hours, unless I start with an elastic-secured ponytail.

My hair is pretty fine and if anyone would get damage from a daily ponytail, you'd think it'd be me, but honest Abe, there is no breakage there. There are lots of really nice hair elastics out there with no metal or rubber, so use those and don't worry overmuch.

For me, almost ANYTHING I have to do to make a manageable protective style is significantly better than wearing it down and fiddling with it day. :p

Anje
April 26th, 2011, 09:35 AM
Let it grow for a while before you worry about it.

I've got fairly fragile hair and got some pretty bad ponytail damage. But I was able to make a switch to buns directly to grow it out. The weight of hair makes a difference in the damage you get (heavier, swingier ponytails just put more stress there), so you'll probably want to move away from them when your hair becomes easier to bun. But for the time being, relax and pull your hair back the way you need to.

Oh, and no "tightening" the ponytail allowed. I did a lot of that, and it was probably a major contributer to the damage I got.

SpinDance
April 26th, 2011, 09:39 AM
It is likely to give you mechanical damage if it is put in the same place all the time. However, having it up is probably better than loose long term, so it is a matter of choices. As others have said, put a holder in other places, and French and Dutch braids. The braids can be done as a single in the back, or 2, one on each side of the head. An off center part will make any difference in height on the head look intentional. ;) Important for those of us who do not always get the double braids perfectly mirror images. Took me a while to figure this one out, not being on LHC at the time.

You can tuck the ends of the braids up inside the braid(s), too, giving a different look than leaving the ends out. You can use tiny Flexi's instead of elastics, too, both for holding braids and for ponytails.

A larger Flexi may let you try an updo earlier, too. A peacock twist is 'messy', but is intentional and not just messy, if that makes any sense, so that might be a viable option for you.

tinti
April 26th, 2011, 10:25 AM
Others has said it all, I think but I would just suggest a Gibson tuck as well, if your hair is long enough.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4zcTCdozkU

You don't need to have all that lenght she has in the video, just enough to have a little bit to tuck. You could use sticks/flexi-8s/pins/forks etc to secure.

faerielady
April 26th, 2011, 11:03 PM
I managed a Gibson Tuck! I don't have ANY hairclips, flexi-8s, etc... so it's going to have to look alright with a small octopus clip. The only fork I've made so far that will work in my hair isn't small enough for this.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/RuneBlog/4f4f070f.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v496/RuneBlog/5eb24f23.jpg

Karmi
April 27th, 2011, 12:10 AM
I wear very loose and low, usually over-the-shoulder (by default) pony tails using thin (6 inch) ouchless hair ties wrapped only twice, just about everyday to help contain my waist-length, thick, wavy hair. There is a lot of talk about not wearing ponytails, but I would say it should be absolutely okay as long as you don't pull them very tight at all and be gentle when putting the tie in and taking it out.

Debra83
April 27th, 2011, 12:16 AM
I used to wear my hair in a ponytail every day, and it eventually started giving me breakage where the ponytail holder always sat. I think it's the repetitive stress in the same spot that causes the damage. Maybe you could try varying where the ponytail sits: low ponytail, high ponytail, over the shoulder, multiple ponytails, etc. Braids would also be neat; I bet your hair is long enough for a French or Dutch braid tucked in at the bottom.

I think it also depends on how tightly you tie the ponytail off. If it's too tight, it may be more likely to cause breakage.


I think Pickelhaube said it all.
try to have a bit of variety so that there's not stress in one spot only.and don't tie it too tightly-personally i've found this also gives me headches.You could try leaving your hair down avery now and then,and using accesories to keep it out of your face so you dont have to fuss about it.Like a nice little headband,or temples pulled back with a clip or so


I really think the ponytail thing is more for people who have extra-fragile hair, or very long/thick/heavy hair, or who have a tendency to pull them way too tight.

A ponytail was all I could manage for a long time, too, and even now I can't keep a hairstick bun in place for more than a couple hours, unless I start with an elastic-secured ponytail.

My hair is pretty fine and if anyone would get damage from a daily ponytail, you'd think it'd be me, but honest Abe, there is no breakage there. There are lots of really nice hair elastics out there with no metal or rubber, so use those and don't worry overmuch.

For me, almost ANYTHING I have to do to make a manageable protective style is significantly better than wearing it down and fiddling with it day. :p

I did all this and STILL got damage...I had dyed my hair and everything too, plus I have fine hair, so I think it was extra prone to damage. I wear mine loose most of the time now, except for the occasional braid, and I believe there is less damage wearing it loose for me than in a ponytail.

Lianna
April 27th, 2011, 02:30 AM
I guess it depends how fragile the hair is! I have bleached highlights covered with dye, I wear a ponytail as a starter for an updo since the first time I could ponytail (I'm almost APL). 2010's last semester was almost daily sock bun for me. I wear a simple looped ponytail around the house everyday and to sleep. No problems with metal parts either. There are so many bigger potencial damage out there than a ponytail, if that's all you're worrying, I think you're fine!

bte
April 27th, 2011, 02:45 AM
There is a danger with ponytails of breakage - through having the ponytail too tight and not being careful when undoing it, but provided you are careful about both those things, there's no reason why you shouldn't wear one as frequently as you want.

faerielady
April 27th, 2011, 07:31 AM
Well, I made sure to pin the crap out of it, but I got the Gibson Tuck done and put in a bunch of black bead topped hairpins. It looks decent.

Thanks for everyone telling me about the ponytail thing... I use fabric holders, no metal, and I try to vary the position of the ponytail, so it sounds like I'm doing pretty much everything I'm supposed to do.

Pickelhaube
April 27th, 2011, 08:45 AM
Your Gibson tuck looks awesome, by the way. Very elegant.

Babyfine
April 27th, 2011, 09:28 AM
Let it grow for a while before you worry about it.



Oh, and no "tightening" the ponytail allowed. I did a lot of that, and it was probably a major contributer to the damage I got.

Yes, exactly. I think we all have a tendency to pull the ponytail tighter and when I wear my occasional pony-I have to tell myself don't do it. I even read in a mainstream hairstyle mag not to tighten your ponytails, that action causes friction and damage. I look better in looser ponytails, anyway. I rarely wear them anyway when my hair gets long enough to bun. I don't look all that good in them.

LaurelSpring
April 27th, 2011, 09:47 AM
I do worry about ponytail damage so I always try to mix it up. I do love my hairzings and double zinger combs (lightweight plastic with bands). This could give you an alternative also. I actually found black and brown double zinger combs in Target now! I practically live in these things.

http://www.hairzing.com/

You could even pony your hair through the middle with the hairzing and then go on from there. I have done this too.