• Headphone hair sucks, but it can be dealt with
  • Water spray and styling products are quick fixes for headphone hair dents
  • Changing your hair or headphones can eliminate headphone hair for good
Emily’s desk phone is ringing non-stop, John is talking loudly on a conference call, Tracy is playing a Youtube clip at full volume and the copy machine seems to be printing out a phone book.

The exact details may vary but one thing is always true of your office - the constant chatter and background noise are beyond distracting, to the point of driving you up the wall.

At best, you struggle to focus on your work. Oftentimes, you’re tempted to stand on the desk and scream at everyone to “shut the fuck up!”

It just gets too much for you to deal with.

Slapping on your headphones and listening to music is the only way to keep your sanity.

It’s not doing much for your hair, though.

Every day, you’ve got a serious case of headphone hair. You know, that tell-tale dent across the top of your head that comes from wearing headphones all day long.

It’s the result of pressure being exerted by the headband and flattening your hair’s volume, especially when your headphones are on for hours on end.

Since the dent runs from ear to ear, you’re stuck for ideas on how to hide it.

You don’t want to ditch the headphones. They’re all that’s standing between you and a full-on meltdown, after all. And they act as a highly effective “do not disturb” sign to help you focus in a noisy office.

And we totally get that.

We’ve been there too. And, it’s still one of the only ways that get us through noisy cubicle life.

One thing we can testify to?

Headphone hair sucks but it’s not something you have to just grin and bear. There are solutions to this annoying problem.

Quick Fixes For Headphone Hair

(Credit @FiNuk via Twitter)

When you’re struggling with headphone hair, it can feel like you’ve got two choices - quit wearing headphones or admit defeat and sport goofy headphone hair forever.

Fortunately, there is a middle ground. You can’t always prevent headphone hair but you can act quickly to make the effects less obvious and less shitty.

Here are some instant fixes for next time the tell-tale dent appears. 

1. Brush It Out With Water Spray 

Water is a super useful styling tool. It’s exactly what you need when your hair is misbehaving and you need it fixed. Right now.

A spray bottle of water is an easy way to take advantage. When headphone hair strikes, it’ll quickly help calm things down.

And oftentimes, using water to restyle your hair before letting it dry is the best you can do when you’re not at home and you can’t wash your hair. Sure, it’s a temporary fix but it’ll save a bit of embarrassment until you get home.

The best deal here is to keep a comb or brush at work along with a water spray bottle.

Hairstylists tend to recommend that you spray your brush or comb with water rather than wet your hair directly. You want the bristles of the brush of the teeth of the comb to be damp but not dripping wet. This way, you have more control over where you’re dampening your hair and how much.

Then, tease and brush your headphone hair to add volume to the squashed spots. 

2. Tossle It Back To Shape

Don’t have a spray bottle and brush at work?

Head to the restroom and dampen your dented hair with a paper towel then tousle and restyle it with your fingers. Sure, it’s not as effective as using a sprayer and hairdryer, but it’s better than nothing.

Pull the matted hair clumps upward then flick and shake them around like you’ve just got out of the shower and drying off. This adds volume back to the area.

If your office has one of those high-pressure hand dryers, you can also opt to stick your head under the nozzle and use it like a hairdryer. 

3. Use Styling Gel 

Not been acquainted with styling gel since your high school days? It’s going to be one of your secret weapons in the fight against headphone hair.

Use it to tease your hair back into its usual position — and keep it there.

Working some styling gel through the squished parts of your hair brings them back to life and looking less shitty.

Okay, you’ll have to wash your hair when you’re home but with headphone hair, you were probably going to do that anyway, right?

4. Use A Straightening Iron

Using heat is a quick and easy way to show your hair who’s boss. It can literally iron out the dent so it looks more like the rest of your hair.

It’s a great move if you don’t have access to water or styling products to fix headphone hair.

It’s not just for women with longer hair, either. We’ve heard of guys with longer hair use a straightening iron to shape and style. We just haven’t witnessed it yet.

You may get some odd looks when using a flat iron in the bathroom, but that’s far better than sporting a full on dent across your head in an executive meeting.

Usually, you’ll take a small section at a time and run the straightening iron in the direction you want your hair to fall. To iron out a dent, it can work better to hold each section up before you run the straightening iron through. This helps remove the obvious dent. You can always run it through a second time to style. 

Minimizing Headphone Hair

Quick fixes can help you out in the short-term but what can you do to minimize headphone hair in the first place?

Google it and you’ll find a ton of advice on wearing a beanie underneath your headphones or putting the headband around the back of your head or under your chin instead of over the top of your head.

The trouble is that none of these is the most practical option.

Maybe wearing a beanie isn’t your style or maybe the default temperature in your office is near-tropical. Plus, you risk getting hat hair and headphone hair. Not ideal at all.

You’ve probably already tried wearing your headphones with the band behind your head or upside down. So did we, and it was a fast track to frustration.

Headphones just don’t stay on when the band isn’t on top of your head, right?

Plus, the ear pockets don’t match up to your ears and it’s plain uncomfortable.

And it totally defeats the object of wearing them. You want to block out the rest of the office and focus on your work. And when they don’t stay put, you’re constantly readjusting your headphones every time they slip off.

Really annoying.

What you need are more real-world solutions. Ones that actually work to reduce headphone hair without affecting your aims.

Here are some tips to banish headphone hair in the longer term.

1. Use Your Headphones As A Styling Tool

Sure, headphones can screw up your hair. But, they can also be a surprisingly good styling tool, especially for women.

