View Full Version : Long thick hair causes headaches?

July 24th, 2011, 01:23 PM
I was wondering if this is just an excuse that I told myself so that I had a decent excuse to cut my hair or does anyone else have this problem (never mind that i get headaches anyway in general, from lack of sleep, allergies, or just about anything else)

I have very thick curly/wurly hair that has to be pulled back tightly. I used to always do ponytails but this time around I am sticking to low english braids.

July 24th, 2011, 01:26 PM
I have that problem too, especially if I kept it up out of my face in a ponytail. That is why I HAVE to cut mine in layers. Haha...wanting to have layers is nearly voodoo here.

July 24th, 2011, 01:27 PM
Yes, when my hair was hip length, all over (no taper) I always got headaches. By the end of the day I would want to take my hair off like a wig. Try french braids. My hair is growing out again now, but I don't have headaches. This picture was taken July 11, 2011 so you can see how much I have now.

July 24th, 2011, 01:43 PM
I find that wearing high ponytails feel HEAVY! Any other updo I seem to have no problem with but with a high ponytail I feel like my hair is slowly pulling me down. :laugh:

July 24th, 2011, 01:50 PM
I've got both long + thick and I (generally) don't get headaches, so I guess it depends on the individual.

July 24th, 2011, 02:56 PM
ANY ponytail will give me a headache which then invariably turns into a migraine, which is why I used to always cut my hair off in summer. Even a single english braid will sometimes give me a headache but not always. I find that double braids, french, dutch, anything that spreads my hair out some does not give me a headache (even braids pulled very tight do not) so I'm hoping to actually grow below BSL this time!

July 24th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Over the years I've learned what styles work and what ones don't. I have this sweet spot that is the perfect location for an up style. I have learned over time that if I go much higher than the designated "sweet spot" I will almost always get a headache. I can't do a high pony tail--At all. I think a good style is one that keeps hair contained from tangles and also even distributes the weight across the style.

July 24th, 2011, 03:11 PM
I know a few people who keep short hair for just this reason. I myself get migraines just as much with a pixie as I do with waist length hair :shrug:. My hair does get pretty heavy when damp/wet and I find it helps to pile in on top of my head in a high updo and secure with a big, strong claw clip until dry.

July 24th, 2011, 03:14 PM
My hair is quite dense and heavy, so I need to be careful about how I place updos and ponytails so I don't get a headache. I find that higher styles are a bad idea for me, so I try to stick to medium-low styles.

July 24th, 2011, 03:20 PM
I do medical transcription for a living. I find that I need my hair out of my way for wearing headphones all day, but I'm also a migraineur, so I need it to be even and not pulling on my scalp. The best style for me for working is a French or Dutch braid. I will sometimes tuck the French braid so I don't feel the tail hanging on my neck. It is SO comfortable for working!

July 24th, 2011, 05:32 PM
Some hairstyles do that to me all of the time (there's a reason I don't ever wear a high ponytail, besides the weight of my hair pulling it down), and some styles do it less often. On days that are really headache-prone, I have to keep my hair down all the way; fortunately those are rare, so most of the time I can do at least a ponytail.

July 24th, 2011, 07:08 PM
My sisters friend was pentecostal (sp) she had long thick tbl hair and did have to cut it because she was getting migranes. The church didn't agree with it but she cut her hair to just past shoulder and no more headaches. :)

July 24th, 2011, 07:13 PM
French braids are the cure! Two braids divide the weight in half and you won't feel them at all. No need to cut your hair if you truly want it long.

July 24th, 2011, 07:40 PM
Sectioning your thick hair is the answer to problems with weight!

You can also try lace twist crowns, or lace french braids around your head.

I would not recommend ponytails for holding back the hair. Too much strain is put on the delicate front hair, plus friction at the ponytail base, plus tangles in the loose hair.

There are several pictures in my hair album which demonstrate the sectioning principle (braids work for me so I stick with them).

How you place the sections also has bearing on how comfortable the style will be.

