Are Hair Ties Really Bad For Your Hair?

by Lindsey Rose Black

Whether it's the end of a long work day or the beginning of a hard work out, reaching for a hair tie seems like the only option for your tresses. But are hair ties really bad for your hair? Yes and no. While all hair ties inevitably pull on your hair and can create breakage, giving up hair ties completely seems out of the question. What you can do, though, is figure out the least damaging ones to purchase, and learn when to definitely not wear them. There's hope for us all!

First, let's talk hair ties themselves. No matter how convenient they are to use, a rubber band is not a hair tie. It pulls your hair too aggressively, causing breakage. Highlighting the horror of repeated breakage from improper hair ties (such as rubber bands), Don Bewley, co-founder of Eufora International, told Style Caster, "Think of it like tires on a car — wear and tear will lead you to balding.” Oh god.

Instead of rubber bands or hair ties with any sort of metal clasp (yeah, I'm looking at the one on your wrist right now), consider using ones that are loose and smooth. She Knows and Yahoo suggest seamless elastic hair ties, and even scrunchies if you're game for a 90s throwback vibe. (Try out these 6 ways to style a scrunchie in 2015!)

Below are three of my favorite gentler hair tie options to prevent damage.

1. Emi-Jay Hair Ties

Emi-Jay Hair Ties, $12, Amazon

Emi-Jay has the smooth, seamless hair tie on lockdown. And they come in just about a zillion colors

2. Scrunchies

As mentioned above, scrunchies are a cute way to keep your hair safe and breakage-free! I'm loving this built-in bow version.

3. Rainbow Hair Elastics

Hair Elastics (100pc), $11, Amazon

Yeah, these are from the kids section. I don't even care. They're like baby scrunchies and perfect for a loose, messy bun.

Now that you've got the right hair tie, there's still some ground rules you should know to avoid damage. I promise they're easy to follow!

1. Change Up Your Style

Wear a half-up top knot every single day in the same place? Bad idea. To avoid repeatedly weakening the same hair shafts, You Beauty suggests frequently changing up the location of your hair tie. Try rocking a cute braid or a low, loose chignon.

2. Sleep With Hair Down

Marie Claire says wearing your hair up to bed is a definite no-no, because tossing and turning during sleep adds even more friction to your already-tugged strands. Yowza.

3. Don't Tie Up Wet Hair

As tempting as it is to pop wet hair up into a knot, She Knows encourages you to resist the urge. If you've got to get it out of your face, opt for a hair scarf that won't snag your hair.

Image Credit: ; Nordstrom, Macy, H&M; jesi, Annemiek van der Kuil/Flickr