Better Homes & Gardens July 29, 2020

Better Homes & Gardens


4 Tips for Wearing a Ponytail Without Tearing Out Your Hair


Keep your 'do damage-free with these expert recommendations.

The ponytail is a classic hairstyle that both men and women rock regularly. Although this 'do has been around since ancient Greece, it's been updated throughout the years and works for a variety of occasions, including a sweaty workout, a work meeting, or even a virtual happy hour. If you're someone who often throws their hair up, you might be having some breakage issues, especially if you have finer strands. No, you don't have to stop wearing your hair in a pony, but there are a few things you can do to prevent breaking, tearing, or hair loss. Here's how to keep your ponytail damage-free, according to two top hairstylists.

1. Upgrade Your Hair Tye

Sorry, it's time to toss out that pack of elastics and get some new hair ties. Michaeline Becker, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist, likes spiral hair ties ($8, Sephora) or velvet scrunchies ($9, Ulta) as they prevent damage to your hair. "They do not grip hair as tightly in one spot, so removing them is a much gentler process," she explains. "They're also a lot softer (especially a fabric scrunchie), so there is less friction to the hair cuticle. That means you get less strain, pulling, and breakage."

2. Change Up Your Style

You probably have a particular place on your head where you place your pony, but you should move it around as much as possible. "When the hair is repeatedly put in the same spot, there tends to be wear and tear," says Jenna Spino, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. For example, if you wear a high ponytail one day, the next time you put your hair up, place it lower on your head.

3. Don't Sleep With Your Hair Up

Going to bed with your hair tied up can keep you cool, especially in the summer, but it's not good for your tresses. "Hair in a ponytail can be pulled and stressed as you move against your pillow, causing breakage," Becker explains. If you need a sleep-proof style, Becker suggests trying loose braids instead.

4. Never Put Your Hair in a Pony While It's Wet

If you often put your hair in a ponytail right after you shower, you'll want to try and cut that habit "Hair is more fragile when wet, so it's best to make sure that hair is completely dry before throwing it up in a pony," Becker explains. If you absolutely must put up damp hair, a bun will work.