Does Wearing a Hat Cause Hair Loss? (2023)

For decades, humans have speculated about what causes hair loss. From genetics to weather, studies try to pinpoint why we must part with our luminous locks. If you wear a hat, you may be familiar with one such theory that gained traction in the 20th century — claims that wearing a hat could cause hair to fall out.

So, is it fact or fiction? Can wearing your favorite headgear cause you to go bald? Fortunately, research says no. Read on to get the facts about how hair grows, what really causes it to fall out, andwhat you can do to encourage thicker looking hair.

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Behind the Myth: Do Hats Cause Hair Loss?

The myth claims that wearing a hat can suffocate hair follicles and result in baldness. According to hair care professionals, this is simply not true. Hats do not prevent air from reaching the scalp. If your hat feels comfortable, there’s nothing to worry about.

But wait, there's more. This hair loss myth also says that wearing a hat prevents blood circulation. Blood delivers nutrients to your hair follicles to help hair grow, so restricting circulation could cause hair loss. But wearing a comfortable hat will not prevent circulation to the scalp. So, you don’t need to leave your favorite hat at home for your hair’s sake.

Related: How Much Hair Loss Is "Normal"?

Can Swim Caps and Wigs Cause Hair Loss?

While a hat-wearing habit doesn't pose any danger to airflow or blood circulation, there are two items that can: swim caps and wigs. A swim cap is designed to be airtight and can restrict blood flow, but you would have to wear one all day, every day to cause hair loss. And it's unlikely that anyone wears a swim cap 24/7. However, a wig is a different story because some people may choose to wear it much of the time. Hairstylist Brooke Shawn cautions, "Constant wearing of a tight wig, as well as sleeping in a wig, can impair blood supply to the hair follicles."

Also: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Understanding Traction Alopecia

While hats do not cause hair loss, it's still important to choose appropriate headwear. According to seasoned hairdresser and esthetician Essie Button, "Wearing even a very tight hat will not affect hair growth. However, hair may be lost by the very act of pulling a tight-fitting hat off and/or cramming dry or brittle hair into a hat."

Over time, wearing ill-fitting headwear can lead to a condition called traction alopecia. This results from long-term, severe strain on hair follicles. For example, daily use of hard hats, helmets or religious head coverings could cause traction alopecia if worn too tightly. Styling your hair in tight braids (especially after using a relaxer), wearing a tight ponytail or bun or using heavy hair extensions can also strain your hair enough to make it break or fall out. If you notice frequent tension on your strands from headwear or styling, you may face traction alopecia in the future. But there’s good news: By removing the cause early, hair restoration is possible.

Read: How Fast Does Hair Grow?

True Causes of Hair Loss

We know that wearing a hat doesn’t cause hair loss. But what about what does cause it? Many factors can play a part in the loss of your hair — from inherited traits to your overall health. Here's more.

1. Genetics

By far, the most common cause of hair loss in men and women is genetics. This type of hair loss, known as androgenetic alopecia, occurs most frequently in white men, with 50% of white males affected by age 50. On the other hand, only 38% of women over age 70 are affected. If you’ve heard the terms female- or male-pattern baldness, those are common names for androgenetic alopecia. In both cases, the trait is inherited, and hair loss occurs gradually.

Men with male pattern baldness inherit hair follicles that are sensitive to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone. The sensitivity to DHT causes follicles to shrink, shortening their life span and eventually preventing hair growth. Male pattern baldness often begins with a receding hairline and thinner hair on the crown of the head. Over time, this progresses to baldness across the top of the scalp.

Female pattern baldness appears differently, with hair thinning on the crown of the head. Sometimes this extends to the sides of the head, but it spares the hairline. Fortunately, in both men and women, this condition is non-scarring, so scar tissue never replaces the hair follicle and prevents growth. If you notice thinning, seek medical advice right away to learn about treatment options.

Read: Can Zinc Help Hair Grow?

