Elastic headbands are one of the best hair styling tools that you can keep on hand. They are perfect for slipping easily on and off when you need to get those wispy hairs out of your face.
However, wearing an elastic band too often is bad for your hair and can lead to some serious damage. This is especially true if you are actively trying to grow your hair.
Before you panic, there are ways to reduce the amount of damage by wearing an elastic headband. Here is everything we learned:
Can Elastic Be Bad for Your Hair?
For decades, elastic has been at the forefront regarding staying your hair.
Whether it is an elastic headband or tight elastic hairbands, when worn too often, it can be pretty bad for your hair. The main feature of elastics is that they stretch and shrink to grip your hair tight.
However, when the grip on your hair is too tight, it puts too much stress on your hair and scalp. An elastic hairband is just a glorified rubber band covered in soft fabric, so it doesn’t get caught in your hair.
While elastic bands are much better than just using a rubber band, they still can do great damage.
The first thing you may notice from using an elastic band or headband often is that you will lose more hair than before. Losing strands of hair while washing is very common, so don’t freak out.
These are just the hairs that naturally fall out and loosen up by washing your hair. You may notice that you are losing more strands than usual in the shower.
If you find that your hair is falling out or thinning, you should take a look at how you wear elastic in your hair.
If you are using elastic hairbands to keep your hair up, you could be putting too much tension on your roots and scalp, which will not only slow hair growth but can lead to some hair loss.
If you use an elastic headband, perhaps you are wearing it too often, which will not allow your scalp to breathe and will also create dangerous friction.
Can Elastic Headbands Cause Hair Thinning or Loss?
As mentioned before, elastic headbands can cause damage to your hair, especially when it comes to increased hair thinning and loss.
We took a deep dive into why elastic headbands can cause havoc on your hair, and here is what we found out.
The main reason why an elastic headband can cause your sudden hair thinning is because of the friction it creates on your scalp. It is the same theory behind anything worn on the head, like scarves and hats.
While elastic headbands do a fairly good job of staying in place, they are not completely stagnant. They shift and move back and forth a little bit, especially if you wear them during any strenuous activity.
Even the smallest amount of movement will cause friction on your scalp.
We get the same effect from rubbing a balloon back and forth on our heads. It creates static electricity, and while it is fun to play with, it can damage your locks.
This friction can cause your hair to break off right at the scalp, which is one of the reasons you may be seeing an increase in loose strands in the shower.
Can Elastic Headbands Make Your Hair Greasy?
While some people like to wear headbands almost daily, some choose to wear elastic headbands for a specific reason. This is to cover up that 4-day-old hair that has turned into a greasy mess at the roots.
Sweat and environmental debris get trapped in our hair every time we leave the house or even run our fingers through our hair.
Most of this debris will blow away with the wind, but there are always some leftovers deposited in your hair, which makes it greasy. Also, grease can be a direct result of the product building up on your hair if you use hair products.
When you cover up this part of your hair with a headband, you are actually trapping the grease in your hair and redepositing it into the shaft of your hair instead of letting it naturally blow away.
Over time, this will make your hair even greaser than before, which will make you have to wash your hair sooner than you expected.
Unless you are wearing a headband specifically designed to wick away moisture, you are just allowing all of your sweat to pool right onto your scalp.
Elastic headbands are not meant to wick away moisture; instead, they do the opposite by absorbing sweat that will eventually find its way into your roots.
Should You Wear Tight or Loose Headbands?
The truth is, whether a headband is tight or loose, there will still be some damage. However, a loose headband has less risk than a tighter one.
The main reason for this is that while both loose and tight headbands can lead to hair loss, a tight headband also has some other side effects that are not very pleasant.
Most notably, a headband that is too tight can cause a series of painful headaches called compression headaches. This is due to the amount of pressure put on your head, which is why you may get a headache after wearing your headband all day.
Also, with a too-tight headband, you may get tension headaches. These headaches mainly affect your neck and shoulders and make it difficult to complete daily tasks.
This is not the case with a looser headband because you are not putting the same amount of pressure on your head.
However, a looser headband will not stay in place as well as a tighter one. This means that the headband is more likely to move around, which will only increase the amount of friction on your head.
As mentioned, friction can cause hair loss. So, which is better?
A looser headband is better for your overall scalp and health but isn’t the best solution.
What Headbands are Best for Your Hair?
If you want to reduce the amount of hair loss caused by friction on your scalp, I would advise avoiding wearing elastic headbands altogether.
However, at the very least, you should limit the number of times you wear it throughout the week.
Thin plastic headbands are a great alternative for helping to keep that hair out of our face. The biggest complaint is that they slide around too much and are not comfortable enough to wear all day.
This is why I suggest wearing an elastic-plastic hybrid headband. These thin plastic headbands feature an elastic band that goes around the back of your head.
The elastic helps to hold the headband in place, while the thin band will not cause too much friction and will also allow your scalp to breathe. However, limiting the amount of time you wear one is still suggested because the elastic band can cause compression problems.
Lastly, it is recommended that you wear a plastic or metal headband that features a grip on the inside. This can be either a small comb or a rubber-gripped backing that will keep the headband in place without needing an elastic band.
This will reduce friction and be comfortable enough to wear all day without adding extra pressure to your neck and shoulders.
While there are plenty of perks of wearing an elastic headband, doing so too regularly is pretty bad overall for your hair.
Just remember that almost everything is okay in moderation, even when it comes to the beautifully weird world of fashion and trends.
So, if you love your elastic headband and are not ready to trade it in for a different style, go on and keep wearing it. Remember that the longer you wear it, the more you risk problems like hair loss.