Are Headbands Supposed To Be Tight Or Loose? (Solved)

A headband isn’t only a great accessory meant to elevate your look.  It can also make life a little easier for you.

Whether you want to hide your 5-day hair or are looking to get those pesky bangs out of your face, a headband is a great option.

So, are headbands supposed to be tight or loose? The truth is, headbands should be somewhere in between.

You don’t want the headband to be tight and don’t want it to be loose.

Why Tight Headbands are Harmful:

You want to find the best of both worlds when finding the perfect headband. A tight headband can cause some health problems. You can experience headaches or even hair loss with a headband that is too tight. You can also experience back pain or strained nerves.

Can Tight Headbands Cause Pain?

A headband that is too tight can cause serious neck pain, leading to overall body discomfort. This is more common with headbands that are made to stretch around your entire head.

These elastic band-style headbands stretch over the base of your neck. If the band is too tight, it can cramp or even pinch a nerve in your neck.

There are few things worse than a pinched nerve. This can completely change the way you feel.

So, how do you know if your headband is too tight where it may be hurting your neck? Trust me, you will feel it!

If you feel pain when turning your head, it is possible that your headband has tweaked a nerve. Over time, you may also find that this can lead to back pain.

Since your neck isn’t fully functioning and turning correctly, you are putting more pressure on your back.

A loose headband won’t cause any pain but can certainly cause discomfort. A loose headband is more likely to slip out of place.

Imagine being in the big game and going to that goal only to find your headband slips over your eyes, making you miss the perfect shot. This is why it is important to find something in between.

Are Tight or Loose Headbands Better For Your Hair?

When discussing what is best for your hair, understand that we are talking about your overall scalp health.

People often don’t think about the health of their scalp, even though poor scalp health comes with a long list of problems. A headband that is too tight is not good for your scalp health.

However, neither is a loose one.

Tight Headbands:

A tight headband will rest on the crown of your scalp if it is too tight.

This can cause your hair to stop growing and even fall out. When the band is too tight on the roots, the airflow to your scalp is cut off.

Another common damage when a headband is too tight is that your hair falls out. However, this doesn’t happen as dramatically as you see in the movies. It may only be visible as a strand at a time.

Increased hair loss can be due to the extra friction on your scalp. A headband that is too tight causes friction that can break your hair at the root.

Loose Headbands:

Loose headbands are not innocent either.

A loose headband will move back and forth on your scalp with every step.

Like tight headbands, this will also cause a great amount of friction. However, the hair loss won’t be as quick or evident as with a tight headband. You will see that you are losing more strands of hair over time.

So, technically, loose headbands are better for your hair and scalp health. Finding a compromise between the two is the best way to protect your scalp.

Can Tight Headbands Cause Headaches?

As mentioned earlier, a tight headband can cause a bad headache. 

A headache started by a large amount of pressure on your head, like the pressure caused by a tight headband, is called a compression headache. This is because there is an excess amount of compression on your head.

There are several different types of compression headaches that have many different causes. A compression headache caused by a headband is considered an external compression headache.

This is because compression headaches can be caused by a foreign object or something within your body that is causing the pressure.

Along with compression headaches, a headband that is too tight can also cause tension headaches. This all goes back to the amount of strain that a tight headband causes on your neck.

When the muscles in your neck are strained, it causes tension in your head, leading to a tension headache.

To avoid any headaches or discomfort when wearing a headband, make sure to take it off sometimes. Try to limit the time you wear an elastic headband and take it off throughout the day to relieve tension in your neck and let your scalp breathe.

Do Loose Headbands Fall off a Lot?

A loose headband falling off is one of the biggest complaints that people who wear headbands have.

This is one of the main reasons why people prefer to wear tight headbands over loose ones. The inconvenience of having to fix your headband often throughout the day sometimes outweighs knowing that you will have to deal with a headache.

Most of the time, a loose headband will sit perfectly on top of your head. The most common types of these headbands are “half bands” that don’t stretch the whole way around your head.

While this offers more comfort for your neck and most likely will not result in a compression headache, there is still some grief.

The biggest complaint people have about these types of headbands that are loose is that they fall off. However, they mostly fall off during increased movement like exercise.

So, if you are trying to keep your bangs out of your face while you work out, perhaps try an elastic headband since you won’t need to wear it all day.

What Headbands are Most Comfortable?

If you like headbands that wrap your whole head, the most comfortable ones to wear are those that tie off at the base of your head. This way, you can still get the look of a full wrapped headband without the extra pressure.

With a tie-off, you can decide how tight or loose your headband is.

One thing people don’t talk about is the size of their heads. These headbands are especially perfect for those with a larger head.

If you like the half-moon style but don’t want it to slide and slip off your head every time you move, try using a headband with a built-in grip. You can find headbands that have either a rubber grip on the inside or even a small comb.

This way, you can place the headband exactly where you want it to on your head without worrying about sliding. Best of all, since it is a half-band style, you won’t have to worry about compression headaches from the headband being too tight.

Final Thoughts

The age-old saying that “pain is beauty” must have been written by someone who loves to wear headbands.

These days there are so many alternative solutions that you don’t have to deal with the frustration that comes along with wearing a headband.

You don’t have to deal with painful headaches or discouraging hair loss if you find the right headband for your needs and your head shape.

Fashion should be a tool in your toolkit and not a burden.

Reference Links:

Compression Headache Symptoms and Causes 

The Scalp Tension Theory Of Hair Loss