Can Headphones Really Dent Your Head?

Mizkif's Headphone Dent
Mizkif’s Headphone Dent

Find out if constant headphone use can cause permanent damage to your skull, and what to do to avoid headphone dents.

After wearing tight headphones every day, you may have noticed that a dent remains on your hair where your headphones’ band used to sit. This may be normal for you, and at most a minor aesthetic concern. But what do you do when you also see a slight skin indentation on the area where your headband was?

It can be extremely alarming to see your head slightly deformed because of headband use. It gets worse when you check it after a while, and the dent is still there! Did you actually cause a dent on your skull because of constant headphone use?

Well, that’s what this article is for. We’ll discuss if using headphones can actually cause a dent on your skull, and what you can do to prevent headphone dents.

Can Headphones Dent Your Head?

MizKif's headphone dent (From: Twitch/Mizkif)
MizKif’s headphone dent (From: Twitch/Mizkif)

Worried that your headphones can indent your skull or change the shape of your head? The good news is, they can’t.

Your headphones can cause a temporary indentation on your hair and even your head, but they won’t damage your skull for good.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why there is a dent in your head after removing your headphones, rest assured that it’s not a permanent damage to your skull. Rather, it’s possibly either headphone hair or a dent on your scalp from wearing headphones for too long. These two, after all, are extremely noticeable after a long day of wearing tight headphones.

Headphone hair happens when your headphones’ headband exerts pressure on the hair and scalp, flattening the hair. This results in a dent across the area of the hair where the headband originally was.

A man wearing headphones has his hair flattened by the headband. (From: Unsplash)
A man wearing headphones has his hair flattened by the headband. (From: Unsplash)

On the other hand, a slight dent on the head can also happen after prolonged use of tight headphones. Although this sounds alarming, this actually is perfectly temporary! It will go away on its own after some time.

This is similar to the mark that your pair of eyeglasses sometimes leaves your face after a whole day of wearing it: the marks are apparent at first, but they fade away after a few minutes of not wearing the glasses. Headphone dents work the same way—a slight indentation may seem scary, but your skin will go back to its original shape after a short while.

What to Do if You Do Feel a Dent on Your Skull

A figurine of a skull wearing headphones. (From: Unsplash)
A figurine of a skull wearing headphones. (From: Unsplash)

Headphone dents typically last only for a few minutes to a few hours at most. So, if they’re still present for more than a day, that may already be a cause for concern.

If you’re convinced that you do have a dent on your skull, it’s best to seek help right away. Indentations on the skull should be taken seriously, as they require medical attention. This may be caused by a genetic or congenital disease that may require immediate intervention.

Here are a few conditions behind an indented skull:

Congenital skull indentation

Also called Craniosynostosis, congenital skull indentation is a disease that typically happens with fetuses and newborns. Babies have flexible, fibrous joints called sutures that separate the plates of bone on the skull, which exist to allow the brain to expand as they grow.

Craniosynostosis happens when the newborn’s sutures close too early, leading to problems with normal brain and skull growth, and giving the head a dented look.

Paget’s disease of the bone

In Paget’s disease of the bone, the body generates new bones faster than normal, to the point that the rapid remodeling process ends up producing bone that’s weaker than normal. This results in multiple problems, such as bone pain, fractures, and even deformities. This disease is more common in older people and is rarer for people below 50 years old.

Gorham’s disease

Gorham’s disease, also known as phantom bone disease or Gorham vanishing bone disease, is a rare condition with no known cause. This disease is characterized by bone loss that results from abnormal proliferation of vascular or lymphatic channels within the bone.

Trauma

Trauma refers to a serious injury to the body. In some cases, serious injury to the head can cause a fracture to the skull, leading to a dent on the head. This requires immediate medical attention, as this implies that a piece of the skull may be pointing inwards to the brain, which may cause further damage.

Cancer

Bone cancer happens when unusual cells grow out of control in the bone, destroying bone tissue. This disease is rare, but some kinds of bone cancer may end up destroying bone tissues, causing issues such as skull depressions and irregularities.

Can Headphones Change Your Ear Shape?

A young boy wearing headphones. (From: Unsplash)
A young boy wearing headphones. (From: Unsplash)

Another key concern that headphone users have is if using headphones can permanently change their ear shape.

Fortunately, this isn’t possible as well.

Constantly wearing headphones cannot alter your ear shape. Currently, no evidence exists that headphone use can deform your outer ear lobes in any way.

Although headphones push your ears inward, this constant pressure is not enough to change the shape of your ear forever. That’s because your ears are fully developed by the time you start wearing headphones, meaning their structure cannot be changed anymore.

