Headphones aren’t just about high-quality music anymore; they can also be a fashion statement. But what good is it if you have these excellent headphones, but they give you headphone hair? You know, that line of severely flattened hair that won’t return to position after wearing your headphones. So, how can you prevent headphone hair?
The easiest way to prevent headphone hair is to switch to in-ear or open-ear earphones. Some headphone models have the option to put the band behind your neck, or you can try to loosen the band or use a lighter set of headphones. It’s also a good idea to take your headphones off every 30 minutes.
Most of the ways to prevent headphone hair will depend on factors like your hairstyle and headphone preference. Unfortunately, science has not discovered a perfect solution yet, and even people with no hair can get a headphone dent in their scalp. So, let’s go through the options for preventing headphone hair so you can find the one that works best for you.
What Causes Headphone Hair?
To find ways to prevent headphone hair, it helps if we understand why it happens in the first place.
Human skin constantly secretes an oil called sebum to keep it from drying out. The scalp and facial skin can get particularly oily. The oil on your scalp will seep into your hair, making it slightly sticky, eventually having an effect similar to hair gel or hairspray.
When you wear your headphones and the band presses into your hair, the oiliness will eventually cause the hair to stick to one another and maintain the shape they were in when they were pressed together. That’s what we call “headphone hair.”
Unfortunately, it’s not really possible to entirely stop this from happening since it’s a necessary function of the human body that causes it. But you can change a few habits or behaviors to make it less of a problem.
How To Prevent Headphone Hair
Here are a few ideas you can try to see what works for you.
Don’t Wear Your Headphones for Too Long
The more you wear your headphones, the more they will press into your hair and cause a semi-permanent dent. So, the first solution is to not wear your headphones for more than about 30 minutes at a time. Then, take them off and do something else for a while.
When you take your breaks, it could also be a good idea to have a comb or brush handy to quickly fix any dent that might have begun to appear. But don’t do this too often since a comb or brush can also help spread the oil through your hair even more, causing a more significant problem later.
Loosen Your Headphones’ Headband
This is a slightly uncomfortable option for many. I like to feel my headphones’ headband; it makes it feel more sturdy and secure. But a tighter headband will also press down harder on your hair, making the dent more pronounced and difficult to brush away.
Adjusting the headband so that it doesn’t press into your hair too much is a simple way to avoid this problem. Most modern headphones press into your ears firmly enough to keep them in place, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, even if they don’t feel as sturdy as they used to. Try a few different settings to find one that works for you.
Change the Position of the Headband
Depending on your hairstyle, simply changing the position of the headband can make a huge difference. Some people find that they reduce their headphone hair by moving the band slightly toward the back of their head, where the hair tends to be a bit shorter and “flatter” already.
Some take it even further by swiveling the headphones until the headphone rests below the back of their head, just above their neck. Many even find that to be quite comfortable.
Other users go all the way and tilt their headphones so that the headband is below their chin. This might not look good, and it’s arguable if it looks better or worse than walking around with headphone hair, but it helps prevent the problem from happening and is obviously a good option for some.
Change Your Hairstyle
Sometimes, a little hairstyle change is all you need to prevent headphone hair. Shaving it all off is a solution, but it might not be the perfect solution for everyone. Your change doesn’t have to be drastic. People with longer hair can tie it back into a ponytail or bun, which automatically flattens the hair and helps prevent headphone hair.
Be Careful with Haircare Products
Haircare products, especially styling products like gel, mousse, or hairspray, keep your hair in a specific position or style. Many people try to use these products liberally in an attempt to prevent headphone hair, but that’s counterproductive.
Since the products keep your hair in a particular style, wearing headphones will only change the position in which the products keep your hair. You will only get stuck with headphone hair that’s even more difficult to eliminate.
Get Different Headphones
Some headphones have less of an impact on your hair than others. There are headphones with a larger hooped headband that doesn’t press into your hair as much. Other headphones have soft padding that limits the amount of pressure. Or you can get a lighter set of headphones, which will also reduce the force they press into your hair.
Switch to an Alternative
People who use full over-ear headphones are usually concerned with sound quality since those headphones often offer better overall quality than other options like earbuds. In-ear earphones also have a reputation for being low-quality. But, thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
There are many high-quality earbuds on the market today. They offer advanced features like active noise canceling and transparency modes to customize your listening experience, and many of them have good enough quality to compete with over-ear headphones. Best of all, they don’t cause headphone hair.
If you don’t like pressure inside your ear canals, there are other options. Bone conduction headphones and open-ear earphones have come a long way over the last few years and have become viable alternatives. Remember that you can’t expect the same sound quality from these as you would get from over-ear headphones, but if quality isn’t your primary concern, they will work.
Mix and Match Different Options to Prevent Headphone Hair
There’s a possibility that none of these options will provide you with a perfect solution. But you will probably have a few solutions to mix up a bit to find something that works for you.
For example, a solution that works for me is using earbuds during the day, when my hairstyle matters. I have a set of high-quality Bluetooth earbuds that offer good sound quality and noise canceling, and they don’t affect my hair at all. At night, before I go to bed (which messes up my hair anyway), I will wear my over-ear headphones and enjoy my music at top quality for a while.
There are a few ways to prevent headphone hair, but not all of them will work for everyone. It often requires compromising something, usually either your looks, comfort, or sound quality. But if you can play around with these tips and tricks, you should be able to find a solution that prevents headphone hair and still allows you to enjoy your music the way you want to.