The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. 

Gamer finds indent in head from prolonged headset use after shaving his hair

‘New fear just unlocked,’ said one fellow gamer

Meredith Clark
New York
Saturday 10 June 2023 10:07 BST
Twitch streamer’s kitchen goes up in flames during live-stream

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A Twitch streamer was left stunned after he livestreamed himself shaving his hair for charity, only to find an indent on his head from wearing his gaming headset.

Curtis, who goes by Curtoss on streaming platform Twitch, went live on 3 June to raise money for the charity organisation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. While shaving his head for charity, viewers witnessed Curtis’ shock when he discovered that his head shape had completely changed due to his prolonged headset use.

“The shaver’s working like a champ,” Curtis said, as he began shaving his hair down the middle of his head.

Within seconds, he noticed an indent across the top of his head. “Dude, I have an indent like right here, this is where my headphones go!” he told viewers. “I have a f***ing headphone indent on my head! What the f***?”

“I always thought that was just my hair,” he added.

It didn’t take long for Curtis’ reaction to go viral on social media. He shared a clip of his mid-shave discovery to his TikTok, while on Twitter, a video of his head indent received more than 42 million views.

Surprisingly, Curtis wasn’t the only one to find an indent on their head from wearing headphones.

“Welcome to the club,” replied one Twitter user, who shared photos of two gamers with indents on their skulls.

“We all got one of those at one point or another,” another gamer joked.

“Tell me why I’ve just rubbed my head to make sure I don’t have one,” shared one person, while another wrote: “New fear just unlocked”

“This is why I will never wear a headset for prolonged time periods,” said someone else.

Speaking to The Independent, Curtis said that although he was shocked to find the indent in his head, he decided to “lean into” his new head shape, all in the name of charity.

“When I first saw the indent in my head, I was shocked to say the least,” he told us. “I always felt a slight indent in my hair from wearing my headphones, but I thought it was just my hair being pushed down! Immediately, I realised the comedy of the situation and leaned into it.”

Since then, he’s been given the lighthearted nickname of “Brain Valley” from fellow Twitch streamers.

His video first went viral after his friend Matt posted the clip on Reddit to bring awareness to his fundraiser. “I’ve been getting tons and tons of comments and messages ever since, ranging from viewers commenting that they’ve just noticed their own head indents to expressing support for the cause,” he shared.

So, can prolonged headphones really cause permanent damage? Yes and no.

While there are risks to wearing headphones for long periods of time, head indents are temporary. In fact, Headphonesty reports that it takes at least 135 kg to cause a minor fracture to the skull.

However, streamers can get “headphone hair” from wearing a headphone headband for too long, wherein the headset puts too much pressure on the head and flattens the hair. But much like indents on the scalp, hair should gradually return to its original shape in just a few minutes.

In order to help get rid of headphone dents on the scalp or hair faster, gamers can gently massage the dent and the surrounding area. A hot shower might help return the head to its original shape, but taking breaks from wearing headphones is the most effective way to avoid causing a dent in the scalp.

While gamers and Twitch streamers don’t need to worry about changing the shape of their head, prolonged headphone use can lead to permanent hearing loss. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 50 per cent of people ages 12 to 35 are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds, including through headphones.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, many headphones and MP3 players today can produce sounds up to 120 decibels, which is equivalent to a sound level at a rock concert. At 120 decibels, hearing loss can occur after only about an hour and 15 minutes.

Experts suggest that people should exceed no more than 60 per cent of maximum volume when using headphones.

After making his own discovery, Curtis soon came to learn that his indent is also temporary. “I’m not doing anything differently to get rid of it now though,” he added. “If my head indent can help raise more money for charity then I’m happy to keep it around until some hair grows back.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in