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Triggers and Causes

Long Hair affecting headache?

  • By Tara

    Has anyone ever considered chopping your hair off for a little headache relief?
    My pain sometimes makes it feel like just having hair hurts. It feels heavy and painful.

    I want to grow my hair long, but I don’t know how much longer I can deal with it.

  • By Debs

    I know this feeling too well. I used to be able to sit on my hair it was so long and cut it to above my ear!.

    Head still banging and every day I threaten to shave it all off as I feel like I can feel every piece of hair being pulled out my head. I feel like I’m going crazy and only way to sort is to shave off.

    So glad not just me that has hair issues xxx

  • By Tara

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one! I googled it and didn’t find any articles or message boards that mention it. If it won’t help to chop it off, I might as well keep it. At least I can have cool braids and curls while I’m suffering. :-/

  • By Lisa Robin Benson Moderator

    Hi all,

    I have felt like this my entire life! When I was younger I DID chop it off. I don’t remember it helping though in the end. I now keep it long and when my pain is bad the best hairstyle for me is a braid. I really prefer the way I look with long hair, and I don’t like the hassle of getting a short hairstyle cut every month (who wants to go to the trigger filled hair-dresser more than you have to!).

    I’m not sure if this helps but at least you all know you’re not alone!


  • By Tara

    Good point Lisa!
    Especially the hair dresser thing.
    Shampooing in their sink= neck pain
    Cutting time= awkward conversation or silence (which stresses me as an introvert)
    Hair dryer= head pain!
    Paying= wallet pain. 😉

  • By Lisa Robin Benson Moderator

    Yup ttchica78! Though I DID recently discover the concept of an organic salon–the products don’t smell as bad which means less triggers! I still haven’t gone back since January though! 😉

    In all seriousness though, what we all are talking about is a real phenomenon called “cutanious allodynia:

    The best treatment for this (according to the article)is to treat the migraine successfully, which we all know can be difficult sometimes, but that’s a whole other subject!


  • By Debs

    Getting hair cut short today before I rip it out. Cant wait woohoo xx

  • By Debs

    Yeah Lisa I got a little bit relief.

    If nothing else it makes it easier for me to look presentable when feel like hell! Xx

  • By Lisa Robin Benson Moderator

    I understand that Deb! I always tell the hairdresser I need a style that takes zero effort to maintain. Who has time to style and blow dry (plus heat on the head for me isn’t so great) when dealing with migraines! But part of that isn’t my migraines, I’m just a low-maintenance gal 😉

  • By Sandy

    wow you guys are my life buddies!!!! I wasn’t allowed by my father to cut my hair short when i was growing up. started having “bad headaches” from “hair in pony tail” in 7th grade. thought it was just too tight. still long hair but down more. early 20’s continued to have “bad headaches” if “hair pulled up”. tried all kinds of ways. didn’t know i was having migraines until early 30’s. my mother had always been “tender headed” so i thought i was just getting older. in my 30’s got on preventive med for migraine. my hair started falling out, breaking off, looking fried. my hair dresser had to cut it short. i had curly hair. never knew. Praise God. Never had to comb my hair again. just have to make it through the torpedo filled shower even on easy setting to wash hair. since early 30’s my head hurts to touch and will trigger migraine. around same time face hurts to touch and will trigger mirgaine. thank you migraine. com and staff for giving me and name to this i have suffered since age 12 i am not 41. thank you fellow migraineurs for sharing. i am not alone. ps even tho my hair is short i still go every 2-3 months i let it grow. and take rescue rescue meds before i go. i have learned my lesson.


  • By smita

    Hi all,

    I loved my long hair but most of the time it caused pain. It was difficult to bear the pain caused due to allodynia with pain caused by migraine. I could always feel hair heavier leaving me at unease. long hair served very protective to cover my neck from weather.

    Two months ago I cut my hair short which is quiet comfortable than long hair, asking my hairdresser to make my hair short and easy to maintain. But still combing hair is unpleasant task with my head.

  • By Bobbie

    I cut my thick hair short this summer. It did not help in the least!! Not for me. My hair
    was below my shoulders. Very thick and heavy. My neuro said my hair had nothing to do with
    my migraines. My husband always thought my hair had to have something to do
    with my migraines. I was ready for a new style so I thought this was the time to try the experiment!

    My hair grows so fast I even got it trimmed once during the summer. Migraines every week,
    three days at a time. I am now in the process of growing it out.

    Good luck to anyone that tries but I personally don’t think it has any thing to do with


  • By SheLlie

    I did this past summer have my hair buzzed down with clippers! I have had migraines for 4 years and non stop now sine Jan 15. I’ve been in bed most of the time, lifting my arms to do my hair is just plain painful! Who needs that! I love my long curly hair but just not have the energy to deal with it and sometimes I think I feel every single root of hair in my head hurting, ugh. No more bed head at least!

  • By Katwoman

    I have long hair but I never thought about it being a migraine trigger, except when I pull it back tight for a ponytail. I have been having chronic migraines since year 2000. By chronic I mean 16-21 migraine days a month. Some of those days are twofers. I just had a record breaking 25 migraines in November. During that time I’ve had my hair waist-long, cut really short, shoulder length and even colored. It doesn’t matter how my hair is cut, I still have chronic migraine. I do believe however that everyone is different and that no two migraines are alike.