Here’s how to use your headphones to your advantage.

Spray dry shampoo if your roots are greasy, then locate your parting. If you’re a side-parter, take hair from the “bigger” side until it’s piled on top of your head.

More of a middle-parter? Take a couple of sections from either side of the parting and move it behind.

Put your headphones on as normal to hold that different style of hair in place. Use the headphones like a hairband.

Here’s a quick 2-minute tutorial for a hairstyle that’s designed around headphones. In fact, the headphones actually keep it in place and dictate how the style holds later on.

Check it out.

VIDEO: Headphone Hair ‘The Jet Set’ Beats by Dre
VIMEO: Kloss Films
LENGTH: 1:41
Summary points:
  • Use your headphones as a headband to keep the style in place
  • Twist each side of your hair and pin it in place
  • Create volume with an alternate style and then shake it out

2. Choose Headphone Friendly Hairstyles

Another surefire way to avoid headphone hair?

Choose a hairstyle that fits around your headphones. This one works great for women, especially if you like to experiment with your look.

If you’re still sporting the 80’s perm or the Marge Simpson beehive hairdoo, it’s time to update things. A more relaxed and natural style with less hair product will allow your locks to flow and be less “dentable”.

For guys, de-poofing your hair and flattening it out or maybe even going with an ultra-short buzzcut are some styles that you can try out that are dent-resistant.

With the right hairstyle, you can put your headphones on and get on with your day without worrying about what you’ll look like when you take them off.

3. Longer Hair Or No Hair Fares Better

Shortish and medium hair is more likely to fall victim to headphone hair. Longer hair is less of a target since it has more natural movement but can still be affected when your headphones are in place all day.

Putting longer hair in a ponytail can help reduce headphone hair. Your headphones will glide over your hair - no snagging involved. Buns or braids can serve the same purpose.

Obviously, growing out your hair isn’t an ultra-quick fix for headphone hair. But it’s something to think about if you’ve been thinking of going longer anyway.

For guys, what if longer hair isn’t your thing or you’re balding?

Shaving your head is another possibility.

You’ll look better than you think!

VIDEO: Balding Guys Go Completely Bald
YOUTUBE: BuzzFeedVideo
LENGTH: 2:36
Summary points:
  • If you’re balding, stop trying to hang on to what’s left
  • Go for the clean look and shave it all off
  • Bald heads are sexy too!
Without hair, you’ll no longer worry about headphone hair dents, shampoo, styling products, brushes, combs etc. It’s the ultimate in low maintenance. 

4. Shift Headphone Band During Use

A far less drastic option involves shifting the headphone band around your head throughout the day.

Sure, it’s more hassle but that’s a small price to pay if you can avoid headphone hair, right?

You can move the band towards the front of your head and then towards the back. The trick is to keep varying where they sit.

The dent won’t be in the same spot, since the headphones won’t be in one place for too long and the pressure of your headphones is spread around more.

If you move your headphones around enough, the dent could be super minimal. 

5. Take Off Headphones To Give Your Ears And Hair A Break

Take your headphones off every now and then. Your hair and ears will thank you!

Wearing your headphones for long periods of time can cause problems so it’s super smart to give your hair and ears a break, especially more so because of the loud music.

If you’ve constantly got the volume jacked up to mask or drown out office noise, there’s a risk of hearing damage.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a real thing and many studies including this study from McGill Journal of Medicine, indicate that listening to loud music for prolonged periods can mess up your hearing.

If you’ve noticed temporary hearing loss or that high-pitched ringing in your ears after being in a club or concert, you’ve experienced NIHL.

Hearing damage is more likely if you’re listening to loud music for hours on end, over a period of weeks or months - a lot like you probably do now.

Sure, hearing loss is a worst-case scenario but it happens. Especially at higher volumes.

Give your ears a break and ditch the headphones when they’re not essential. And, as a bonus, you’re less likely to get headphone hair too. Win-win!

6. Invest In Neckband Headphones Or Earphones

Don’t want to fuss with changing your hairstyle?

If you have the budget to buy a different pair of headphones, neckband ones are far less likely to give you headphone hair. As the name indicates, they rest on your neck instead of the top of your head.

Since they’re designed to fit around your neck, they stay in place, unlike traditional headphones that are positioned to go around your head.

There is one potential downside to using neckband headphones in the office, though. They’re not as obvious to other people and you can wind up being disturbed a lot.

The not-so-subtle “leave me alone” signal that’s given off by traditional over-ear headphones just isn’t there.

But neither is headphone hair.

If you don’t like neckband headphones, earbuds are the ultimate way to avoid dents. Since they don’t go over your head, there are no worries about looking goofy.

Okay, it’s definitely harder to give off “do not disturb” vibes but they block out distractions and don’t mess with your hair. Pretty perfect, right?

Headphone Hair No More

Don’t let headphone hair get the best of you. It’s a minor annoyance that can be easily dealt with and it shouldn’t stop you from getting the focus you need at work.

You can block out the distractions of a busy, noisy office and avoid shitty hair days. The days of having one or the other can be truly over.

In the short-term, you can fix headphone hair with some savvy styling tips.

For the bigger picture, changing how you wear your headphones or your hairstyle can make headphone hair a thing of the past.

If you’re okay with changing headphones, a pair that doesn’t sit on top of your head is a surefire way to wave goodbye to headphone hair.

Whatever method you choose, you’ll be sporting a dentless ‘doo while listening to your fav tunes and getting in the zone at work.

Feel Better,

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