In fact, your outer ear, also called the auricle, can only be changed or molded within the first few weeks of infancy. This is because the ears mature as you get older, and therefore retain their shape better as you age.

Hence, in adulthood, when most people start wearing headphones, it should be developed enough that even friction and pressure caused by headphone usage won’t affect it.

So, why does it seem like the shape of your ears are changing?

The thing is, with constant headphone use, you keep pushing your ears close to your face.

Normally, your ears will return to their original position after a few hours of not wearing headphones. But, if you use your headphones all the time, you won’t give your ears time to revert to their original position. That’s why it seems like your ears are changing shape, even if they aren’t.

What to Do if Your Headphones Are Uncomfortable or Too Tight

The main culprit behind the discomfort you feel while wearing headphones is typically a tight fit that exerts too much pressure on your ears or on your head. The uncomfortable dent you get on your scalp, especially, is due to your headphones’ headband pushing on your head.

To avoid or remedy a headphone dent, therefore, you’ll have to prevent your headphones from applying too much pressure on the top of your head.

Here’s what you can do:

Wear your headphone at the back and not the top to relieve pressure

A man wears his headphones with the band at the back of his head. (From: Unsplash)
A man wears his headphones with the band at the back of his head. (From: Unsplash)

Through repositioning your headphones’ headband, you can remove the pressure from the top of your head, and thus, avoid headphone dent and headphone hair.

What you can do is to place your ear pads comfortably on each ear first, and then place the headband behind your head. This allows for both a secure fit for your earpads, and also a more comfortable experience for you as you wear your headphones. what’s more, you won’t have to worry about having headphone dents anymore!

Wear a cap or beanie under your headphones

A man wears a beanie underneath his headphones. (From: Unsplash)
A man wears a beanie underneath his headphones. (From: Unsplash)

A cap or beanie can serve as a buffer for the pressure your headphones can exert on your head. It can also serve as extra padding, which can help distribute the pressure more evenly throughout your head. This way, all the force won’t be focused on your scalp, thus helping you avoid having an indentation on your head.

To do this, simply wear a comfortable cap or beanie before you wear your headphones as usual. You may also want to adjust your headphones’ tightness to accommodate the beanie or cap you’ll be using.

Be mindful of the clamping force

Your headphones’ clamping force is important in ensuring that it won’t fall off your head. However, the problem with clamping force is that too strong or too weak of it can cause you discomfort.

When your headphones’ clamping force is too strong, it can feel too tight on your head. This ends up placing too much pressure on your head, especially on its top part, which can later result in a headphone dent or headphone hair.

Consequently, if the clamping force is too weak, that can also be a bad thing! When your headphones are too loose, the headband may end up resting firmly on top of your head to stay in place. As a result, your headphones will still end up pressing on your head, ultimately causing a dent.

To remedy this situation, there are two things you can opt to do: loosen your tight headphones, or tighten your loose headphones.

Loosen tight headphones (From: Pexels)
Loosen tight headphones (From: Pexels)

To break-in tight headphones, simply look for a sturdy object that’s wider than your head. Clamp the headphones on the object, usually for about 24 hours, or until it fits more loosely.

To tighten loose headphones, you simply have to do the opposite. Look for a stable object that’s a bit narrower than your head. Clamp your headphones on your object of choice, then secure it with a rope or cord. Let it set for at least 24 hours, and check if it’s tight enough for you afterward.

For more information, you may check out this article to learn what to do if your headphones hurt your ears in any way.

Add more padding

Quality headband paddings can make headphone-wearing a more comfortable experience.

Great padding can help decrease the pressure and clamping exerted by your headphones, as it distributes the headphones’ weight more evenly. This eases the pressure on top of your head, thereby making headphone hair and dents less likely.

To change your headphones’ padding, you can either make a DIY headphone padding, or buy a ready-made replacement.

DIY headphone paddings are the perfect choice for those looking for cheap yet quality padding. Making your headband padding also allows you more control, as you’re directly in charge on how it will end up looking and feeling.

TXEsign headphone headband padding (From: Amazon)
TXEsign headphone headband padding (From: Amazon)

However, if DIY isn’t your thing, there are many replacement cushion pads available in the market. For instance, you can’t go wrong with this headband cushion pad from TXEsign. It’s made from quality material, and is compatible with most headphones, too! This is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something durable and reliable that won’t break the bank.

For more information, check out our handy guide on how to replace headphone pads.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it! As you can see, using headphones can’t damage your skull forever–it can only cause dents on your head temporarily, but it’s not a major cause for concern.

Still, there are many ways you can take to avoid that slight indentation on your head after using headphones for a long time. Just follow the tips we gave, and you won’t have to worry about headphone dents anymore!

Find these tips helpful? Drop us a comment and let us know what you think!

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