If you notice that your hair is starting to thin or that your hairline seems to be receding, you might be concerned. If you verbalize your worries, you’re likely to get lots of feedback (wanted and unwanted) from friends and family – and we’re willing to bet that someone blames your hat-wearing habit. Let’s clear it up for good: the myth that regular hat-donning causes hair loss is an old one, but it’s false.A heady tradition: Hats through the centuries
Humans have worn hats or some form of a hat for hundreds and hundreds of years. The idea that hats cause baldness is not a new myth; instead, it is a myth that has persisted for generations due to simple misunderstandings.
It might make some sense that the hat you’re wearing is contributing to hair loss – but it’s probably not the main culprit.
Loosen up: tight-fitting hats can contribute to hair loss
While wearing a cap might not cause hair loss, if you’re wearing a hat that’s excessively tight, you can cause some damage to your hair follicles. Generally, people don’t wear hats that are painfully tight; you’d have to be pretty uncomfortable to create enough tension to cause spur traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia occurs when people consistently wear hairstyles that put undue tension on the hair and ultimately damage the follicles (ballerina bun, anybody?). As a result, the hair can fall out. Traction alopecia is most likely to occur after years of pulling the hair into very tight styles and generally results in a receding hairline. That’s a different kind of tension than wearing a snug-fitting hat.
Some amount of hair loss is normal
If you’re finding hair in your hat after you’ve removed it, don’t panic: a healthy scalp will lose as many as 100 hairs per day. The good news: that hair will grow back if the hair follicle isn’t damaged. 100 hairs is really not that much – and it’s nothing to worry about.
Your hat isn’t causing hair loss – but these things might be:
There are a variety of factors that can cause hair loss. Genetics and pattern baldness account for roughly 90 percent of hair loss cases in men and the majority of female hair loss cases.
It is also possible for an infection or illness to cause hair loss. Even if the illness itself doesn’t cause hair loss, medical treatments and certain medications can have the same impact. (Chemotherapy, for example, is well-known for causing hair loss.)
Although it is possible to damage the hair follicles by pulling your hair into a very tight style, it is not likely that you will lose your hair because you wore a hat. Hair loss is rarely related to lifestyle or clothing choices; instead, it is primarily due to genetics or health concerns. Keep wearing your hats – they won’t cost you any hair!