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Can Headphones Dent Your Head? 5 Surprising Facts (2023)

Can Headphones Dent Your Head

You just can’t stop touching your head. 

Somehow, you feel like there’s a dent because you’ve been using headphones for hours.

“Is it possible?”, you wonder.

And I’m here to answer that question.

Keep reading to discover:

  • 5 unexpected facts about head dents from headphones.
  • 3 tested ways to prevent headphone dents on your head.
  • The 3 essential factors you must consider when buying headphones to avoid dents.
  • And so much more…

Can headphones dent your head?

Headphones can dent your head, but only for about 15 seconds to 45 minutes. Dents happen because cells in your body move from their initial position due to pressure. Furthermore, it should only be as deep as your scalp, which is around 0.163 inches or 4.16 mm.

Headphones denting head – 5 surprising facts

#1: Indentations from headphones are only temporary

After hours of gaming while wearing headphones…

Anyone’s bound to have a dent in their head.

But here’s why you shouldn’t worry about it:

It’s not permanent.

How so?

You might panic when you feel your head’s caved in. However, with headphones, that indentation is mostly skin and hair.

Moreover, you can also experience this when you’re using eyeglasses. Or even when you’re wearing a face mask.

But for headsets, this phenomenon is often called the “headphone dent.”

Now, you might be wondering:

“Why do I get dents on my skin when I’m wearing something tight?”

Think of your skin as a collection of tiny full bags (cells) surrounded by liquid (interstitial fluid). And pressure can easily push these bags aside since they’re on a fluid surface.

The good news is your cells should return to normal in no time. This can range from 15 seconds to 45 minutes. That depends on how long you’ve been using headphones.

And that’s why the best thing you can do if you’re experiencing this is to be patient.

If you want to see a good example of the headphone dent…

You can watch this video of a streamer taking off his headphones:

#2: It would take an immense amount of pressure to indent your skull

I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, which means I panic and overthink at the first sign of illness.

Naturally, I panicked when I first experienced the headphone dent. I thought it was permanent, no matter what people on the internet said.

That was until I saw how much pressure it actually takes to reshape your skull:

It’s 2300 newtons or around 520 pounds.

Now, it might be tough to visualize just how much pressure that is…

So, I turned it into a fun exercise and compiled this list to help you visualize how heavy 2300 newtons is:

  • Greater than a quarter of a tonne.
  • Beyond 4 times as heavy as an octopus.
  • More than twice as strong as Muhammad Ali’s punches.

So, if you’re still worried about your headphones reshaping your skull…

Think about those 3 things and focus on how unlikely your headphones can damage your head.

#3: Even your ears can’t be altered by headphones

Another thing people worry about online is how headphones can alter the shape of their ears.

Much like other parts of your body…

The shape of your ears will become permanent after infanthood.

Fortunately, this means you shouldn’t worry about constant pressure affecting how they look.

That said, headphones can temporarily alter it.

However, your ear shape should return to normal after a few minutes.

#4: Head indentations might be signs of a health issue

Permanent dents on your head might be an indication of a health issue. And it has nothing to do with your headset.

Now, some of the possible health issues are:

  • Bone Cancer.
  • Vitamin A Toxicity.
  • Severe trauma from an accident.
  • Gorham’s Disease: Rare and progressive bone loss.
  • Congenital Skull Indentation: Head dent that evolved from your infanthood.

Warning: I’m not a doctor. That’s why I highly recommend going to one if you have a head dent that won’t go away.

#5: You can make the headphone dent go away

Since headphone dents are only skin-deep or in your hair, I have some good news:

You can easily get rid of them.


A hot shower will do fine to fix your head indentation.

That’s because high temperatures can speed up the movement of your cells. 

And if that didn’t work…

You could also try massaging the affected area with coconut or olive oils.

How to stop headphones from denting your head

To stop headphones from denting your head, you must take the following measures:

#1: Wear a hat under your headphones

Wear A Hat Under Your Headphones

When you were a kid, have you ever had an adult scold you for wearing hats inside?

Well, it’s time to stop listening to the elderly.

That’s because…

Wearing something under your headphones is a great way to alleviate some pressure.

A beanie will also do if you’re not a fan of hats. As long as it has a:

  • Thick fabric.
  • Smooth surface.
  • Full head coverage.

#2: Use your headphones over the back of your head

“I don’t really want to use anything over my head.”

That’s a valid concern. After all, I can see how hats or beanies can be distracting for some people.

So, another thing you can do is use your headphones differently.

How so?

Don’t use them over your head. Instead, make sure that it goes over the back of your head.

This way, no pressure will go over your skull. The only things that’ll get squished are your ears, which should be safe from dents.

#3: Get comfortable headphones

Up for a switch?

Dents on your head should only happen if you’re using headphones that don’t fit you.

That’s why I recommend getting a pair of comfortable headphones.

For that, here are the 3 things you need to consider before buying new headphones:

Ear cups

Consider the depth and size of the earcups.

So, get ones that cover your entire ears with no wiggle room.


You’ll also need ear cups that are soft and thick.

After all, there should be enough cushion between your skin and the hardware parts of your headset.

That’s why you’ll need headphones made from a comfortable material. Preferably one with memory foam, a fluid-like substance commonly used in mattresses.

Furthermore, the padding on the headband is also a must if you want to prevent head dents.

Clamping force

Lastly, your headphones should also exert the right amount of pressure to make them secure but comfortable.

For this to happen, an adjustable headband is a must. That way, you can customize the stiffness of your headphone’s hold.


And that brings us to my recommendations.

Since most people prefer over-ear headphones, I’ll start there. Here’s what I recommend:

You can also try using in-ear monitors (IEMs) instead. These headphones go inside your ears instead of having clamps to hold them over your head.

My recommendations for IEMs are: