Wearing Hats And Hair Loss – Is There A Link?

by Priyanka S
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Wearing hats is both a utilitarian and fashionable approach. But if you are experiencing hair shedding whenever you wear or remove a hat, could that mean trouble? Well, if it is severe, ensure you consult your doctor. But if it is not, you may not have to worry about it.

Here, we have discussed the possible relation between wearing a hat and hair loss. Take a look.

Can Wearing A Hat Make You Bald

No scientific evidence suggests that wearing a hat causes male or female pattern baldness. A study in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that it is not a single factor, but a combination of different environmental factors, which contributes to hair loss (1).

Another study showed that wearing headgear results in localized hair loss, though hair regrowth begins once the headgear use is discontinued (2). According to Cleveland Clinic Dermatologist Dr. John Anthony, MD , wearing a tight hat decreases blood flow to the hair follicles and stresses them, resulting in hair fall. Though the hair loss is temporary, it can become permanent over time if no corrections are made.

If the possible link between wearing a hat and hair loss concerns you, and so does the prospect of quitting on hats, this is what you can do – wear a loose-fitting hat and not a tighter one. Sporting a tight hat can irritate or inflame the scalp, cause follicles to lose strength, and potentially result in hair loss. The following section discusses how traction (or friction) can cause hair loss.

Hats And Traction (Friction) Alopecia

Traction (or friction) alopecia can develop from the regular use of tight hats, braids, tight bands, clips, helmets, or any other headgear. These can take a toll on hair health as they constantly tug and rub on your scalp. If not fixed right away, these can eventually lead to alopecia (3).

But the most common causes of alopecia or hair thinning include genes, hormonal imbalances, among others.

Other Causes Of Hair Loss

  • Genetics: If you have a family history of hair fall, you also may experience the same (4).
  • Stress: Emotional and physiological stress can result in temporary hair loss, a condition medically termed as telogen effluvium (5). This condition can make the hair follicles undernourished and weak, leading to rapid hair loss.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Androgenic hormonal dysfunctions or secretion of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) weaken the hair roots and hair follicles, resulting in abnormal hair loss (6).
  • Nutrient Deficiency: Nutritional deficiencies may impact hair health. Sudden weight loss or lack of adequate protein in the diet weakens the hair roots and leads to hair shedding or loss (7).
  • Medications: Hair loss and baldness can be a side effect of certain medications and supplements. Medicines for thyroid dysfunction, heart disease, and depression may cause hair fall (8).
  • Childbirth: Postpartum telogen effluvium (PPTE), or post-pregnancy hair fall, happens due to the psychological stress a body undergoes during childbirth (9).

If you regularly wear hats, braids, or bands, the following tips may help you reduce the chances of hair loss.

Tips To Prevent Hair Loss

  • Do not wear tight hats or caps for too long, as they may result in sweat accumulation and loosen the hair roots.
  • Tight braids also can damage hair. Avoid twisting, stroking, and tugging hair for too long.
  • Protect your delicate strands from the sun and the UV rays by wearing a cotton scarf, a loose hat, or other forms of head protection.
  • Do not abuse your hair with excess chemical processes or heat treatments.
  • Check with a dermatologist if you are on medications or hormonal therapy.
  • Lower your stress levels by practicing deep breathing techniques and meditation. Learn to think positively. Indulge yourself in your favorite hobbies.
  • Avoid smoking, as it can lead to hair fall (10).
  • Keep your head sweat-free. Sweat accumulation can lead to a scalp infection. It also can clog the scalp pores and lead to hair fall.

Scientists are not sure if wearing a hat leads to hair loss. But if you are a regular user of tight headgear, you may experience some hair shedding. Check with your doctor if your hair fall is severe and find the best solutions to overcome it.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can turbans cause hair loss?

Headbands and turbans are tighter than hats and may cause traction alopecia.

Does wearing a hat slow down hair growth?

No, wearing a hat does not slow down hair growth.

What happens if you wear a hat every day?

Wearing a tight hat every day may slow down the blood circulation to the scalp and compromise the health of hair follicles. But wearing a loose hat does not seem to cause hair loss.

10 sources

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