“Wearing hats causes hair loss,” is one of the top 5 hair loss myths. It makes sense that some people mistakenly believe that wearing hats causes hair loss for men and women. The term “hat hair” comes to mind, although cramping your hairstyle isn’t the same as male pattern baldness (AKA androgenetic alopecia). And, sure, you may find a few stray hairs in your ball cap after you take it off, but strays fall off when you shower or brush your hair too and no one’s spreading any anti-shampoo propaganda. No, as explained by the American Hair Loss Association (AHA), the causes of hair loss are primarily the result of a genetic predisposition to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) sensitivity, which causes hair follicles to shrink with such severity that they’re eventually unable to grow.
The Hat is Too Tight
When Time asks, “Can wearing a hat contribute to baldness?” Their answer is, “No.” Although, experts do concede that a hat can be tight enough that it cuts off circulation to the scalp and, as a result, deprives your head of the nutrients and blood it needs to grow hair. After years of wearing such a hat, you may experience some hair loss.
Allergic to Hats
It is possible to be allergic to the materials your hat is made out of. If this is true, then your scalp may become inflamed and this inflammation may exasperate the hair loss you’re already experiencing. Although, like the super tight hats that are painful to wear, it’s hard to imagine someone continuing to wear a hat that gives them a rash! TAKE OFF YOUR HAT!
It’s also possible, that if you sweat profusely into your hat that both your hat and your scalp will begin to dirty. If you continue to clean neither your hat nor your hair, then that dirt may also cause the sort of inflammation that undermines hair growth. The effects of wearing a stinky hat on stinky hair have yet to be studied by scientists. And any attempts to find stinky hats are constantly undermined by friends and family who insist, “GET THAT STINKY HAT OUTTA HERE!” before chucking the smelly hat out the window of a moving car.
Hair Loss & Hats
At the end of the day, what all three of these scenarios entail is either temporary hair damage or exasperating hair loss caused by DHT. If you’re still wondering, “What is DHT and how does it impact hair loss?” the answer is simple: it’s a form of testosterone that’s created when testosterone is exposed to the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase. When this happens in the scalp, people with genetic predispositions to baldness end up experiencing hair loss.
What that means is that you can keep wearing your hat! In fact, it might be a good idea because hats protect the scalp and face from UV rays, which can cause skin cancer. Additionally, a hat can act as hair loss prevention by protecting your hair from sun damage. Many men who’ve experienced androgenetic alopecia even choose to wear a hat because it hides their hair loss. A hat can also frame the face in a manner that leaves a youthful impression. Or a hat can become a trademark, like Indiana Jones and his iconic fedora. Although, if you get scalp micropigmentation, you may be tempted to leave your hat at home because you’ll look so good!