What Is Tension Alopecia? (And How to Avoid It!)

You’ve probably heard of alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. However, did you know there’s a specific form of alopecia that you can cause yourself through bad hair health habits?

Tension (or traction) alopecia occurs when your hair follicles are pulled too tight and for too long. When this occurs, it causes hair loss. It is most commonly caused by very tight braids or cornrows, especially in fragile and already thinner hair types. Tension alopecia can also be caused by brushing your hair too roughly from root to end, or — yes! — from too-tight ponytails.

The Problem With The Celebrity Ponytails

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

 We were all obsessed with Ariana Grande’s insanely high-and-tight ponytail when she blew up on the music scene, and many girls tried to replicate it. It’s her signature look to this day, and while we love the vibe, if done wrong this high ponytail hairstyle can be extremely damaging to your roots and potentially lead to tension alopecia. 

Another celebrity who has been known for ultra-tight ponytail hairstyles is JLo, who now sells hair regrowth serum to combat the effects of such hair trends. Even celebs aren’t immune to the damage such hairstyles can cause if done incorrectly! 

Common Ways We Damage Our Hair

At PONY-O, we don’t think you should have to sacrifice your hair’s health for the sake of a trendy hairstyle, nor do we think you should need hair growth serums to restore hair after the fact! There are a few simple things you can do to avoid tension alopecia, chief among them is being mindful about the hair products you use.

Traditional elastic hair ties are among the worst things you can put in your hair, but they’re also one of the most common. Every girl has a drawer full of them in her bathroom or vanity (mostly because they’re always breaking or getting stretched out), and has experienced those frustrating moments trying to yank one out of their hair —and ripping some strands out along with it by mistake. 

Brooklyn little girl IG.mp4 from Nicol Harvie on Vimeo.

 Plus, in order to really get that tight high ponytail, you have to wrap the elastic around so tightly that it gives you a headache and makes your roots extremely sore by the end of the day. You might even need to use bobby pins, hairspray or other hair products to further secure the hairstyle, which is only adding to the damage and build-up on your already fragile roots.

Our Solution: The PONY-O!

Tension alopecia is one of the problems we’re on a mission to combat with our innovative hair product, the PONY-O!

PONY-O is completely damage-free, meaning it won’t pull your hair out when putting it in or taking it out. It also can hold the highest and tightest of ponytails secure without unnecessary tension, making your ponytails completely pain-free!

So yes, it is possible to replicate those famous celebrity ponytails without damaging your hair! All you need is a PONY-O! Take this quiz to find the right PONY-O for you, and start protecting your hair from tension alopecia right away.

Even More Tips for Avoiding Tension Alopecia

Other than the obvious benefits of swapping out damaging hair products for the PONY-O, here are a few other things you can do to keep your hair healthy and securely attached at the root:

  • Brush from the ends to the roots (NOT roots to ends!).
  • Use a wet brush or boar bristle brush, especially on fragile, wet hair.
  • Try a detangling product before brushing out, or at least condition thoroughly after every wash.
  • Experiment with different hairstyles, so your ponytail doesn’t always sit in the same spot.
  • Take a break from ponytails once in a while and let your hair down, or wear a relaxed braid instead. 

Ready to Rock a High Pony? 

Celebs like JLo and Ariana Grande have brought high ponytails back in a big way. While we love the look of high, tight ponytails, they can cause unnecessary damage to your hair and potentially lead to tension alopecia. 

If you love the look of a high ponytail, it’s time for you to start using PONY-O. It’s a damage-free hair product that will eliminate the need to use traditional hair ties. Even better, PONY-O makes it easier than ever to create a secure, non-damaging high ponytail in a matter of seconds! 

More Useful Hair Health Info: 

  • Damage-Free Heatless Hair Tutorials
  • How to Keep Your Ponytail Comfortable All Day
  • Why You Should Sleep With Your Hair Up