July 24th, 2011, 07:50 PM
I third the sectionning idea.
Just wanted to add a bit from my own experience : with length and weight inevitably comes some level of discomfort, having to be extra careful when making updos, sometimes doing it all over again because somehow it pulls weirdly, or it's off center, having to change (put hair up or down ) regularly for a change during the day, etc. I think it beginned to be more noticeable around knee. I don't specifically get headaches though, more scalp or muscle / neck / upper back pains. It is a constraint in daily life, however I feel it is a price to pay and I agree with paying it for the sake of longer hair.

July 24th, 2011, 07:52 PM
I get that problem too. I noticed its more of a transitional migraine for me. It was really bad when it started getting longer than what I was normally used to (such as just past my shoulders). Now its almost to WSL and it doesn't hurt as much.


On really, REALLY bad days, a good, wide-spread cinnabun helps. I usually like to keep it coiled a little bit on the tight side but bad days just won't do. I let it loose and secure it with spin pins (the less pins, the better). Placement of the bun is something I learned can make the problem better or worse. Lower buns don't hurt as much as higher buns. Somewhere in the middle to lower works best for me.

Two french braids or dutch braids work best. Especially if I pin up the tails at the nape of my neck. The weight of my hair is pretty evenly distributed at that point.

And sometimes, just having my hair loose in a snood is the best option. I made mine from an old pant leg from these fugly velvet pants my mom gave me. I just cut the leg, made a curve, sewed it like a pocket and viola. That way my hair just hangs in the pocket and its out of my face.

July 24th, 2011, 09:00 PM
You'd think my husband would be headache-free then.... (Yes, yes, I know, the inverse isn't necessarily implied.)

July 24th, 2011, 09:35 PM
Do you put your ponytail in when it's wet, or when it's dry? I find that if my hair is dried curly when I put in my ponytail, it doesn't pull back firmly at all.

Also, I find that if I put it up REALLY high (like on the very top of my head) so that my hair falls to the sides of my head & rests on my head (instead of behind it), then my hair doesn't feel as heavy, since alot of the weight is supported by the top of my head. It looks kind of goofy to have my ponytail up so high, but it gives my crown great volume when it comes down!

July 24th, 2011, 11:42 PM
I have almost the same hairtype as you and I'm at thigh length. High ponytails, high buns or beebutt buns do cause headaches for me but if I wear my hair in a low hairstick bun, loose or in a braid it doesn't feel heavy at all. Maybe my case is a bit different because I've always had very long hair so I had enough time to get used to the weight. If my hair was cut off I'm sure it would feel a lot lighter but it just doesn't feel heavy now.

July 25th, 2011, 04:00 AM
Ponytail = NO ;)

Sectioning is good, also so are braids and lower-tension styles. If you feel you need to pull your hair back tightly because of curls then definitely section your hair to spread the weight.

July 25th, 2011, 11:35 AM
I agree with those who suggest altering the placement of the updo, sectioning, and braiding. If I put the bun directly on top of my head or down at the nape, I'm generally pain-free. Mid-high updos cause head and neck pain for me. Putting my hair up while wet is also a quick route to neck aches. If I need to have my hair up all day, I do braids or multiple-bun styles (like in my avatar).

July 25th, 2011, 12:30 PM
I am prone to headaches, and some days I cannot seem to find a style that sits comfortably and does not cause that light tingling sensation which means a headache is on its way.

More often, though, I find I'm blaming my hairstyle and readjusting it when the headache was caused by something else entirely. Now when I get a headache or have a tender-headed day, I make a dutch braid and bun the braid. No headaches! If it's a true migraine, I leave the braid down.

So yeah, I get headaches, and having a poorly done style makes them worse, but it's not my hair's fault I'm headachy/migrainey

July 25th, 2011, 02:12 PM
My sister has really thick long hair and she gets headaches sometimes when she puts it up.

July 25th, 2011, 02:49 PM
I'd like to second the concept of low or high is good, but medium is not. and add, I think another factor that can make updos headachey is torque. If the hair is sticking out horizontally a good distance from the head (like with a bee-butt bun) it will pull more on your scalp and/or create more strain for your neck and shoulders, than the same amount of hair, in a bun that's flatter against the head. Something like:

Worst ... Best
Bee-butt < Cinnamon bun < Figure8 or Infinity bun

July 25th, 2011, 02:54 PM
Celebriangel, the hair in your avatar is gorgeous! Is that you?

