Ponytails and Hair DamageQ: Hello! My boss recently told us we are required to wear our hair in ponytails at work because it looks more professional. I've always heard that wearing your hair in a ponytail was bad for your hair, and now that we have been doing it for over a month we are starting to see a difference in our hair. Is it our imagination or is it really not good for your hair to have it up in an elastic band all the time? Thank you for your time!
A: Any time you put your hair in a situation where the hair is under constant tension, you run the risk of damaging your hair. You should also try to avoid pulling the ponytail too tight, to minimize the amount of tension on the hair. The hair can become stretched and the cuticle layer can become distorted. In severe cases, you develop frizzy hair and breakage. In addition, some ponytail elastics can cause damage on their own, and only snag-free elastic bands (without metal connectors) should be used.
Better still, you should look for accessories like "scrunchies" which are usually covered in smooth fabrics that minimize the friction against the hair, and hold the hair more loosely.
You might also want to speak with your employer about other "professional-looking" style options. Perhaps he would be okay with your using a banana comb or putting your hair into a simple twist style or a braid of some type. I'm sure if you go to him and speak with him calmly and dispassionately about the problems the ponytail holders are causing with your hair, you can work out something that will appease both of you.
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