Tying Up Hair = Headaches!


(1)Pic: Woman suffering from a headache

Why do I always get a headache when I tie my hair up? I don’t even tie it up for long! I have even tried changing my hair ties to those that are made completely of soft elastic material, with no metal bits but this hasn’t helped!

To try and solve my dilemma, I conducted my own research to work out if this was a common issue, or whether its just me!

I couldn’t seem to find any real scientific research conducted that related to this (maybe a potential idea for my future PhD?), but a quick google search told me that I am not alone!


After reading many posts in forums, I’ve discovered some great suggestions from other sufferers to prevent these really frustrating headaches from flaring up:

–          People suggested that I must be tying my hair up too tightly – there is some belief that this may cause some sort of constriction to the blood flow to the brain, so the body sends a “pain” message to us via the headache. As I don’t tie my hair up too tightly, I do not think this is the case.

(2) Pic: Pony Tail - High up

–          Regardless of whether or not I tie my hair up, it might be the weight of my hair that is a problem. It is believed that if you have long hair (like me), your hair becomes quite heavy and this can result in a headache. This did not make any sense to me initially so another quick search cleared this up. It is suggested that heavy hair can pull on our sensitive hair follicles. This extra weight can stress our follicles, and cause some strain. The best way around this is to give yourself a massage to increase the blood flow to the follicles, or to simply cut your hair short. Someone wrote that as a child they had long heavy hair and always suffered from headaches. On the Dr’s request, the girls mum chopped off all her hair and the headaches disappeared! I’m fairly attached to my long locks, so I think I’ll opt for the massage!

–          Finally, someone suggested a lose bun or a French braid that would distribute the weight of my hair evenly. This may be the solution I was looking for!

(3) Pic: French Braid Alternative

–          I then read some information on a site that discussed that by eating certain ‘trigger foods’ such as processed foods, banana, chocolate and peanut butter, this can also increase the occurrence of headaches. So maybe it’s actually my love for chocolate more than the hair tie issue.

My solution:

So as a scientist, I’ll conduct my own research – no chocolate or tying my hair up for a week. We’ll see how long this lasts – and maybe this will shed some light on this issue!

1: (Source: http://crazygirlnation.com/2009/08/work-life-balance-workaholic-flow-headache/
2: (Source: http://lasthairmodels.com/2012/07/24/ponytails-age-old-way-to-tie-hair-and-style-it/)
3: (Source: http://www.hairstylesvane.com/french-braid-hairstyles/)

4 Responses to “Tying Up Hair = Headaches!”

  1. Tina Hosseini says:

    No problem Neha! Will let you guys know once I have a change -I think I may try and do it next week after assessments – then I won’t be eating as much junk to keep me going through assessments.

  2. Neha Patil says:

    Thanx tina. I always wanted a solution to the tight pony tail problem.
    And i would love to hear the result of ur research.

  3. Tina Hosseini says:

    Thanks Zoe! Yes – I’ve always had long hair too! So you still get the headaches with short hair? I’m starting to think some of us must be more susceptible based on other factors!
    Thanks for the tip – I think I know what you mean – if you could find a pic to post of that sort of hair style, that would be pretty useful!
    Since I’ve been busy with assessments, I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate, and my hair is currently in a tight bun – EXAM mode style, the headaches haven’t stopped..so I will commence the research on Monday!

    Hahaha for both our sakes – lets hope its not the chocolate 🙂

  4. zoe says:

    haha i thought i was the only one!

    i’ve had long hair most of my life and i completely understand the hair-tie headaches. even though i had long, thick hair, letting it out always seemed to help.

    i have to say that at the moment it is short (just above my shoulders) and still thick, and when i have it pulled up i still get the headaches. i think i do it too tight, but then loosening it pulls harder so it’s kind of a lose-lose in that department.

    braiding worked well for me (you’re right re: the weight distribution) – another thing that worked when it was long was … i think i might sound a bit weird here … but actually tying it in a knot at the nape of my neck then winding around that into a bun and tying it with a hair tie. it’s like the initial knot forced it to be the right amount of loose or something. anyway, that might have just been me.

    let us know how you go with the ‘research’ – if it works you might have to then do a week with chocolate and without the braid, then a week in reverse to see which factor affected the headaches.

    *** PLEASE be the braids!! i’ll cry if you say it was the chocolate 😛