View Full Version : painful roots after updo?

October 11th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Does this ever happen to anyone else?

I wore my hair in a relatively tight bun on top of my head yesterday. When I took it down (after about 12 hours), my hair hurt! The roots hurt as I ran my fingers through them & shook out the hair-style. The pain went away after my hair was down for awhile.

Does anyone know what causes this? I would imagine "painful roots" as a result of an updo would mean that I should definately not do that updo again! :rolleyes:


October 11th, 2004, 06:06 PM
It's usually just your follicles complaining after being pulled into a different configuration than they're used to. If you wear your hair in the same way all the time, then change to something else, it's not uncommon to get a sore scalp. That used to happen to me when I had one or two staple styles. Now that I rotate styles a bit more, my scalp is tougher.

October 11th, 2004, 06:09 PM
Check out these two threads and see if anything on them sounds like you.

and here's one from awhile back

Hope that helps.

October 12th, 2004, 06:55 AM
yeah, i do sometimes if i wear a high bun or ponytail.

October 12th, 2004, 08:10 AM
I get that even when my hair is down. Up, it's probably what DBF said, down it's probably just the extra weight thats making my scalp complain.

October 12th, 2004, 08:47 AM
I love that feeling. I know, I'm weird. It reminds me of when I was really little and had really long hair. I would wear it up at school and take it down when I got home and it felt sooooo good. :smile:

October 12th, 2004, 08:57 AM
I used to get this a lot when I was younger when my mom put my hair up. I don't think it happens very often now thankfully (at least as far as I can remember since starting to do up-do's in my hair)... I can't pull my hair very tight like she used to do so I think that's what my problem was then.

October 12th, 2004, 09:06 AM
...sounds like it may have been done a little too tight... :)

October 12th, 2004, 09:32 AM
What others have already said - either a bit too tight and/or your roots are not used to that particular style up.

I got that a lot when I started wearing my hair up on a more regular basis. It didn't matter what style - my scalp would hurt after a couple of hours. The solution for me was to gradually get used to updos. I'd wear it for half a day, take it down, then maybe redo in another updo later that day. Gradually extending the time I wore any updo until I could do it for the entire day.


October 12th, 2004, 11:18 AM
This is the main reason I rarely sleep with a high bun. (OK, that, and my kids think I look deliriously funny when I wake up. :lol: )

One thing that helps is to bend over and undo the bun with your head upside down. It won't hurt quite so much. Then (still bent over) gently massage your scalp where your bun was. That will help your follicles have less of an adjustment when you stand up.

HTH! :grin:

October 12th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Does this ever happen to anyone else?

Always, if I wear my hair up too high. I wear my bun at the base of my neck, so it deoesn't hurt when I take it down. If I wear it high, my scalp's terribly sore when I let it down.

October 12th, 2004, 12:27 PM
I get that a lot, but I find that if I place my palms flat on the temples and sides of my head and move them up and down in small moves before taking the style down, it helps release the tension. (Sort of like scalp massage, but not exactly)
Then, when I comb my hair out, I comb in small sections starting from the bottom
At last, I shake my head to let it fall naturally

Yes, I do my styles very tight and controlled or I get a head ache. I need to have all the hairs pulled tightly to distribute the weight of the up do and I need to keep the style tight or it becomes unstable and unbalanced

October 12th, 2004, 05:36 PM
That used to happen to me all the time, but it hasn't happened in years.

October 12th, 2004, 05:42 PM
Great advise...thanks everybody who posted! Such a strange feeling...unhappy roots! :rolleyes:

Definately won't wear a tight bun that high on my head anymore! Lesson learned!

October 12th, 2004, 05:45 PM
I have that problem every time I wear a ponytail. I love the way my hair looks in one but because of the pain I rarely wear that way.

October 12th, 2004, 05:50 PM
Ok, I'm sorry, I was just reminded of an old crush that use to say "MY hair HUUURTS!" in attempt, kidding though, to get out of PE.

Yeah, I'll shut up now and stop annoying everyone.

October 13th, 2004, 08:11 AM
This happens to me too, but I find that the more I wear my hair up, the less often it happens. It's like my hair gets more used to going up and down than if I always have it down.

heidi w.
October 14th, 2004, 08:34 AM
It is very common to have painful roots after an updo, particularly when creating an updo as you described, "in a relatively tight bun."

Also, in most cases, people draw the hair back away from the forehead hairline into a ponytail to create a given updo. This means that hair is being drawn up and in an opposite direction from the direction it would naturally lie in (off to one side and down towards the floor, typically). On top of this, pulling these hairs tightly can cause all kinds of strain; additionally, if the updo slides ever so little, this can then actually pull on the delicate hairline hairs which can lead to hair loss of perfectly good hairs well before their time. Essentially pulling these hairs for the better part of a day means that very slowly not only are the follicles being stressed, they're possibly even being pulled out (the hair, not the follicle).

Often after such severe updos, there may therefore be an increase in hair loss.

There's plenty you can do to avoid this.
1) don't draw the hair tightly (there is a phenomena known as ballerine hairline or something similar to that meaning if this is done for repetitively for a long enough duration, say 6 months or certainly years, the hairline's position or line can be greatly compromised)

2) once the hair is in the updo, take the palms and position them on either side of your head, above the temples, and press somewhat firmly down and forward, to ever so slightly relieve the strain of the pull on those hairs.

3) When holding the hair in a ponytail preparing for an updo, don't hold it smack dab against the skull. Allow the slightest bit of space so the hair at the front and sides can be more loose.

4) You could create the ponytail for an updo from an upside down position....especially if you want the bun very on top of the head. When drawing into a ponytail from an upside down position, it will tend to be looser at the circumference of the hairline, all round.

5) Instead of drawing the hair all back into the updo, part the hair on the side and then draw the hair back such that it still lies in its natural direction. The side part is attractive (asymmetry is always an interesting look, and delicate hairs will be a tad more protected. The hair does not go over the ears as in Victorian times; the hair does go above the ears but is more curved and therefore kind of swept back.) This will completely eliminate pull. This is a good practice to include perhaps twice a week in a week's worth of updos.

6) Be sure to vary the position of the updo on a daily basis including varying the positioning of the securing tools.

7) Massage the scalp in the evening once the hair is down. You can even do so during the coarse of the day. Lean forward, head between the knees and massage from front to back in a very gentle motion, not too vigorously so as to also pull on hairs, to encourage blood flow to the capillaries.

8) If tying off the ponytail before creating the updo, try to learn to skip this step. Not only will you avoid creating a line of demarcation if tying off essentially in the same place daily (no matter how hair friendly the tie is), the hair will be able to be moved during the day as mentioned in #2 if need be. If tying this ponytailed hair too tightly, this too can cause pull as far away as the hairline in front or sides.

9) Be sure to allow some "resting" time of the hair. That is, in the evening, take the updo down and allow the hair to relax in its normal position to release the stress on the roots. If you organize your hair for sleep, keep it fairly loose (no tight braids) and don't draw the hair back for a braid; instead, maintain the part so it has all night to relax.

Mostly, it's strongly advised in updo land to never make them too tight. It's a bit like creating shock at the roots, especially if the hair is not used to being drawn up back and away from its normal direction of growth.