Are Low Ponytails Healthy for Your Hair?

by Alex Haymes
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Are Low Ponytails Healthy for Your Hair?

Ponytails are one of the most popular and customizable hairstyles that you can wear. It's important to know of any potential damage that your favourite hairstyle might be causing, so in this blog, we dive into the safest ways to wear a low ponytail and discuss whether or not low ponytails are healthy for your hair. 

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From classic and sleek to cute and unkempt, the low ponytail can be one of the most versatile hairstyles. A range of looks can be created with the simple low pony, but we have to ask, are low ponytails healthy for your hair?

Worn for centuries, the ponytail is one of the most popular hairstyles. It's no secret that tying your hair into a ponytail too often can cause breakage. How much breakage is another question, however. This can depend on your hair type, the products and tools you use, how long you wear your ponytail, and the placement of the ponytail itself.

  • Is a low ponytail safer than a high ponytail?
  • Should I sleep with my hair in a low ponytail?
  • What is the safest way to wear a low ponytail?
  • Products to protect your ponytail
  • Tools to protect your ponytail
  • Accessories to protect your ponytail
  • How to make your low ponytail look good
  • So, what's the verdict?

Is a low ponytail safer than a high ponytail?

Wearing your hair tied back in any style too often can lead to hair damage, breakage, and tension on your scalp. In more severe cases, it can even lead to a receding hairline or traction alopecia.

High and tight ponytails are believed to be the worst offenders in causing breakage, and the stress they place on your hairline is more likely to lead to thinning hair or a receding hairline.

While the low ponytail is not a protective style and can still lead to breakage, wearing your hair in a low ponytail means less stress for your hair as there would be less pulling, minimizing the tension on your hair that leads to more severe damage. The low ponytail can also be worn looser, which means that there is less pressure on your scalp, and less pulling around the hairline.

Should I sleep with my hair in a low ponytail?

  • It's not the best choice to sleep with your hair in a ponytail, no matter the height. It's always a better option to sleep with your hair in a loose bun or plaited, instead.
  • Some people also opt for a heatless curls set to sleep in, which allows them to wake up with effortless, bouncy waves.
  • Never tie your hair back when it's still wet. This is when our hair is weakest and most prone to breakage.

What is the safest way to wear a low ponytail?

In an interview with Vogue India, celebrity hair and makeup artist Vibha Gusain said that the best option is a slick, low ponytail. This look can be created using some hair gel or oil to tame any wispy baby hairs at the front and gather your hair into a sleek ponytail at the nape of your neck. This look can be enhanced through the use of claw clips or detailed hair ties.

Products to protect your ponytail

Maybe you wear your hair in a ponytail most days, whether it be for work, going to the gym, or just because you like it! While the low ponytail is the healthier option, it's important to protect your ponytail to minimise and repair any potential damage.

  • Oils and masks can be a great way to nourish your hair and help protect or repair it from any damage. I'm personally a user of the OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Penetrating Hair Oil. I use it to hydrate and protect the ends of my hair before shampooing, or sometimes I use a very small amount to create a sleek pony or low bun during the day.
  • It's also important to make sure that you're using a shampoo and conditioner combo that works well for you and your hair type. I have quite fine hair which is prone to breakage, and I've recently been converted to the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair range.

Tools to Protect Your Ponytail

  • When sculpting your perfect low ponytail, it's important to make sure that you are using a brush or comb that is gentle on your hair, while being tough on any tangles. I like to opt for a wide-toothed hair comb for general detangling, and then for a gentle brush like a Tangle Teezer for sweeping my hair into position for the low ponytail.

Accessories to protect your ponytail

  • Another thing to be mindful of is what you use to put your hair into a ponytail. Elastic hair ties with metal on or inside them can pull on your hair, and cause more breakage than some of the alternatives out there.
  • There are of course products like Invisibobbles and Popbands which are a fun, gentler twist on the traditional hair band and can come in a variety of shades and sizes. Or, other soft hair tie options like scrunchies or hair ribbons are also a great way to enhance your simple ponytail and make it a bit more playful. I like to opt for a silk scrunchie where possible, as I find that they are gentler on my hair than others I've tried in the past, and they don't give me the dreaded ponytail headache.

IG:@nia.antonie wearing our Body Wave Ponytail

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How to make your low ponytail look good

Opting for a low ponytail doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice style. There are lots of different ways to style your low ponytail, as well as using different accessories and appliances to achieve your desired look and texture. Beyond manual styling, ponytail hair extensions are a great way to add length, thickness, and volume to your low pony.

At Stranded, we have a range of ponytail and bun extension pieces which could bring a little bit of extra oomph to your ponytail style. I'd personally recommend our Body Wave Ponytail, as it can add a touch of glamour to the most simple of styles.

So, what's the verdict?

Low ponytails are neither healthy nor unhealthy for your hair.

Yes, they allow you to put your hair in a simple yet stylish updo, while still minimising the tension on your scalp and breakage on your hair; but you mustn't wear your hair in any type of ponytail hairstyle too often.

While a low ponytail can reduce the amount of breakage and stress on your hair, pulling your hair away from your face and wearing it back too often can create damage.

It's essential to take good care of your hair and do what you can to protect your pony, without losing your desired look!

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