MHR Clinic consultants are often asked, ‘do hats cause hair loss?’ Here our senior consultant Dean Watson explains why people become preoccupied that their headwear could cause them to go bald and reveals why hats and caps cold do not cause baldness.
The prospect of going bald can create enough worry for people to change their lifestyle habits.
Perhaps the most common change that we hear people make to protect their hair from falling out is to stop wearing hats.
MHR Clinic sees many clients who exhibit hair loss and ask our consultants, ‘does wearing a hat cause baldness?’
Many have been avid hat and cap wearers only to ditch their favourite accessories for fear it was making them go bald.
There’s a common misconception out there that caps and hats cause hair loss so when they come to see us they want to know, ‘is wearing a hat every day bad for your hair?’
Many have been told that the heat generated from wearing a hat every day stifles follicles until they fail.
Others believe that the tightness of a hat or cap can cause baldness either by restricting blood flow to follicles, or by damaging follicles through excessive friction.
It may also be that a person who wears a hat to disguise thinning hair later comes to consider it to be a contributing factor in the progression of their hair loss.
Especially, when they take it off at the end of the day and notice hair shed inside the hat.
However, there has been very little scientific research undertaken to ascertain what effect, if any, wearing a hat actually has on hair.
Do hats cause hair loss?
Although it doesn’t seem likely that headwear plays a role in hair loss, scientists cannot say with total certainty whether hats do or don’t cause baldness in men or women.
So little research has been done.
However, lifestyle habits rarely cause balding. They can though exacerbate hair fall from already weakened follicles.
Styling products, hairdryers, curling tongues and hair straighteners, alcohol intake, smoking and prolonged sweating can all accelerate androgenetic hair loss.
It may also be that the persistent wearing of a tight fitting hat or cap hastens the balding process in those who are already suffering from male or female pattern baldness.
Even then, hats are not considered to be a credible contributor to androgenic alopecia by trichologists and hair transplant surgeons around the world.
Certainly, wearing a cap or hat is not enough to initiate hair loss on its own.
In fact, when research into the matter was undertaken on 92 pairs of identical twins in Sweden between 2009 and 2011 tried to answer the question, ‘do hats cause hair loss?’ it found daily hat use was associated with decreased hair loss.