Myth or Fact: Do Hats Cause Hair Loss?

Learning that a fashionable accessory may be the reason behind your hair loss can make you feel distressed. You might wonder if inadvertently you’re damaging your hair by the simple act of putting on your favourite hat.

And hats are not always a fashion accessory. Many people wear wide-brimmed bucket hats because they offer greater protection against sun damage to their face and hair. So, to keep wearing hats with complete peace of mind, you must know, does wearing a hat cause hair loss?

If you’re experiencing hair loss, there might be multiple reasons why it’s happening. In some cases, hair loss is reversible. However, in others, your hair can regrow once it’s shed.

Does wearing a hat cause hair loss that’s permanent, though? Many hair loss sufferers ask themselves this question. If it is the culprit, they’d rather stop wearing hats so that they don’t lose their hair anymore.

Does Wearing A Hat Cause Hair Loss?  

If you’re here, you may have heard conflicting statements about this. Some argue that wearing hats can cause hair fall. And it may be because of the following reasons: 

Poor Blood Circulation & Clogged Pores

The logic behind it is that wearing hats for long periods every day may result in poor blood circulation in the scalp region. It can also cause a build-up of bacteria due to the absence of air. Your hair won’t be able to breathe. 

The hair becomes greasy and dirty from wearing the hat. The gunk gets accumulated in the fabric of the hat throughout the day. It can clog your pores, and the dirt can gather around the roots of your hair, blocking the air supply. This can eventually make your hair fall. 

To avoid that, the fabric of the hat that you’re wearing should be soft and breathable. Wearing a hat that has a thick, coarse fabric will make your hair stick to your scalp. It can make your hair look less voluminous. 

You may lose your hair as a result of wearing hats if something like this happens. Those who have pattern baldness might experience greater hair loss as a result. It might lead them to think that wearing a hat is causing it all. However, it’s not entirely true. 

Traction Alopecia 

So, does wearing a hat cause hair loss due to traction? Traction alopecia happens when the hair is continuously pulled on. There are certain headgears that can pull on your hair. For example, wearing a hat that doesn’t fit you properly and is too tight can put stress on your hair follicles. 

The pressure could damage your hair resulting in hair loss. Still, it is quite unlikely that you’ll experience traction alopecia from wearing hats. People don’t wear their hats tight enough to cause traction alopecia. Regardless, be careful about what you’re putting on your head. 

Frictional Alopecia 

If you’re thinking can wearing a hat too much cause hair loss, the answer to that is maybe. You can lose hair due to the friction between the inner lining of the helmet and your hair. 

The constant rubbing of the hair, follicles, and skin by the fabric can make you lose your body hair in that area. One example of this is the loss of hair around the ankles due to socks, shoes, and tight clothes. Therefore, it is possible for you to experience frictional alopecia if you wear tight hats too frequently. 

Can Hats Prevent Hair Loss?

Yes and for mysterious reasons. One 2013 study, published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, conducted on 92 pairs of identical male twins found that “increased smoking duration and the presence of dandruff” caused increased hair loss in the frontal region. 

Moreover, “increased exercise duration,” consuming alcoholic drinks more than 4 times a week, and, surprisingly, spending more money on buying hair loss products all lead to increased hair loss in the temporal region. Even more surprising was that twins who wore a hat experienced less hair loss in comparison to those who didn’t wear it. 

Clearly, one cannot say for sure if wearing a hat is causing them to lose their hair. There are many reasons why people lose their hair. Genetics, medicines, stress, hormonal changes, and hairstyles are just a few of them. To get receive a clear-cut diagnosis, you need to seek out a professional doctor.  

Does Wearing A Hat Cause Hair Loss That’s Permanent?

Research on the connection between wearing hats and losing hair has been far and few in between. If you’re someone who wears hats, you might’ve started feeling worried by now. 