2. Hair Care

Practicing proper hair care helps grow luscious locks. However, some common styling practices cause damage. Tugging on your strands with a brush can pull out hair. And using heat-styling tools like blow dryers (especially on high settings), hot combs, flat irons and curling irons can weaken hair and make it prone to breakage. Additionally, frequently wearing tight hairstyles or heavy hair extensions can cause traction alopecia, which could lead to permanent hair loss. But there’s good news: All of these causes of hair loss are preventable, and hair restoration is possible if you remove the cause early.

See: 12 Habits for Thicker Hair

3. Health and Nutrition

In order to grow healthy hair, your body needs essential nutrients, like protein, zinc, iron and vitamins. Eating enough calories and a balanced diet are good ways to minimize the chance of hair loss. Plus, choosing to live a healthy lifestyle with low stress and regular exercise encourages growth, whereas unhealthy habits like smoking can cause inflammation in the body that leads to hair loss.

Read: Eat These Foods for Healthy Hair Growth

4. Illness

Some medical conditions also result in hair loss. For example, thyroid disease, anemia caused by iron deficiency and malnutrition can all cause similar types of hair thinning to androgenetic alopecia. Hair loss is also a common side effect of some medical treatments, like chemotherapy, and an uncommon side effect of other medications. It’s important to seek medical advice to rule out health conditions as an underlying cause of hair loss.

(Video) Is Your Favorite Baseball Hat Causing Hair Loss?

Also: These Medications May Cause Hair Loss

What To Do If You’re Experiencing Hair Loss

Regardless of what causes hair to fall out, losing our precious locks can be emotional and stressful — but there is hope. Learn more about what could be causing hair loss and how to improve hair wellness.

Learn: Mature vs. Receding Hairline Explained

Consult a Doctor

Most hair loss is not permanent, and hair restoration is often possible if you identify the cause early. A doctor, such as a dermatologist or trichologist, can evaluate your health information and use tests to rule out nutrient deficiencies and underlying medical conditions. Once you know the cause, you can determine the best treatment plan together.

Choose Proper Headwear

Temporarily wearing a hat, beanie or other head covering will not cause hair loss. In fact, it can boost your confidence if your hair thins. Just be sure your headwear fits properly. The hat should not tug on strands while being worn or removed.

Practice Proper Hair Care

Hair wellness needs a good care routine, especially when hair is thinning and prone to damage. Dermatologists recommend washing with a gentle shampoo and conditioning after each wash. To reduce tugging your hair while brushing, add a detangler or leave-in conditioner to your routine.

Read: How to Detangle Your Hair With Minimal Damage

Limit Heat Styling

Heat weakens hair and damages already fragile locks. If you need to blow dry your hair, wrap it in a microfiber towel first to absorb excess water, which will shorten dry time. Then, use the lowest heat setting on your hairdryer. You can further reduce heat stress on your strands by minimizing the use of hot tools like curling irons and flat irons.

Avoid Putting Strain on Your Hair

When pulling hair back, use gentle hair tiesto reduce strain. And, if you wear tight hairstyles,try these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology Association to fend off traction alopecia.

Realted: Is Your Ponytail Too Tight?

Reduce Stress

Research has linked severe stress with increased hair loss. Reducing stress on your body and mind not only restores balance to your daily life but improves hair health as well. The good news is there are many ways to manage stress and promote well-being, even when confronting life's challenges.

Focus On Hair Health for Best Results

Remember, your hair health reflects your overall well-being. Whether you’re facing hair loss because of ill-fitting headwear, a health condition or just genetics, it’s important to find a holistic approach to hair care that’s right for you. Everyone deserves to know the confidence that comes from looking and feeling your best.


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Photocredit:Aaron Birch/Unsplash

Does Wearing a Hat Cause Hair Loss? (5)


Amanda Johnston


Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston is a freelance writer with clients in the luxury travel, fashion and beauty spaces. She won the Language Arts medallion in sixth grade for creating her own spelling tests and authoring a short story with an unreadable title. This major accomplishment led her to earn a B.A. in English from the University of Southern California. Amanda now resides in Los Angeles where she enjoys writing children’s stories for no one in particular and playing fetch with her cat.

