Does Wearing Hats Really Cause Hair Loss?
Myth or Fact?
Some say it’s a major factor for baldness. But in reality wearing your favorite cap, even everyday is not the main reason you may be losing hair.
According to doctors and hair experts, the majority of people experiencing hair loss is directly tied to a hormone in the body called DHT which attacks hair follicles in the scalp. This is called androgenetic alopecia (hair loss caused by genetics) and it affects around 30 to 50% of individuals by the age of 50.
However this does not mean that there aren’t other factors that contribute to thinning hair and baldness. A lot of things like hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, stress, hair styles and treatments all can play a role to damaging your hair.
Now back to the question: Do hats cause hair loss?
The direct and short answer is no. But wearing hats especially too tight on your head for long periods of time can block blood circulation to the scalp and in turn cause poor hair growth and thinning of hair. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the hair is considered an extension of the blood and the constant flow of blood to the scalp is important for healthy hair growth.
One trouble that hats can bring on is accumulation of sweat in the scalp which can increase sebum, dandruff and possibly allow bacteria to develop easier which can result in poor hair growth. This is why it’s important not to wear a hat all day, every day and allow your head to breathe in some sunlight which is proven to help with hair growth.
Possibility of Traction Alopecia
Another important factor when wearing hats is the possibility of incurring traction alopecia, which is hair loss caused by the constant pulling of hair. For example certain hair styles which include hair bands in braids and ponytails cause extreme pressure and this force may result in gradual hair loss. If you find yourself constantly pulling your hair with your hat it could be damaging and affecting your potential hair growth.
The Benefits of Sun for your Hair
Sunlight allows your body to produce Vitamin D which basically contributes to healthy hair growth and also prevents hair loss. Some dermatologists suggest that Vitamin D is the cure for a lot of the body’s health problems. However be careful because too much sun exposure can damage your skin, cause sunburn and damage hair follicles.
Hats may not be the main reason you’re losing hair, but one thing is for sure is that they won’t help especially if you're wearing them too constantly and excessively sweating. If you are a person who likes to wear hats for style, to block the daily sun or because you want to hide your existing hair loss, consider removing the hat every hour or so for 10 or 15 minutes just to allow your scalp to breathe and dry. Since wearing a hat can suppress blood circulation, a great thing to do is massage your scalp to promote healthy hair growth every day.