It’s all too easy to lose track of time when you’re listening to an album you love or playing a video game that has you completely obsessed. While becoming absorbed in your favorite hobby is beautiful, you might notice something a little different about your head when you take your headphones off to return to the real world.
Headphones, especially the bulky, noise-canceling variety, can put a lot of pressure on our heads. After you’ve worn them for a significant amount of time, there can be indentations from where the ear cups rested on the skull. Is this headphone dent something permanent, or just a temporary side effect of long-term headphone wear?
Headphones can leave a temporary indentation when they’re worn for a while, but this indentation is only surface deep. The headphone dent is either a crease in the hair, a crease in the skin, or a combination of the two. The skull is not affected by headphones.
Can You Get a Dent in Your Head From Headphones?
Wearing headphones is a must during serious gaming sessions, especially when there are other noises and distractions that you need to drown out. Gaming headphones tend to be large enough to cover the ear entirely and stay in place, and the headphones fit snuggly.
All of these necessary features of headphones have one downfall, known as headphone dent. Headphones can cause a dent in the hair or skin of the headphone wearer, but these dents only last a short amount of time. Headphones cannot cause a dent in the skull.
It’s understandably worrisome to remove your headphones and see a change on your head, but unless there is accompanying pain, your headphone dent isn’t anything to worry about. Most distortions caused by headphones will resolve themselves within minutes or hours.
That being said, having an indentation on your head every time you wear headphones can be a sign that your headphones don’t fit correctly. Headphones that are too small, too tight, or ill-fitting can all contribute to headphone dents.
While creased skin or messed up hair from headphones isn’t anything to worry about, seek medical attention right away if you believe that you feel a dent in your actual skull. Malformations in the bone of your skull can be a medical emergency and aren’t something that should be ignored.
How to Fix a Dent in Your Head From Headphones
If you’ve got the dreaded headphone dent and you need to get rid of it as soon as possible, there are a few things you can do. Gentle massaging the dented area or taking a hot shower can help the headphone dents resolve on their own quickly.
Instead of trying to fix the skin indentations from headphones after they happen, it’s more effective to prevent them in the first place. Here are a few tips to avoid headphone dents in the future:
- Loosen your headphones and make sure that they fit your head properly.
- Wear the band of the headphones on the back of your head and not on top.
- Wear a beanie under the headphones to prevent direct contact between the headphones and your delicate skin.
- Switch back and forth between traditional headphones and earbuds.
- If the dent is occurring in your hair and not your skin, wear your hair up while wearing the headphones.
Do Headphone Dents Go Away?
Yes, headphone dents in the skin and hair go away on their own, usually within an hour.
Thankfully, headphone dents aren’t permanent. Our skulls are much harder than you might think, and it would take a lot more to dent our skulls than just a pair of tight headphones.
If for some reason, your headphone dents don’t go away within a few hours, or if you suspect that the dents may go deeper than the skin, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.
How Long Does It Take for a Headset Dent to Go Away?
Usually, headphone dents will resolve themselves within minutes, but the longer you wear your headphones, the longer it can take for the dents to go away.
Our skin is pretty resilient and can bounce back from excessive pressure without issue. As long as there aren’t any extenuating circumstances, like previous injury or skin allergies that can cause hives, headphones dents shouldn’t stick around more than an hour or two.
Can Headphones Cause Hair Loss?
Headphones can’t cause permanent dents on our heads, but they can have a few other less than desirable side effects. While the skull can’t be affected by headphones, the scalp actually can. Is long-term headphone wear related to hair loss?
Headphones can cause hair loss when used excessively. Because of the way the strap of the headphones presses against the scalp and hair, a form of hair loss called traction alopecia can occur.
Headphones cause friction on hair, especially when worn tightly on the top of the head. Traction alopecia usually occurs from tight hairstyles like ponytails and buns, but things like headphones and sports helmets can also cause this type of hair loss.
If your headphones are causing dents on your scalp, they’re probably tight enough to cause traction alopecia. To avoid dents and hair loss, try wearing a beanie hat under your headphones, taking long breaks from headphone wear, or swapping your over-the-ear headphones for earbuds.
Headphones can cause temporary dents in the hair and skin of wearers, and these dents are more common and longer-lasting when headphones are worn excessively. These dents usually resolve within minutes and aren’t anything to be concerned about medically.
To avoid these dents, you can wear looser headphones, switch to earbuds, or wear a beanie underneath your headphones. Whichever option you choose, you can listen to music or play video games as long as you’d like with minimal headphone denting.