Why Does Wearing a Ponytail for a Long Time Cause Pain in the Scalp?

The headache or scalp pain that occurs when wearing a ponytail for an extended period of time is due to tension being placed on the area surrounding the location of the ponytail on the head. This pain can be reduced or avoided by tying the ponytail more loosely on the head, by not wearing ponytails for too long or too often, or by simply taking the ponytail down and allowing the hair to fall naturally.

If a person, such as a cook, athlete, or other professional, is required to wear a ponytail for an extended period of time and experiences discomfort at the site of the ponytail, there are multiple ways to alleviate the pain.

  1. The scalp can be massaged gently with the fingers once the hair is let down. This helps to stimulate the blood flow around the area and relieve any underlying tension below the skin.
  2. The ponytail should not be tied too tightly. Once the hair is tied, the hair band should be pulled 1 to 2 inches away from the scalp to ensure the tendons, muscles, and skin are not withstanding excess pressure and pulling.
  3. Ponytails should be avoided when wearing one is not necessary. Often, people who are required to wear ponytails during certain times of the day can avoid long-term headaches and scalp pain by allowing the hair to fall naturally throughout the rest of the day and evening or alternating hair styles.