Have you ever experienced an ache… in your hair? You probably thought you were being a hypochondriac moron. But it turns out this phenomenon is legit REAL. Your hair can actually hurt. Well, not your actual hair follicle guys, that is dead. Very, very dead. But the sensation of it hurting? Totally a thing. We chatted to Tarryn Cherniayeff, co-founder of Mob Hair, about how this revolting situation happens.

YOU’RE NOT WASHING YOUR HAIR ENOUGH

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Hey, you revolting cesspit! Wash your damn hair. KIDDING, we all get those week-long, CBF going through the hair washing ordeal feels from time to time. But if your hair is being held up purely by shampoo and oil on a far too regular basis, you’re giving bacteria a time to shine – and that leads to other, grosser stuff.

“It is definitely dependent on your hair type, because some people can go two weeks without washing and not have oil build up,” explains Tarryn. “But if you are noticing a build-up, or have itchiness of the scalp, that’s when you need to be washing your hair to avoid this.”

YOU’RE WASHING IT TOO MUCH

On the other side of the hair crimes spectrum is over-washing. This can be just as bad for your scalp, because you’re upsetting the ~delicate PH balance~ which – yup – also leads to dandruff and sensitivity. It’s like we can’t win, you dumb scalp.

“Avoid washing hair daily,” says Tarryn. “This will strip it of the much needed natural oils. We recommend every second or third day for the average person.”

YOU’RE AGGRESSIVELY TYING IT UP

Kylie J might be making a solid case for tight ponytails, but their aesthetically pleasing look hides a real shitstorm of an issue. Basically, if you’re pulling your hair back into super tight buns, braids, or ponytails on the reg, you’re irritating the point where your hair follicle meets your scalp, meaning not just pain, but hair loss. Oh, god.

It’s official name is ‘traction alopecia’, and it occurs when the follicles are put under too much stress from pulling, so they lose the hair altogether. You know who are prone to it? Ballet dancers.

“Use Invisibobbles when you can,” suggests Tarryn, referring to those cool, coiled hair ties you’ve prob seen around. “They create less tension but still keep a tight ponytail or bun in place.”

Her other suggestion? Faking that tight ponytail ~lewk~ with product.

“You don’t necessarily have to create more tension on the hair by pulling it tighter,” she explains. “Using the right product to slick back those flyaways can create the same look without pulling on the hair. Our go-to product is the StarGlow Styling Wax by Oribe.”

YOU’RE STUCK IN A HAIRSTYLE RUT

If you’re one of those people who wears a pony or bun day in, day out because it’s easy as hell, get ready to hate me – you’ve gotta mix it up. Especially if these are your go-to’s when your hair is greasy.

“It’s about releasing tension,” explains Tarryn. “Try wearing your hair in a low pony or loose braids, at least when sleeping. The lower the style, the lower the tension is on your roots.”

YOU NEVER BRUSH

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If you’ve got curly or wavy hair, the sight of a hairbrush probably gives you hives. It’s the first cardinal rule of curl maintenance to not brush ’em, so what I’m about to say will leave you shook. Even if you have curls, give that hair a solid brush every once in a while. Maybe before you wash it if you’re not a fan of the frizzy look (or, rep that frizz like a boss, also a fun idea).

Basically, your scalp needs stimulation to increase blood flow to the area, but brushing also helps distribute hair oils down the follicle, so it’s not all clogging up at the top causing that bacteria and dandruff.

“Brushing also removes old hair and dead skin cells, which can encourage bacteria to grow,” explains Tarryn. “This opens up the cuticles on your scalp to allow oils to penetrate through, which keeps your scalp healthy and also encourages hair growth.”

Now let us never speak of scalp bacteria again. Gross.

Image: Instagram / @kristin_ess