Hairstyles That Can Help Keep Migraines At Bay (Loose Styles Only, Pls)

If you've ever rocked a sleek updo, you've likely experienced the dreaded headache hair — the all-over ache of follicles straining against your scalp. Those with heavier, longer, and/or thicker hair may also experience pain simply from piling so much weight on top of their head. 

The experts at Medical News Today make it clear that this is a perfectly common, though incredibly annoying, problem. And although there are no serious known risks of a tight ponytail, they suggest loosening things up every once in a while to alleviate the pain. It's also worth noting that people who experience unbearable headaches from their hairstyles could have a different, diagnosable condition. Ponytail headache syndrome, for example, falls under allodynia, a condition where people experience a normal stimulus as incredibly painful, as per Michigan Medicine. The syndrome is especially common in people with fibromyalgia and can present as an oversensitive scalp. 

Whether your ponytails are rooted in a medical problem or simply in an affinity for tight 'tails, there's hope. Small changes in your go-to hairstyles or even hair products can help you rock updo trends while feeling healthier and confident. In other words, grab your softest scrunchies — it's low pony season. 

Try a loose pony up top

If you're not ready to abandon your pony, adjusting the tightness could help make it a more pain-free experience. Instead of brushing your hair back into a sleek look, you can carefully gather strands into a loose updo. After you finish, hairspray can be used to secure flyaways and still nail the sleek ponytail look. Swapping your typical hair elastics for coils or scrunchies can also help ensure your hair has the wiggle room it needs, as per the experts at MindBodyGreen

Try out segmented styles

If pulling your heavy hair into a single ponytail, braid, or bun is too much, try a more segmented style. Splitting your hair into different updos around your head will help evenly distribute its weight and the pulling on your scalp. The key for this style is to be gentle and allow for some slack as you comb your hair into sections. 

Get structure with braids

Some favor the high pony for its ability to keep hair out of the face. Whether you're facing a windy day or hoping to present at work without distraction, secured hair certainly has its benefits. For those avoiding a headache, however, a loosely braided look can keep all of your hair in place without too much pulling or weight on top of your head. The loose style reduces pain, according to the National Headache Institute, and can add unbeatable volume to your hair. 

Rock a low pony

For high pony loyalists, a low version might be out of the question — no matter how bad the headaches get. However, if you're ready to switch things up and avoid the pain, there are plenty of ways to make this classic, simple look incredibly stylish. A low pony can be flipped inside out or curled to instantly intrigue and add volume. Plus, accessories like ribbons or scrunchies can also be employed to elevate the style. 

Let your hair flow free

The way to create the least pressure on your hair is to let it flow freely. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to make this look incredibly stylish and thoughtful. While adding headbands and clips to the top of your scalp could create tension, tying in simple ribbons or keeping it out of your face with a bandanna is an easy way to elevate an otherwise simple creation.