In the world of beauty and fashion, there’s an old saying I could never really wrap my head around: “pain is beauty.” It looks like singer Ariana Grande, with her high ponytail, can relate.
Personally I wish I could afford to pay someone to wear out a new pair of jeans for me so I don’t have to go through the humiliation of squeezing my ginormous gams into them for a couple of days just to make them wearable. Let’s just say I dread the day after laundry day.
It all started when Camila joked online about trying out a high ponytail for the first time. I always wondered what that look felt like but thanks to the “Havana” singer’s vivid description, I now no longer have to.
PULLING. ON. MY. BRAIN. Why would anyone want to walk around feeling like that? Sure, the look works for some people if they’ve got the face for it, but why would anyone in the world put themselves through that kind of misery — especially if they have a ton of hair?
It’s a burning question Camila wanted answered, so she tagged Ariana in the tweet. When it comes to high ponies, Ariana’s been proudly rocking the look for a long, long time, so she’s the authority.
Now here’s the best part: Ariana actually responded.
If you’ve ever worked out for extended periods of time, you know that your body gets acclimated to the level of stress you put on your body. You eventually can run longer and lift heavier weights or do more reps.
But Ariana’s response to Camila’s tweet shows the scalp doesn’t work like, let’s say, your biceps or back muscles. It doesn’t get used to the “brain pulling” feeling, unfortunately. The more you’ve got that ponytail, the more pain you’re in, plain and simple.
The two singers had a little back-and-forth on Twitter about the hairstyle: Ariana joked that she was completely numb to any pain and Camila swore she would never try the high ponytail look again.
In fact, you could also potentially develop “tension alopecia” as a result of keeping a high ponytail for too long. The severity of your high-ponytail problems are, however, dependent on your scalp’s sensitivity.
Dr. Wade Cooper, a headache neurologist, dished out the health risks associated with high-ponytails in an interview with Fox 2:
“We know some people have more sensitive nerve endings in their scalps than other people. And if those folks are wearing a tight hairstyle and a ponytail, that’s going to induce an achiness after the hairstyle is released.”
“That’s going to signal to us that their nerves are triggering underlying brain sensitivity that we see more commonly in people with migraines or other pain syndromes.”
So if you’ve been getting constant headaches and can’t seem to find the root cause of it and you’re sporting the high-ponytail look, it might be in your best interest to let those locks loose.
High ponytails aren’t the only hairstyle culprit when it comes to hair pain. The same “tightness=scalp pain” logic applies to hairstyles like braids, especially those tied closely to the scalp.
Man-buns are another hairstyle that can result in headaches and traction alopecia. Just like high ponytails, the constant pulling can cause hair follicles to separate from the scalp, especially in men with thicker, heavier hair.
Updos can be painful as well, but for a lot of people who rock them for extended periods of time, the weight of having their hair fall in a different location doesn’t necessarily focus pain on the scalp, but could affect one’s neck and shoulders.
Like anyone who loves rocking high heels will tell you, sometimes looking “good” or attaining a certain aesthetic can be super painful. Just make sure you know how much you’re willing to put up with when trying out a new look before you cause some serious damage to yourself.
Now excuse me while I browse Craigslist offers for “thick mannequins” so I can finally have something wear out my jeans before I slide them on, because I’m definitely not about that pain is beauty life. Unless we’re talking about binge-eating discount Halloween candy. Then I’m all over it.