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Can Wearing Hats Cause Hair Loss?

When you start losing your hair, you start looking for blame. Is it that cheap shampoo? Is it because your maternal grandpa was bald? Was it something you did? Like wearing a hat for years? Although hair loss and balding has several causes, many of which are not fully understood, it’s highly unlikely that having a hat habit caused it.

Hair loss can be caused by wearing objects in your hair and is known as traction alopecia. It is prevalent amongst African American women that have worn tightly woven braids and amongst ballerinas that wear a tight bun. But it is unlikely to be caused by wearing a hat unless the hat was unusually tight and worn for a prolonged period of time. Traction alopecia puts excess stress on the hair follicle, causing the hairline to recede. Hairstyles, such as braids, ponytails, buns, etc damage the skin causing scarring that causes receding and the hair to fall out. It’s important to know that the damage is done over time and from extremely tight hair styles.

It’s unlikely that you are wearing your hat tight enough to cause alopecia, but there is some speculation that if you are predisposed to hair loss because of genetics, wearing a hat could speed up the process. If blood flow is reduced to the already stressed follicles, then hair loss could be exacerbated. This could also be true if the hat makes your head heat up excessively, blocking blood flow. The possible resulting hair loss would be temporary at first, before becoming permanent.

Other than hats, the leading cause of hair loss is genetics, followed by poor nutrition, drugs, infection, pregnancy, and trauma.

If you are susceptible to hair loss, try avoiding tight hats as you could yank out a few hairs when you take it off. And maybe choose looser fitting headgear, like a fedora, over a tight knit cap.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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