Have you ever felt your hair hurt? If you've experienced it you are probably nodding your head enthusiastically right now, but if not here's what that really means.
Imagine you have your hair in a ponytail all day. After a few hours you usually start to feel every hair tugging from your head and eventually it becomes super painful. It's pretty terrible, and when you go to take the ponytail out it feels even more sensitive! You just can't win! There is actually a very simple reason for that.
According to Dr. Angela Lamb of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice its because "hair follicles are some of the first receptors of feeling. Your hair is a whole component of your nervous system, so when you pull it up that puts pressure on the nerve endings that are at the root of the follicle. When you do that over time, they get sore."
Even after we take our hair out of the ponytails it can still be sore! Seems a bit unfair, but dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu says that "the nerve endings get used to the hair being in that directions. Then when you take your hair down, the nerve endings get stimulated again, so your scalp feels more sensitive."
The thing is, a lot of us ignore this and chalk it up to the whole beauty is pain myth, but it is actually not the best thing to do all the time. People who are experiencing this a lot can actually be putting themselves at risk for permanent hair loss!
Dr. Lamb explains that pulling your hair up too often can "put you at risk for something we call traction alopecia: Hair loss literally just from pulling up, stress and tension on the hair."
It's important that you take care of your hair if you don't want to lose it! To make sure you don't end up with traction alopecia, you don't have to avoid ponytails and other styles completely, just be aware of how your scalp feels and try not to do them every day.
Don't forget to let your hair down! It's good for you!