Can You Go Bald From Wearing Hats?

Man wearing a winter hatHair loss is surrounded by myths. Everything from sunshine and shampoo to your mother has been blamed for hair loss. While yes, genetics are a main culprit in hair loss, don’t blame mom or what you put on your head.

In most cases, genetics and hormonal issues cause hair loss. Most temporary hair loss is due to medication side effects and cancer treatment. Other factors, such as traction alopecia, can cause hair loss, but in far fewer cases than those caused by genetics and hormones. Hair breakage can be caused by many things, but that’s not the same as hair loss from damaged or diminishing hair follicles.

So Does Wearing a Hat Cause Hair Loss?

No, but several things can create the appearance of hair loss from frequent or regular hat wearing. Old folklore says that constantly wearing a hat suffocates the scalp and/or hair, leading to hair loss. If that was the case, Orthodox Jewish men would all be missing hair in the spot covered by their yarmulke or kippah, and a large number of Americans who wear cowboy hats daily would be bald.

One thing that feeds the myth of hats causing hair loss is normal shedding. Hair goes through a cycle of growth, rest, and falling out to make the way for new hair growth. The average person sheds 50 to 100 hairs a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. That sounds like a lot, but since the average person has more than 100,000 strands of hair on their head at any given time, it’s actually very little.

Yet when people remove a hat and possibly see hair in it, they assume the hat caused the hair loss instead of normal shedding. The hat rubbing on the scalp might shake loose hairs ready to be shed normally, much like combing and washing hair generally leads to loose hairs, but the hat itself did not cause the hair loss.

Is Wearing a Hat With Wet Hair Bad?

Yes, but not for the reason you think. Wearing a hat on wet hair will not cause hair loss as in a receding hairline or thinning hair. However, wet hair is more fragile than dry hair so it could contribute to breakage, which affects the hair shaft. Excessive breakage will affect the volume of your hair in terms of length, but the hair follicle should be unaffected.

The main reason not to wear a hat over wet hair is due to the results when you take it off – the rim of the hat will often leave a ridge. It could also lead to flat hair, “hat hair”, and other unsightly results.

Do Headbands Cause Hair Loss / Can Turbans Cause Hair Loss?

Possibly, yes. Headbands and turbans are tighter than the average hat so it can cause traction alopecia. Even then, in most cases, it’s less the headband or turban causing the hair loss than the way the hair is tightly pulled or constrained under the bandana or turban.

Traction alopecia happens when hair is constantly pulled tight, such as in buns, ponytails, braids, etc. The ongoing tension causes inflammation and can, gradually, lead to permanent hair loss. The good news is that if caught early, traction alopecia is reversible. It’s also easily preventable. If you wear a turban daily, try to vary how your hair is constrained under the turban or make sure there’s enough slack that the hair restraints aren’t pulling on the scalp. If it’s a headband or bandana for style or convenience, make sure to give your hair a break regularly by wearing it down or in a style that doesn’t pull on the scalp.

If you’re concerned about your hair volume, a receding hairline or any other type of hair loss issue, we can discuss it during a free consultation. Our state-of-the-art facility uses the ARTAS® Robot for precise results and faster healing. To learn more as to why RHRLI is Long Island’s hair restoration leader, contact us today.

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