headache with hair in a ponytail?

Old Feb 3, 12, 10:54 am
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headache with hair in a ponytail?

I have long hair--almost long enough that I can have it chopped for Locks of Love again, I'd guess.

I've noticed that when I pull it back into a ponytail (or even a bun), after a few hours, I start to get a headache. Does this happen to anyone else? Any suggestions on how to avoid it or solutions so it stops, besides taking Advil or something similar?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:10 am
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Take it out of the pony tail. Or loosen the pony tail. I occasionally get a mild ache when my hair is in a pony tail, & those 2 things usually work for me. Usually the loosening one if I still want to keep it in a pony tail/out of the way. Just me, but the idea of taking Advil, etc, for a headache caused by pulling my hair back seems to be solving the symptom & not the problem. Good luck!

Cheers.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:20 am
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I'm thinking that if your hair is very long and very thick, it may also be fairly heavy and causing some strain on your neck that could manifest as a headache. If you're not willing to cut it a lot shorter, maybe just consider having some layers cut so it's not so dense overall.

Last edited by fortunecooki; Feb 3, 12 at 12:59 pm
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:42 am
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I had very long thick hair for years and it caused me headaches anyway I wore it, but a pony tail made it worse. The lower the pony tail the less strain I found. A not-too-tight french braid is good too, pretty much anything that brings the weight down lower on your head is better.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Take it out of the pony tail. Or loosen the pony tail. I occasionally get a mild ache when my hair is in a pony tail, & those 2 things usually work for me. Usually the loosening one if I still want to keep it in a pony tail/out of the way. Just me, but the idea of taking Advil, etc, for a headache caused by pulling my hair back seems to be solving the symptom & not the problem. Good luck!

Cheers.
It probably is solving the symptom. My hair can be pretty unruly with static some days if not pulled back somehow.
Originally Posted by fortunecooki View Post
I'm thinking that if your hair is very long and very thick, it may also be fairly heavy and causing some strain on your neck that could manifest as a headache. If you're not willing to cut it a lot shorter, maybe just consider having some layers cut so its not so dense overall.
I'm probably going to cut it once it's long enough for Locks of Love. I would guess I'm almost there.
Originally Posted by VickiSoCal View Post
I had very long thick hair for years and it caused me headaches anyway I wore it, but a pony tail made it worse. The lower the pony tail the less strain I found. A not-too-tight french braid is good too, pretty much anything that brings the weight down lower on your head is better.
Thanks! I'll try that.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 2:18 pm
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Untreandy tho they are, the cloth scrunchies seem to hold a less tight pony tail / bun than elastics.

I also have a velvet 'bun tie' that you thread the hair through and twist, that is great, but I bought mine at least 10 years ago, no idea if / where stocks them.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I have long hair ... Does this happen to anyone else?
Yes, sometimes it happens to me. I find that it happens more often when I'm tired and stressed than normal as I put my hair up almost all the time but rarely get headaches.

Depending on my situation at the time I either
  1. loosen my updo
  2. take down my hair altogether
  3. take ibuprofen

based on what is most appropriate at the time. For example if my ballerina bun is giving me a headache but I am about to perform The Dance of the Sugar Plum Faerie, then I take meds, but if I'm on an overnight flight I'll go ahead and take my hair down and pop into a ladies room to put it up on landing.

Hope it helps. There's no magic bullet, but you aren't alone.

-J-
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Old Feb 5, 12, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by VickiSoCal View Post
I had very long thick hair for years and it caused me headaches anyway I wore it, but a pony tail made it worse. The lower the pony tail the less strain I found. A not-too-tight french braid is good too, pretty much anything that brings the weight down lower on your head is better.
+1 on all counts. The French braid works great. It's not all over my face that way. emma69's suggestion of a cloth scrunchy is good too. They bother me less. I have very thick hair but it isn't that long and it still kills. Sometimes I just have to let it loose for a while.

Bobette
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Old Feb 5, 12, 5:23 pm
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My hair is extremely long. I do a ballerina bun for serious work situations and a pony tail most of the rest of the time.

If I do a different sort of bun my hair hurts....my head hurts.

I sleep with it in a long braid which avoids the rat's nest problem.
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Old Feb 6, 12, 12:21 am
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Long hair. Check.

Headache sometimes from ponytail. Check.

Loosening it up helps. Check.

Ponytail or braid helps avoid the "rat's nest" problem at night or when wearing sweaters/jumpers. Check.

I find that when I do get the "ponytail headache", a scalp massage helps to get rid of it.

I have a couple of those velvet "bun tie" deals as well. Haven't used them for ages. Thanks for reminding me!
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Old Feb 6, 12, 6:32 am
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I think I need to find some of those velvet bun ties and see if those help!
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Old Feb 6, 12, 8:58 am
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Back when I had elbow length hair, I used to wear a lot of hoodies (obviously not at work) and after tying all the hair back in a loose and low ponytail, I would toss it into the hoodie.

For work, it would be a french braid or a french braid based low bun at the base of my neck.

I donated to locks of love twice and now everytime I have a bad headache, I keep on thinking of cutting my hair even though it's nowhere near the length it used to be.
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Old Feb 6, 12, 9:37 am
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Another problem for those who make a habit
of pulling hair tightly back in a ponytail or bun
can be breakage at the hairline. If it hurts, it probably isn't good for you . Just sayin.
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Old Feb 6, 12, 8:06 pm
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I had the same experience when I had long hair. The solution for me was either to let my hair loose or do a Gibson Girl bun (loose bun way on top of the head), so that the weight of the bun wasn't pulling my hair straight back from my forehead.
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Old Feb 7, 12, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I have long hair--almost long enough that I can have it chopped for Locks of Love again, I'd guess.
First off, applause all the way around for your gift to Locks of Love. What an unselfish and caring thing to do. Many can write a check; you give directly from yourself.

It sounds like you've got thick & lustrous hair. Perhaps don't pull your hair so tightly into an elastic band? Perhaps try a wider hair band that may not pull so much on your hair? What if you braided it and put the hairband at the bottom. Maybe use a big hair clip instead of an elastic hair band. Just some ideas.
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