A: The causal factor of pain after you've worn your hair pinned up or in a ponytail is simply “tension on the hair,” says Diana Hermann, an acupuncturist, herbalist and owner of Zi Zai Dermatology in Fort Collins, Colorado. “Every hair has small muscles surrounding its root, so when they’re pulled in a tight ponytail or a tight bun, it keeps tension on those muscles the entire time," she explains. "And it keeps tension on the skin as well. It would feel like any muscle you’d been pulling on too long.”
It’s a simple fix, luckily: Don’t wear your hair in a static style for long. After all, you wouldn’t sustain a crunch for 12 hours, would you? (Although if you could, hats off to you!) Loosening your hair and switching up your style prevents fraying and breakage and reduces the chance that follicles will get inflamed.