Why Does Moving Your Hair Hurt After Wearing a Hat? What’s the Deal?

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Have you ever untied your long lock of hair only to be curious about why the hair hurts as you move it? That weird feeling is not only in your head!

Though a painful sensation in your hair may sound strange, it is a thing – it may also be referred to as a compression headache.

But why does moving your hair hurt after wearing a hat for a while? Various hair-related things may trigger the sensation. However, the root of the issue still revolves around the same thing: compression headaches.

Let’s look at how hat wearing impacts your scalp, and the sensations associated with hat wearing.


Why Does Moving Your Hair Hurt After Wearing Your Hat for a While?

The hair cannot experience any sensation since the strands do not have nerve endings to cause them to ache, so it’s not actually the hair! Regardless, it still can feel like your hair hurts.

The hair cannot experience any sensation since the strands do not have nerve endings to cause them to ache, so it’s not actually the hair! Regardless, it still can feel like your hair hurts.

Nerves are found hidden in the scalp. Therefore, hair follicles can cause trigger sensations. You could also say your scalp is sensitive. Various reasons are known to cause these sensations (compression headaches).

The primary cause is compression. 

Compression

It is common to hear women complain about their scalps being sore after they use a hat, put on hair extensions, tie their hair in tight braids, etc.

When it comes to hat wearing, this happens more often when the hat is tight-fitting, or when you wear it for extended durations. 

The cause of the issue is that the hat creates pressure on your scalp, hair roots, and all that lies under them. These parts beneath the hair roots and scalp have pain receptors connected to critical nerves located at the temples and behind the head. 

The hat creates pressure on your scalp, hair roots, and all that lies under them. These parts beneath the hair roots and scalp have pain receptors connected to critical nerves located at the temples and behind the head. 

In addition, compression hinders proper blood circulation within the scalp. This can give you a tingling sensation when you take off your hat, as the blood comes rushing back. 

Compression Headache: What Is It?

Compression headaches are headache types that begin once you put on a tight gear across the scalp or forehead.

Goggles, headbands, and hats are the most common culprits.

You can also refer to the headaches as external compression, because they include pressure from outside the body.


Symptoms of Compression Headaches

These headaches can feel like extreme pressure together with moderate pain. You will experience the most significant pain sensation towards the parts of the head subjected to pressure. 

For instance, the pain will be more concentrated across your forehead or close to the temples if you have goggles.

Such pain worsens the longer you have the compressing gear on. A compression headache is usually easy to identify since it typically begins one hour from when you put on headgear. 


Common Causes of Compression Headaches

The headache begins when you place tight objects around or in the head, which pressure the underlying nerves. The commonly affected nerves are the occipital nerves and trigeminal nerves. These nerves (cranial nerves) relay signals from the brain to the face and behind the head. 

Therefore, any object that puts pressure on your scalp or forehead could lead to compression headaches, including your hat.

At times, you might only begin to feel the pain only upon release of the pressure (i.e. when you remove the tight hat or headgear.)

At times, you might only begin to feel the pain only upon release of the pressure (i.e. when you remove the tight hat or headgear.)

Risk Factors

If you wear a helmet for sport or work, you will be at a greater risk of developing a compression headache. 


Other Reasons Why Moving Your Hair Hurts

1. Dandruff

You might experience a painful sensation affecting your scalp when dandruff flakes within your hair flare up. This is because dandruff conditions are associated with increased yeast levels on your scalp.

The increased yeast growth triggers inflammation, hence scaliness, itchiness, redness, and in extreme cases, pain. 

To address the issue, you can use dandruff shampoo with zinc parathion, a compound that helps reduce the yeast levels on your scalp.

Zinc parathion is also instrumental in reducing inflammation. 

However, it would be best if you remembered that a shampoo treatment would require sufficient time in contact with your scalp for the effect to show.

Use your fingertips to rub the shampoo into your scalp and allow it to remain in the hair. Recite the alphabet, then rinse it out. 

2. Greasy Accumulation

Naturally, you will have many oil glands on your scalp. And by failing to wash your hair regularly, the oil can accumulate. The excess oil not only makes your scalp greasy but also could trigger itchiness. This can lead to subsequent discomfort and scratching, making the scalp hurt as you move the hair. 

To address the issue, relieve and prevent greasy accumulation and consequently scalp pain, you should do more regular hair washing and hair care for greasy hair. However, you need to be keen on your type of hair. 

But don’t go too far! Excessive cleansing could dry out the scalp, particularly in those with sensitive scalps. It can lead dandruff.

In addition, reduce your usage of styling inputs, particularly dry shampoo. Such products can collect on your scalp and hair, causing them to be greasier. 

3. Folliculitis

Your hair could also hurt as you move it due to folliculitis – a condition characterized by bacteria invading hair follicles, causing pus pimples. The skin-related illness may also result from fungi, viruses, and inflamed ingrown hairs.

In some instances, the condition may be extensive, leading to an itchy, irritated, painfully soft, and burning skin. 

To address the issue, you should visit a dermatologist when folliculitis starts to develop for an antibiotic treatment prescription. 

4. Eczema

Though eczema generally affects the neck, hands, ankles, elbows, feet, knees, and the eye region, the persistent rash can form on the scalp and trigger pain. Eczema is an ailment whereby your skin shield is not as effective as it needs to be.

This leads to the skin’s outer layer cracking and consequently increases inflammation and dehydration. The result is discomfort, pain, or itching as your hair moves.

To tackle the condition, practitioners treat the ailment in waves. Initially, the desire is to moisturize your skin and repair its barrier.

A scalp hydrating oil can be essential in accomplishing this. 

Taking shorter showers and baths of between 10 and 15 minutes using cool to lukewarm water can help reduce the probability of your scalp and skin further drying. In addition, you can preserve moisture by using a gentle shampoo that does not rid the scalp of natural oils. 

5. Tight Braids, Ponytails, and Other Hairstyles

The hair could also hurt as a result of having a high ponytail. Pulling your hair tightly backward increases pressure on your hair follicles and leads to inflammation. This causes pain and can also lead to lasting follicle damage. 

Additionally, it could lead to a particular hair loss type referred to as traction alopecia – individuals usually develop thinning along the frontal hairline. 

You should slacken your braids or ponytail to address this if possible. Though it is impossible to undo damage that has already occurred, loosen your hairstyle for better hair health. 


Conclusion

Various triggers may make the scalp hurt when you move the hair, but the most common one is compression due to a hat that’s too tight.

Loosen your hat and take more breaks with it. If that doesn’t help, you may have a separate issue, as outlined above.

Written by Kayla Young

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