I've worn elastic hair ties around my wrist since I was a child. And now as an adult, I've upgraded to wearing them as bracelets. I seriously love them. In fact, the only problem I've ever encountered with hair ties is the (often painful) dent around my wrist; but after hearing about hair ties giving skin infections, I could be in for bigger problems. WLKY reported that Audree Kopp of Louisville wore a hair tie that caused three (yes, three) infections on her wrist.
As crazy and terrifying as that sounds, getting a serious infection from a hair tie is a very real thing. We asked New York dermatologist Michele J Farber, of Schweiger Dermatology Group to help us understand the root of the problem. "A hair tie may cause a cut or an abrasion on your wrist after chronically rubbing on your wrist," she says. "If the cut is deep enough, it can allow bacteria that normally live on the skin, or potentially dangerous pathogens such as MRSA or E. Coli, to penetrate to deeper layers where they do not belong. The earliest sign is a painful pink bump, which can grow into an abscess."
Although you may not realize it, hair ties can pick up bacteria when housed in gym bags, handbags, or when they fall on the floor—which happens to all of us almost everyday. To stay ahead of infections, keep them clean. "Although infections from hair bands are uncommon, wash your ties with antibacterial soap or recycle them every so often to help reduce your risk," she says. "Maintaining proper hand hygiene is also important for preventing infection as well. It's also helpful to keep your hair tie loose around your wrist so that it does not chronically rub or irritate the area."
With the holiday season upon us, it's prime time for wearing metal hair accessories, but be careful they don't scratch your skin. Farber says metals can trigger eczema and allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin, as these metals often contain nickel or metal combinations that are common allergens. So the next time you reach for your metal hair tie, think again (and again) about wearing it on your wrist. I sure will.
Related: 35 bob haircuts that look amazing on everyone:
35 Bob Haircuts that Look Amazing on Everyone
35 Bob Haircuts that Look Amazing on Everyone
Jennifer Lawrence’s beachy bob is also red-carpet ready. She opts for sunny ombré highlights and controlled texture that shines with a glossy finish. Use a dry shampoo on ends first, twisting strands into loose ringlets, and finish the style with a misting of satin hair spray.
Mad Men screen siren Christina Hendricks’ bob is one of the most flattering options around, thanks to its delicate side-swept bangs and face-framing waves. To get the look, curl front sections around a large-barrel iron, wrapping strands in the direction away from your face.
Model Karlie Kloss keeps it classic with her timelessly chic blunt bob. She modernizes the look by giving her bangs a soft sweep and creating a deep side part. For the same bounce and body, apply some light volumizing serum on roots before drying with a round brush, curling under at the ends.
Imperfect curls give actress Nikki Reed’s chin-length chop some sexy texture. Wrap two-inch sections of mid-shaft hair around a curling iron, keeping ends loose so they fall straight. Finish the look with dry shampoo and tousle ends with your fingers.
Nicole Richie has perfected the ‘lob’ hairstyle, proving that the easy-to-wear long bob style has staying power. Ask your stylist to create a very subtle angle; keeping the front strands slightly longer than the back. Smooth on some shine serum and make a defined side part to match this look.
Quite possibly the most universally flattering hairstyle out there, a bob like Naomi Watts' is a classic cut — yet somehow feels very of-the-moment. A center part and just a touch of wave lend a not-too-drastic, but still dramatic, finish. Not to mention that it's incredibly easy to style by doing nothing more than chasing a round brush with your hairdryer after towel drying.
Glam ringlets on Emma Watson transform her bob into a red carpet-ready coif. Start with a deep side part and curl hair with a two-inch iron from mid-length to ends, tucking one side section behind your ear.
Songstress Alicia Keys keeps her bob super sleek. A flat iron's a must with this blunt cut, which is a bit longer in front to frame her face.
This razor cut bob gives Julianne Hough’s shoulder-grazing hair some sophisticated edge. For the same dimension, stick to long layers and a deep side part—at home, style strands with your fingers and some texturizing spray for an undone finish.
Brandi swept her hair into a faux bob to get the look without the commitment. For soft waves, use a large barrel iron on three-inch sections of hair. Gather strands and tuck the length under at the nape of your neck and secure with hidden bobby pins.
Rose Byrne’s sexy bob gets texture from loose, beachy curls. For waves and extra volume at your crown, mist hair with dry shampoo and twist small sections into loose ringlets.
Side-swept bangs and natural curls bring softness to Kerry Washington’s bob. Create a side part and blow dry just your bangs straight. Use a curling iron to blend some defined ringlets within your natural curls.
This platinum blonde bob rocked by Christina Aguilera makes a classic statement with blunt bangs. Style the look with a center part and be prepared to maintain your fringe with trims every three weeks.
This chin-length bob suits Rachael Taylor’s straight, fine hair. Blow dry hair straight with a paddle brush, then smooth some styling balm through strands with your fingers, combing one side behind your ear for a slick finish.
Nicki Minaj’s punched up bob stands out with rosy streaks. Known for her colorful wigs, you can tame the look with just a few hot pink clip-in extensions, trimmed to match the length of your bob.
A wide side part and slightly mussed texture mirror Cameron Diaz's laid-back attitude, even on the red carpet.
Some major bombshell volume gives Zendaya Coleman’s bob a boost. Treat wet hair with a volumizing cream at your crown, then blow dry smooth. Set sections with large hot curlers for twenty minutes then brush out.
Demonstrating just how versatile the bob can be, Elizabeth Banks sections off her bangs before sweeping them over her crown and pinning at the back of her sleek hairstyle with a single barrette.
Sure, she's equal parts supermodel and super-mom, but Heidi Klum's long bob is one hairstyle that looks just as gorgeous with almost every face shape. Off-center bangs that sweep in in at her cheekbone emphasize her enviable bone structure.
Long, side swept bangs add softness to Ashlee Simpson’s chin-length bob.
Adele ups the glamour with full waves that offer a different take on the chanteuse's signature '60s style.
Natasha Bedingfield creates waves with her edgy bob, transforming it with curls that put a modern twist on a Hollywood classic.
Subtle highlights add extra glamour to Malin Akerman's softly waved bob.
Side-swept bangs and rumpled waves lend a laid-back look to Olivia Wilde's bob.
A wide side part is key to January Jones's precisely cut hairstyle, a sleek yet sexy version of the bob.
Classic and infinitely wearable, Rose Byrne's bob highlights her jawline by falling just below her chin. Long blunt bangs are curled to further soften the effect.
Katherine Heigl adds soft waves to her blunt cut for an effect that's at once elegant and sexy.
Having shorn her long locks for a role, the High School Musical alum, Vanessa Hudgens grows out her hair into a cute voluminous bob softened by face-framing layers.
Emily Blunt keeps it simply stylish with a sleek no-fuss bob that works as well with formal attire as it does with casual wear.
Ali Larter's soft, tousled waves give a party-perfect twist to her versatile cut.
Showing off her signature ‘do, the actress Keira Knightley side-parts a classic bob, which features graduated layers that are longest in the front.
The 90210 actress, Jessica Stroup flaunts a flirty bob accentuated with choppy layers and glossy highlights.
Rocking the sexiest take on the bob, the supermodel, Brooklyn Decker tousles her layered cut into a bed-head style.
A choppy cut ups the Glee star, Dianna Agron’s appeal as she peeks out from behind lash-sweeping bangs.
January Jones accomplishes the task of looking sexy and classy with a tousled bob that looks just a tad bit messy.