(Video) Can Wearing A Hat Contribute To Baldness? | TIME

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Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.

(Video) Does wearing a hat make you go bald?


Does wearing a hat Daily cause hair loss? ›

In general, hats do not cause baldness,” Friedman says. What hats reliably do is protect the wearer's scalp and face from UV damage, which can in some cases lead to skin cancer, he says, and this benefit is “more valid” than any concern that a hat may cause hair loss.

Does wearing a hat damage your hair? ›

The answer is almost always no. Factors that damage your hair include the kind of hat you're wearing, how often you wear hats, and the environment in which you wear it. Overall, consensus says that wearing hats, whether your worn baseball cap or a new beanie, will not cause hair loss or hair thinning.

Does wearing a hat everyday cause hair growth? ›

Generally speaking, wearing a hat doesn't affect hair growth unless it's certain circumstances like we touched on above with sweating.

What kind of hats cause hair loss? ›

In another study, wearing hard hats or military head wear had no effect on hair loss. However, we think it's possible that wearing hats that are very tight — or very hot — could decrease blood flow to the hair follicles, stressing them and causing them to fall out.

What happens if you wear a hat all day everyday? ›

Wearing a Hat Every Day Can Make You Bald

An excessively tight hat can decrease blood flow to the hair follicles and scalp, which could cause stress and cause your hair to fall out. You could experience gradual hair loss or traction alopecia if you wear a very tight hat daily.

Does wearing a hat a lot stop hair growth? ›

This is called traction alopecia. Hats don't usually pull the hair, but a very tight hat that puts pressure on the scalp or pulls the hair may. “Over time, this will cause scarring and miniaturization of the hair follicles. Hairs become super-fine or just stop growing,” says Shainhouse.

Can hair grow back after balding? ›

You might be able to reverse hair loss, or at least slow it. With some conditions, such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata), hair may regrow without treatment within a year. Treatments for hair loss include medications and surgery.

How do you know if I will go bald? ›

You'll notice the signs of a receding hairline if your hair begins to thin at the temples, creating a more prominent widow's peak and a hairline that resembles the letter M or a horseshoe. Or your hairline might seem to recede or thin all the way across (Murphrey, 2021).

What causes receding hairline? ›

A receding hairline is most often linked to aging and hereditary factors. Other factors can contribute to a receding hairline and aggravate hair loss. These factors include: over-styling hair (especially with heat)

How to prevent balding? ›

If you want to prevent hair loss, you can also prioritize a diet high in healthy proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you're trying to prevent baldness, you can take vitamins such as iron, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc.

How to thicken hair? ›

7 Ways to Get Thicker Hair, According to Hair Care Experts
  1. Pick a thickening shampoo and conditioner. ...
  2. Keep your hair and scalp healthy. ...
  3. Eat to benefit your hair. ...
  4. Add hair thickening products to your regimen. ...
  5. Use color to create the illusion of fullness.
  6. Get a strategic cut. ...
  7. Consider a dermatologist visit.
Mar 16, 2021

Is hat hair loss reversible? ›

The good news is that it's reversible if you catch it in time. If early hair loss is noticed and steps are taken to reduce the strain on the follicles (such as wearing your hair down more), permanent bald spots can be avoided.

How tight does a hat have to be to cause hair loss? ›

Well, dear wearers of ball caps and bowlers, rest assured: Wearing hats does not cause hair loss. Actually, let us caveat that. If you consistently wear an extremely tight hat, you could experience traction alopecia (gradual hair loss resulting from repetitive pulling or tension of hair).

What causes men to go bald? ›

It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of aging. Anyone can lose hair on their head, but it's more common in men. Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Hereditary hair loss with age is the most common cause of baldness.

How can I protect my hair while wearing a hat? ›

all hair types How to Help Prevent Hat Hair
May 10, 2019

When should a man take off his hat? ›

A gentleman should remove his hat as he enters a building, including a restaurant, home, classroom, theater, church. This rule includes baseball caps and casual hats. Hats are to be removed when inside, except for places that are akin to public streets, e.g., lobbies, corridors, and elevators in public buildings.

