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This is how to prevent hair tie breakage, according to a pro

ponytail hair damage Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Javier Diez

May I present to you the ever-so-common hair versus workout dilemma: You want to keep your locks looking decent for your post-sweat sesh plans, but you also need them to stay out of your way as you slay your burpees.

The thing is, the tighter you make your ponytail, the more damage you could be causing your hair. Hair colorist guru Mark Debolt of Wella Professionals and Marie Robinson Salon can actually see the a ring of disturbance on women’s hair right where they tie it up (uh-oh).

“Hair ties can cause breakage,” he says. “When I stand behind my client, the breakage from ponytails makes a ‘U-shape’ around the head because of where the tension of the hair tie rubs and causes friction.” Bad news to workout devotees who’ve been rocking the high-pony.

“The breakage from ponytails makes a ‘U-shape’ around the head because of where the tension of the hair tie rubs.”

If it’s hard for you to picture, think of it this way: Debolt likens the breakage to the equator, running horizontally around your head. “On the globe, the line of the tight rubber band from tight ponytails is the equator,” he says, speaking of how hair looks when it’s taken down from the band after having been stressed.

The issue stems from the fact that your hair tie goes in a very delicate place when you’re rocking a high pony (which is such a common style during spin class or boot camp or any other workout of choice). “The hairs that touch the ponytail holder are from the front hairline and throughout the crown,” explains Debolt. “These are more fragile hairs to begin with, and are usually the most colored, highlighted, and also the most styled—therefore even more prone to sensitivity and damage.”

So women who aren’t rocking the short lob face a conundrum: How can you keep your hair off of your face, without damaging your tresses?

Debolt says the key is in the tie itself. “The best way to avoid is to use a looser tie,” he says. “I recommend a ribbon hair tie or a scrunchie coupled with a headband to keep baby hairs off of your face. I also love hair screws—they’re incredible.” Basically, you should use this as an excuse to test out all the on-trend hair ties, because they could be better for your hair. Très chic.

It’ll also help to use a hair mask *during* your workout. When your sweat sesh is over, this is the proper way to comb your hair, according to your texture.