    I do have scalp tenderness when I have a migraine. It occurs only on the side I have a migraine on, mostly my right side, rarely do I have a migraine on the left. It’s like someone cut a straight line from the center of my eyesockets to the base of my neck. My scalp on that migraine side is hypersensitive, tingly, sometimes cold. It starts the day before the migraine and slowly goes away a day or two after.

    I am curious though, does anyone else out there have the one-sided scalp hypersensitivity?

  • By Sidds

    Kadkat, ya i face similar half face migraine attacks mostly on right side. The point of concentration is just over my right eye…its so intense that i cant concentrate on anything. I also observed, if i am hungry, it triggers my migraine attack. hot shower helps temporarily. I am not sure of scalp tenderness as during migraine if i pull my hair or try to hard massage, it feels nice. FYI, am a guy 🙂 so though i wanted to see whether i should cut my hair very pixie size ( i have hair falling just below my nose level) i wanted to know whether that would help. As far as i have seen its mixed, wrked for some and didnt for others. Ohhh..Damn Migraine

    • By jns192 Moderator

      Thank you for your input!
      Feel free to keep us posted with what you decide to do about cutting your hair.
      In the meantime, I wanted to share an article on ocular migraine that you might find informative:
      We are so happy to have you part of our community.
      Jillian ( Team)

  • By TheDeathBringer

    i swear imma pull out my hair ;-; it feels like my head is about to explode into peices x-x im having headaces too i think its cause of my hair c; cant wait to get a hair cut and swear at the hair on the ground later :DDDDDDDDDDDDD

  • By 1soro31

    I’ve always worn my hair below my shoulders and longer. Since getting migraines a couple years ago, my very thick hair which I’ve been wearing longer, has had to get cut I don’t cut it above my shoulder but just getting it cut takes the weight off and that helps. My hair doesn’t cause my headache but the weight of it does contribute and just washing my hair hurts when it’s long. Not to mention, it hurts my head even when I’m lying down and sleeping. So getting it cut even just below my shoulders helps take the weight off and that helps my head. For me, it’s the weight of my hair. Plus if I don’t condition properly the hair follicles hurt.

  • By lilmamaof2

    I am currently trying to grow my hair out. I cut it off short years ago and felt a significant difference. It felt like a literal 5lbs weight difference. My hair is now almost to my shoulders and I have headaches daily to the point where they make me feel sick. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Does anyone have any advice?

  • By Tara

    I am glad that there are others that feel this way. I have no advice since chopping my hair off didn’t give me relief.

    Yesterday I wanted to shave it all off. I was very close to doing it. Luckily, this morning is slightly better.

  • By puppydogsforever

    I did this last night and felt immediate relief! Not total relief but a definite reduction in the pain.

    My long hair was kind of annoying me anyway so I’m not too sad about the loss looks-wise.

  • By mpenny

    I tried it before and didn’t feel any better… But I just wasn’t cutting it short enough! I chopped mine off supershort and my migraines are not even half as bad as they were.

    I was afraid to cut my hair that short because I’ve always been told that I had the wrong shape of the face for short hair. Now I find out there’s no such thing as the wrong shape face, short hair looks good on everyone. I wish I just chopped my hair off short before. That’s my experience: if you’re thinking about trying Don’t try it halfway.

  • By manseer

    For last 10 years, I used to trim my hair almost every 10 days. Every time I trim, I feel refreshed and in control. I am truly enjoying even though my hair style doesn’t look good.

    The reasons for frequent trimming are
    1. Chronic Migraine, which will pause when I trim
    2. Feeling of mild depression, which will go when I trim
    3. Social anxiety and confusion but feel normal when I trim
    4. Short term memory loss, will be far better when I trim
    5. Lack of energy but feel enthusiastic when I trim
    6. Feeling like the scalp and facial muscles are tightened but I get relief after trimming

    I tried homeo but failed. I tried beta blockers for 2 years but unlucky. So now I am moving forward with the only remedy, that is Hair Trimming 🙂 Some people even doctors just laugh off but I don’t care

  • By ifhamOT

    dont worry guys. even i searched every where on google about it.. ima guy. i also cant grow my hair longer than like. until it goes over my ear. that is around until 3 months maximum.. this happened because. some of us since we were very small we dint grow our hair longer. so teh body took it like that. cox this runs in my fmaily. ig et fever. and headache whenever it grows too long.. its okai guys.. well there is nothign to do about it other than cutting it. it is true we get more energy when we cut our hair becox we fel new. its an emortinal immune related thing.

  • By seru

    Hi Tara. I am going through the same phase where I feel like chopping off my heavy hair but keep postponing my salon visit every time.. I love long hair and love growing it out.. But I either bun it up or tie a ponytail ..been doing that from 7th grade.
    from past few years though I have had severe migraine mostly the day I wash my hair.. it starts in the morning and end of the day I really feel like shaving it all off.. I get compliments for my hair even from strangers but Only i know the pain. and so thankful to you that i found this page. My hairstylist doesn’t believe my when i tell him that my hair is cause of my headaches and that’s the reason i wanna chop if off..few ppl actually laugh at this reason 🙁

  • By Anonymous

    my hair is really long and it hurts like hell even though it is fine and thin.