What are the benefits of wearing a hat? ›

Hats shield your face and head from sunburn. It protects your eyes from the brightness of the sun, which can cause damage to you. It also helps to prevent skin cancers and skin damage. Caps are great protectors for your head, face, and ears from cold weather conditions.

How to speed up hair growth? ›

Eating more protein, using products made with caffeine, avoiding permanent dye, and reducing your stress are just a few things you can do to promote healthier and faster hair growth.
These nutrients can include:
  1. biotin.
  2. vitamin C.
  3. vitamin D.
  4. vitamin E.
  5. zinc.
  6. iron.
  7. omega-3 and omega-6.
Jun 18, 2020

Can thin hair become thick again? ›

Here's the hard truth: Little can be done to permanently change the diameter of individual hair strands. Thickening products can do wonders to temporarily plump hair strands, but when it comes down to it, fine hair is genetic and can't be changed.

Why is my hair so thin I can see my scalp? ›

What does a visible scalp mean? A visible scalp is usually the first sign of thinning hair or balding. Hair naturally tends to get thinner the older we get, but certain other variables can help slow down (or conversely, speed up) this process, including our diet, stress and a deficiency in certain vitamins.

Is shaving head good for hair loss? ›

No. That's a myth that persists despite scientific evidence to the contrary. Shaving has no effect on new growth and doesn't affect hair texture or density. Hair density has to do with how closely strands of hair are packed together.

What is the average age to start losing hair? ›

By the time you turn 30, you have a 25% chance of displaying some balding. By age 50, 50% of men have at least some noticeable hair loss. By age 60, about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern. While hair loss is more common as you get older, it doesn't necessarily make it any easier to accept.

Am I balding or is it just my hairline? ›

The hairline is only about one to 1.5 inches above your highest wrinkle. This is typically as far as a mature hairline will recede. If your hairline is about the width of your finger above the top wrinkle, you probably have a mature hairline. If it's receding onto your scalp, it may mean balding.

At what age does balding start? ›

At what age do people typically start to lose their hair? Hair loss can start as early as your teenage years or might not occur until you're well past retirement. Generally, people begin noticing signs of hair loss in their 30s and 40s. More significant hair loss often happens when people reach their 60s and beyond.

Can receding hairline grow back? ›

If your hairline is receding due to male pattern baldness, ageing or other genetic conditions, your hair won't regrow naturally. However, there are treatments available to reverse the process and restore your hair to its former glory.

How can I regrow my frontal hairline naturally? ›

Natural hair regrowth treatment options
  1. Massage. Massaging the scalp, which people can combine with hair oils and masks, stimulates the scalp and may improve hair thickness . ...
  2. Aloe vera. Aloe vera has long been used for treating hair loss. ...
  3. Coconut oil. ...
  4. Viviscal. ...
  5. Fish oil. ...
  6. Ginseng. ...
  7. Onion juice. ...
  8. Rosemary oil.

Does biotin thicken hair? ›

It is widely agreed by doctors and scalp specialists that biotin helps hair grow stronger, quicker, and thicker. The benefit of biotin for hair growth is that it causes stronger and healthier hair follicles to grow in. In turn, stronger hair is less likely to break – ultimately protecting your hair's length.

What shampoo helps thicken hair? ›

Want Fuller Hair? Try These Thickening Shampoos and Conditioners
  • Klorane Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner. ...
  • Living Proof Full Shampoo & Conditioner. ...
  • R+Co Dallas Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner. ...
  • Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner. ...
  • Virtue Labs Full Shampoo & Conditioner.
Jan 23, 2023

Why do some men bald so fast? ›

But baldness can be deceiving: Two-thirds of men face hair loss by age 35, and a bad genetic hand is often to blame. Male-pattern baldness is an inherited sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT, a by-product of testosterone), which leads to finer hair, a receding hairline, and finally a deserted scalp.

What percentage of men go bald? ›

About 70% of men will lose hair as they get older. And 25% of bald men see first signs of hair loss before age 21. “Recent advances offer a lot of hope in both treating and preventing different types of baldness,” says dermatologist Amy Kassouf, MD.

