Where would we be without ponytails? Nowhere, that’s where. It’s our go-to hair style that saves our strands from looking totally terrible when we’ve overloaded on dry shampoo or been caught in the rain.
But, if you’re a fan of the updo we’re sure you’ve also suffered the dreaded headache that comes along with it.
You’re rocking a sky high slicked back pony, feeling super fresh – fast forward a few hours and your head is throbbing and you’re well on your way to getting a migraine.
Ugh. So what is it that makes tying your hair up on top of your head so painful. Well, Cosmo spoke to neurologist Dr. Denise E. Chou to try to get to the bottom of the pony pain.
The good news is, if you don’t already suffer from headaches or migraines you’re far less likely to suffer from them while you’re wearing a ponytail. The bad news is all you headache prone gals are in the firing range.
“Patients don’t realize they have a migraine because it’s often undiagnosed,” she says. “People with migraines end up suffering from hypersensitivity to the nerves around their face and scalp.”
“ When you wear your hair in a tight bun or ponytail, or a weave, or extensions, that will pull the nerves in the scalp. That pulling of the nerves will activate the sensory nerves even more, this can result in the headache itself.”
This is known as cutaneous allodynia, perceiving pain from something that isn’t actually causing any.
And if you’re one of the lucky guys out there who doesn’t get headaches, you could still be plagued with pony pain because of the strain to your nerves’ sensory endings. So what can you do about it?
Well, you don’t have to ditch the ponytails all together but try not to wear them every day, or rock a loose one instead.
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