Just in case, or after long efforts at the gym, hair ties or scrunchies can be worn around the wrist so we don't forget it when we need it. In hot weather, or when we need it for specific activities, this seemingly innocuous hair accessory can save the day time and time again.
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So much so, that taking it everywhere with us has become an everyday habit. Unfortunately, hair ties made of fabric or plastic can sometimes leave marks on our hair, or even on our arms if they're too tight. A gesture considered harmless for many of us, wearing a hair tie or rubber band around your wrist can actually be bad for your health. We'll tell you all about it, to save you a lot of trouble.
Why is wearing a hair tie on your wrist dangerous to your health?
No matter what material it is made of, this accessory can cut off blood circulation to the arm if worn for too long. As neurologist Huma Sheikh, from the Neurology Medicine Institute in New York, told Slate magazine, 'there are a lot of veins and nerves circulating around the wrist area'. Wearing a rubber band around this joint can also have many other consequences, particularly harmful to our bodies. If the hair tie is too tight, it will compress the area concerned, creating irreversible damage that could even reach our brain.
Read more:Should you sleep with your hair tied?
What are the main health risks?
Given the number of veins and nerves that make up the tissue that forms the lining of blood vessels, the wrist is a strategic area. If the hair tie holds this part of the body too tightly for too long, it could lead to nerve damage, according to Dr Sheikh.
This will result in weaker blood flow to the muscle and tetany of the surrounding nerve, which can lead to nerve damage.
The latter can generate tingling, partial or total numbness, then pain... to the point of causing poor communication between our limbs and our brain.
Hair tie materials can also be harmful to our skin, triggering skin allergies. In fact, nickel, rubber or even dyes can cause allergic reactions, as Rina Allawh, of the Schweiger Dermatology Group in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, points out.
These reactions resemble a pinkish, scaly rash and can leave residual traces of the color of your rubber band.
Similarly, cuts caused by hair ties worn on the wrist can lead to real injuries, and subsequently become infected. The wound is a breeding ground for bacteria, and the more they proliferate, the poorer the quality of the wound.
How to tell when a hair tie is too tight around your wrist
Nothing could be simpler. Does your wrist feel numb, change color or temperature? These feelings and changes should give you cause for alarm. And with good reason... If this part of your body turns white or cold while you're wearing an elastic band, poor blood circulation may be the reason for this sudden change. Wearing hair ties on your wrist is not forbidden, but you should remain careful.
Health professionals recommend checking the 'degree of tightness' throughout the day. In case of doubt or pain, remove the hair tie immediately and check the mark on your arm. If it's not too tight, the mark should disappear within a few minutes.
Alternatively, there are bracelets specially designed to hold an elastic band without leaving any marks:
This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.
Slate: Ne portez pas d'élastique trop serré autour de votre poignet