How to beat the high ponytail headache

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Nothing screams “I am about to get sh*t done” quite like a woman pulling her hair back into a high ponytail.

Practicality aside, the high pony can create the illusion of lifted cheekbones, elevated brows and tighter skin. In fact, the ‘ponytail lift’ is a real procedure, popular amongst cosmetic surgeons that claim to take seven years off your life.

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However, for those wanting to create this natural facelift with nothing but a trusty hair elastic, you may find yourself suffering from a nasty external compression headache. AKA a headache caused by something on the outside of your head, similar to if you were wearing a tight hat or headscarf. 

Image credit: Getty

If this is the case, we have the answers.

So the next time you need a high pony to hide your day three dirty hair, get through a sweaty workout, or to compliment a statement lip, here’s how to achieve it sans pain:

1. Don’t leave it up longer than required

If you are committed to rocking this style, but are prone to headaches, try not to whip the hair back for longer than necessary.

Make your hair the last part of your glam routine, and remember to take it out once you’re home.

2. Swap out elastic bands for coils

Unlike regular elastic hair ties, coiled ones won’t tug at your hair or create any extra pressure by pulling certain strands more tightly than others.

They’re designed to balance out the pressure of your ponytail, with the specific intention to stop headaches.

bh recommends: Lady Jayne Style Guards™

3. Bobby pin the excess

Bring in the help of bobby pins to keep all the pieces of your hair off your face, without having to scrape it too severely into the elastic.

Start by brushing your hair gently back into a pony. Tie what you can into the elastic at a pressure that is comfortable for you, and anything that won’t go with it can be pinned back after.

bh recommends: Rock & Ruddle Boar Bristle Acorns & Butterflies Brush and Lady Jayne Bobby Pins

4. Fake it with hairspray

Another hack for a slicked-back look without putting all the pressure on your pony is to utilise hairspray. Using a clean, unused toothbrush, spray the bristles and use it to comb down hairs that don’t fit in the elastic, as well as smoothing flyaways.

bh recommends: JUSTICE Professional Firm Hold Hairspray

5. Give your hair a chop

Shorter hair means a lighter ponytail, which means less pressure on the scalp. Simples.

Image credit: Getty

Main image credit: Getty

Do you ever get headaches while wearing a ponytail? Have you got any tips to beating them?

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Share your thoughts

Comments 70

  1. A pony tail is always easy. I always had my hair in a pony tail when I went shopping, mainly to stop me touching my face to get the hair away because of Covid-19. Using a soft hair elastic or even the old fashioned scrunchie allows the hair to be up loose which minimises the pull. Also I heard hears ago that having a tight pony tail stretches the skin and you will end up with wrinkles when you get older. ha ha It will take a few years to prove that theory right or wrong. I do agree to let your hair loose as often as possible though.

  2. I often wear my hair in a high ponytail but it never gives me the illusion of lifted cheekbones, elevated brows and tighter skin; especially at my age (I’m in my fifties).

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  4. sorry bettina I dont but you can see it for yourself in action on the models and backstage hair ideas on the ghd website if you click into their special link they have about hair tips, top hair stylists for backstage work on the models hair etc. It was quite fun to watch!!

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