Why are bald men more dominant? ›

As in, men who choose to lose the hair are conducting a form of expression, “which communicates information about the self otherwise difficult to observe.” The study also explained shaved heads “are often found on men in traditionally masculine professions, so dominance may emerge through stereotypical associations ...

What causes hair loss in men? ›

It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of aging. Anyone can lose hair on their head, but it's more common in men. Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Hereditary hair loss with age is the most common cause of baldness.

How do I stop my hairline from receding? ›

While no treatment will stop a receding hairline, there are health strategies and treatments that can keep your hair looking fuller for longer.
  1. Eating a healthy diet. ...
  2. Medications. ...
  3. Herbal remedies. ...
  4. Hair transplant. ...
  5. PRP therapy.
  6. Switch to a gentle shampoo. ...
  7. Low-level light therapy. ...
  8. Essential oils.
Feb 28, 2022

What is the benefit of wearing cap for hair? ›

Wearing caps is a great help as it holds back the hair from falling in your face or while working outside, playing sports, or even exercising. Caps are a great advantage as it protects your hair from sun damage and fading and your scalp from any form of sunburn.

At what age do men start balding? ›

Approximately 25 percent of men who have hereditary male pattern baldness start losing their hair before the age of 21. By the age of 35, approximately 66 percent of men will have experienced some degree of hair loss. By the age of 50, approximately 85 percent of men will have significantly thinner hair.

What age do men lose hair? ›

On average it takes 15-25 years for men to go completely bald. This process can begin at any age. About two thirds of men are either bald or have a balding pattern by the age of 60. In a nutshell, there is no particular age when you can expect to see hair loss.

What age does balding start? ›

At what age do people typically start to lose their hair? Hair loss can start as early as your teenage years or might not occur until you're well past retirement. Generally, people begin noticing signs of hair loss in their 30s and 40s. More significant hair loss often happens when people reach their 60s and beyond.

Do receding hairlines grow back? ›

If your hairline is receding due to male pattern baldness, ageing or other genetic conditions, your hair won't regrow naturally. However, there are treatments available to reverse the process and restore your hair to its former glory.

What age does hairline recede? ›

When does hair start to recede? Receding hairlines are quite common in men with one study showing that 50 percent of men experience balding by the time they hit age 50. Some notice their hair receding as early as the end of puberty, or in the early 20s.

Does receding hairline go away? ›

Unfortunately, you can't stop a receding hairline completely. For most people, a receding hairline isn't related to a health condition that needs to be cured. But, there are treatments that could slow a receding hairline down or even encourage some hair to grow back.

How can I tell if my hairline is receding? ›

A mature hairline typically moves back evenly and is only about an inch above the top crease in the forehead. If the entire hairline recedes further back on the scalp, with a more defined hairline, like a M-shape or a widow's peak, those are signs of a receding hairline.

Am I starting to bald? ›

You'll notice the signs of a receding hairline if your hair begins to thin at the temples, creating a more prominent widow's peak and a hairline that resembles the letter M or a horseshoe. Or your hairline might seem to recede or thin all the way across (Murphrey, 2021).

Should you sleep with a hat? ›

Night hats for sleeping work wonders in minimizing discomfort. This is so important during chemo as scalp sensitivity is heightened. So, the fact that a hair cover for sleep avoids friction between the scalp and pillowcase is a blessing. Also, a sleep hat lessens scalp irritation.

Should I wear a cap everyday? ›

Benefits Of Wearing Hats For Everyone

Protect your face and head from sunburn. Protect your eyes from the brightness of the sun, which can cause sun damage as you age. Help to prevent skin cancers and skin damage. Protect your head, face and ears from the cold and weather conditions.

Is it OK to wear a hat while your hair is wet? ›

Is Wearing a Hat With Wet Hair Bad? Yes, but not for the reason you think. Wearing a hat on wet hair will not cause hair loss as in a receding hairline or thinning hair. However, wet hair is more fragile than dry hair so it could contribute to breakage, which affects the hair shaft.


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