Many issues can cause hair loss, from genetics and hormones to medication to tight hair styles. We’ve already examined the impact of hats on hair loss, but what about helmets?
Helmets, whether designed for bicycling, football, baseball, motorcycles, etc., are made of very different materials than hats by necessity. Style is a minor consideration, if at all, when it comes to helmets. Safety is the primary concern and that requires materials that don’t allow the scalp to breathe and that can interact quite differently with hair follicles than hats do.
Helmets have two main components – the outer shell and the inner protection. The outer shell is commonly made of thermoplastic, fiberglass, or Kevlar and carbon. They’re designed to disperse the force of impact as well as prevent sharp objects from penetrating the helmet.
Interior protection must balance comfort, security, and additional shock absorption. Common materials include EPS, also known as polystyrene foam, and multiple EPS, meaning layers of the foam. Polystyrene is commonly used inside helmets because it transfers as little impact force as possible with the bonus of being very lightweight.
Can Helmets Cause Hair Loss?
While not all helmet use will result in hair loss, it can happen for a variety of reasons. Rubbing or hair pulling from the helmet can cause traction alopecia. While reversible if caught early, it can be permanent if it persists.
Sweating from the helmet can lead to bacteria build-up on the scalp, which can weaken and damage hair. Sweat build-up can also lead to fungal infections. Removing a helmet roughly can pull out hair. That can lead to scarring if done repeatedly.
Lastly, a person could actually have androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern hair loss, the most common form of hair loss, that’s misinterpreted as hair loss from wearing a helmet. The flat hair common after removing a helmet can make thinning hair look more pronounced. Normal shedding can leave hair inside the helmet that combined with the genetic hair loss can give the wrong idea about the cause.
Hair Care Tips for Helmet Wearers:
- Keep your hair clean. Sweat from wearing a helmet can contribute to problems like a fungal infection which can, in turn, lead to hair loss.
- Condition/moisturize your hair. Dry hair is more susceptible to breakage and traction alopecia. Don’t use a blow-dryer setting or shower that is too hot. Minimize your use of curling irons, flat irons, and hot rolls.
- Avoid wet hair. Wearing a helmet on top of wet hair increases the chance of hair breakage because wet hair is more fragile. Mixing wet hair and sweat from helmet wear can contribute to other issues, like fungal infections.
- Wear the right size helmet. A helmet that’s too tight can lead to traction alopecia. The same thing can happen if you aren’t wearing a helmet correctly. Here are some tips on selecting a bike helmet or motorcycle helmet that will fit properly.
- Place a cloth inside the helmet. A cloth between your head and the helmet can absorb sweat and reduce friction.
- Clean your helmet. While cleaning the outside of the helmet is fairly common, keeping the inside clean is much more important for your hair health. Consider wiping the inside of your helmet with anti-bacterial solutions to keep it hygienic.
Get Your Natural Hair Back with a Free Hair Analysis!
If you’re concerned about a receding hairline, hair volume, or any other type of hair loss issue, we can set you up for a free one on one consultation. Simply complete our Free Hair Analysis online! 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.