July 25th, 2011, 03:01 PM
Yes, I was getting headaches when I was bunning too tight. I coil looser now and also use a tip I learned on LHC which is "palming". I place my palms around my hair and push forward a little to take the pressure off the delicate roots of my crown hair. When I am home and finished with chores, I let my hair rest and leave it loose (but with a headband..can't stand hair flying onto my face).

July 25th, 2011, 03:05 PM
I find that up-does in general give me a bit of a headache. But then I have a vague headache that comes and goes most days, especially when my diet has been a bit lax. I don't think it has a lot to do with length/thickness, but no doubt that does contribute!

July 25th, 2011, 03:14 PM
The only time my hair causes me headaches is if my hairstyle is unbalanced.

July 25th, 2011, 03:49 PM
Before LHC I was actually pretty sure I could never let my hair grow because of my headaches. I have a very very tender head and quite heavy hair. Usually as soon as my hair passed shoulder-length, I'd get some serious layering. I have never grown past BSL mostly because when it reached that length, it always felt heavy and I didn't know how to put it up without getting a migraine.

This time around with all the knowledge and good advice here, I'm confident about getting to at least waist without too much pain. At the minute I am APL with just slight layering and I do have some very bad days. A lot of the time my head hurts too much for pretty updos with my flexi-8s or my ficcare. I have only figured out after a lot of tries how to wear a ficcare without getting a bad headache, and I still sometimes somehow place it wrong.
Braids seem to be the only thing that works or a very very ridiculously high pony with a super soft scrunchy with hair spread out all around - though this is not ideal still.

Reading everyone's advice has made me realise I just really need to learn to french braid/dutch braid my hair, as it seems this could be the answer to my troubles.

July 25th, 2011, 04:00 PM
I do not get headaches from wearing my hair up but my scalp will get reall, really score and hurt. Washing my hair usually cures that and giving my scalp a break.

July 25th, 2011, 11:25 PM
My sister has really thick long hair and she gets headaches sometimes when she puts it up.

Me, too. I almost always wear my hair down.

I pull it up for work, as required, but I leave it down for as much of my shift as I can get away with. Even braids give me headaches - I used to think it was from being too tight, but I think I just have a really wuss of a scalp :o

July 26th, 2011, 03:32 AM
I was wondering if this is just an excuse that I told myself so that I had a decent excuse to cut my hair or does anyone else have this problem (never mind that i get headaches anyway in general, from lack of sleep, allergies, or just about anything else)

I have very thick curly/wurly hair that has to be pulled back tightly. I used to always do ponytails but this time around I am sticking to low english braids.

I have almost the same type of hair as you have, although i think mine is longer. Anyways, I suffer from hairstyle induced headaches quite often, and I've noticed that when i wear a bun it's when i'm more prone to those. I think it's because my hair being so thick it has a harder time to coil and twist, thus hurting my roots and then developing into a headache.

I've found that the longer my hair has gotten the headache issue has actually gotten better! I only feel how heavy it is when wet and when i ponytail it to make a low english braid. Distribuiting the hair the right way really makes a difference.
The answer lies in braids (i tend to favour Dutch over French because it *hate* the feel of hair at the nape of my neck) and braided buns :)

I love hairsticks and have an on-growing collection, but i've realised over the years that I sometimes tend to put then in the wrong place so now I sometimes prefer nice thick hair pins.

July 26th, 2011, 06:38 AM
I don't get headaches but my neck and shoulders feel extremely sore :( it happens more when I put my hair up, I don't experience that when my hair is down

July 26th, 2011, 09:49 AM
If I've already got a tension headache then I'll let my hair down, since the updo won't help - but I don't think it causes headaches.

July 26th, 2011, 10:42 AM
I find that if I get my bun placed in the wrong spot, it feels like a weight hanging off the back of my head. Ponies will sometimes give me that problem too. That's got to be the worst headache to get rid of for me too!