You might be thinking of all the instances where you saw strands of hair stuck to your hat after you took it off. However, do not jump to any conclusions just yet. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, it is normal if you lose from 50 to 100 strands of hair in a day.  

You need to be careful, though. Hair loss from wearing hats is not always temporary and reversible. Make sure that you’re not wearing a hat that’s too tight. Wearing a tight hat in summer is especially not a good idea. It can cause irritation or inflammation. 

It’ll decrease the blood flow to the scalp and put stress on your hair follicles. Although quite unlikely, your hair follicles can get too damaged. Scar tissue gets formed. This scar can prevent the growth of new hair. But these instances are very rare. You should be able to prevent this from happening. 

Does Wearing A Hat Cause Baldness Due to Androgenetic Alopecia?

No. People genetically predisposed to pattern baldness develop it. So, wearing a hat has nothing to do with it. If a person’s wearing a hat that’s too tight while also having pattern baldness, the hat can potentially worsen hair loss. 

But, in this case, you’ll primarily lose your hair because of androgenetic alopecia. Wearing or not wearing a hat won’t make much of a difference to your hair loss. 

Can Wearing A Hat Cause Hair Loss After Restoration Surgery? 

To hide their scalps, some people decide to wear hats. That should definitely be avoided. That’s because it can affect the survival rate of the grafts by increasing the risk of infection or dislodging the grafts altogether. So that way, does wearing a hat cause hair loss after restoration surgery? Yes, it potentially can.  

Does Wearing a Scarf Causes Hair Loss? 

Wearing a tight scarf can pull on the roots of your hair. It can recede your hairline, especially if the scarf pulls back tightly on it. The fabric of the scarf needs to be soft and breathable. Moreover, make sure that you tie your hair loosely underneath the scarf so that it is not under tension. 

Importantly, do not wear a scarf when your hair’s wet. The trapped moisture creates an ideal environment for fungus to thrive. It can also cause dandruff. 

Other than that, make sure that the scarf you wear is clean. Many women who wear scarves experience acne breakouts on their foreheads. The sweat and dirt on the fabric of the scarf or a cap that you’re wearing underneath the scarf might be the reason why you’re breaking out there. So, wash the scarf before wearing it. 

Just as with hats, wearing a tight scarf can make it difficult for the roots of your hair to breathe properly. You might’ve seen many companies advertising shampoos specifically made for women who cover their heads. Those shampoos are just like any other shampoos and won’t do anything special for you. Don’t end up falling for such marketing claims.

Are There Any Benefits of Wearing Hats? 

Yes, there are, in fact, many important benefits of wearing hats. Exposed to the UV rays of the sun, our hair can get weak, dry, frizzy, brittle, and bleached from mere sun damage. 

People who have thin, lightly coloured hair should be especially more careful. Their hair is more vulnerable to sun damage. Therefore, wearing a hat can protect your hair from getting damaged. So does wearing a hat cause hair loss always? Not really; it can actually prevent that. Moderation is key. 

If you bleach your hair and/or iron or curl it, exposure to the sun can be even more damaging. Swim caps were originally designed to reduce drag caused by hair underwater. But swimming in the chlorinated pool water, you should wear a swim cap, as it can provide a degree of protection to your hair. So, wearing hats or caps isn’t all bad.  

Wrapping Up the Discussion 

Knowing the answer to does wearing a hat cause hair loss can help many people prevent any extensive damage that they may be unknowingly doing to their hair. In and of themselves, do hats cause hair loss? No, but their poor usage might. 

The fabric and the fitting of the hat can, however, end up damaging your hair. Clogged pores, traction and frictional alopecia may be the reason why you’re losing your hair from wearing hats, even though it’s rare. 

 Just to be safe, you should wear soft, breathable, and loose-fitting hats. If you believe that you’re losing your hair from wearing hats, stop wearing them, and still continue to lose your hair, you should get in touch with a doctor. Commonly stress, genetics, medications, treatments, diseases, and hormonal imbalance can make you lose your hair. 

Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan

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