We at Human Hair Extensions Online admire a bouncy ponytail, especially a long and lustrous one. But pulling off this look so often can have drawbacks that could result to damaged locks over time.

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Our bodies tell us when something is off or not done right. If you are experiencing hair breakage or if your head doesn’t feel so good at the end of the day in a ponytail, you might be making these ponytail mistakes:

Brushing vigorously before pulling the hair up into a ponytail. Gently brush your hair before pulling into a ponytail, using your fingers to separate some of the knotted hair if any. Then continue brushing gently while gathering and pulling back into the desired tightness.

Pulling hair into a ponytail too tightly. Very tight ponytails, pigtails, and cornrows may lead to traction alopecia, or hair loss due to pulling. Besides, a ponytail that’s too tight is uncomfortable to move in. Another option to keep your hair away from your face is twisting it and securing with a hair claw.

Always wearing high ponytails. The higher the ponytail, the more strain on your hair follicles as your hair’s weight tugs at a bizarre angle. If possible, limit high ponies to when you really need that look. On other days, wear your ponytail no higher than the height of your ears. Or you can go for a low pony or bun at the nape of your neck, as it causes the least strain on your head and hair follicles. Wearing a ponytail that’s on the same spot every day also causes tension consistently on that spot, especially if your ponytail is tight. So if you always wear a medium-height ponytail, you can choose one day for that type of ponytail, and for other days, wear the pony in another position, like low and slung on one side.

Making ponytails your daily signature look. Always wearing a ponytail will highlight your face and gives off a youthful aura, but this could weaken your hair at the roots because of the weight of the strands. Have days where you let your hair loose. If you need to keep hair away from your face, alternate your ponytails with loose plaits or french braids to distribute the tension more evenly. Changing your hairstyle once in a while also gives you a fresh look.

Wearing a long ponytail while working out. This is not a mortal sin, and we can excuse you if you want to look pretty during your workouts, like when you exercise with a significant other. Other than that, use a topknot to keep hair away from your sweaty nape.

Not applying conditioner. Lack of hydration causes hair to become brittle, and you need strong hair to tie into a ponytail. If you are afraid conditioners will weigh down your hair, choose a lightweight formula instead of those formulated for extremely damaged hair. New York hairstylist Kevin Mancuso says that we should look for a conditioner that contains panthenol and glycerin, which keeps fragile hair strong and responsive to styling. Another golden rule in hair washing: Shampoo your hair roots, but not the ends. Condition your hair ends, but not the roots—especially if you have oily scalp.

Sleeping with a ponytail. Sleeping on your hair and using a cotton pillowcase could stress your hair due to friction, so you want to keep your hair on one side. However, pulling your hair into a ponytail overnight could be stressful to your roots. Gather your hair to one side or form into a loose braid. Switch your cotton pillowcase for a silk one.

Not bending your head back when you do your ponytail. Most girls look down when doing their ponytails so it will be easier on their arms, but doing this could cause “baggy hair” below your ponytail. Bend your head back when making your pony so it will feel taut when you look straight ahead.

Using the wrong hair accessories and ties. Rubber bands, most of which are not coated, are the worst. Use shiny elastic or scrunchy covered with soft or silky fabric to prevent friction between the elastic and your hair, and avoid using hair accessories that tug the hair too tightly or pinch at the scalp. Choose barrettes that do not bite at your hair shafts. If you have these adornments and they are really pretty, only use them on special occasions. Use ties that are metal free. The stretchier, the better so that it won’t break or strain your fingers. To view our Pony tail collection click here.