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Do hats cause hair loss?

Do hats cause hair loss?

You’ve probably heard that hats and hair loss are connected, but is this a myth or fact? If you’re experiencing hair loss and wear a hat a lot, you might be worried that your headwear is causing hair loss. In this article we explore what causes hair loss and the effects of wearing a hat on hair loss.

Does wearing hats cause hair loss?

A lot of people believe that wearing hats can cause hair loss. However there is no scientific research to suggest that wearing hats causes hair loss. Hair loss is mainly influenced by:

  • Your genetics
  • Your age
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Medical conditions
  • Lifestyle factors such as stress and your diet

Read our guide to discover the 10 most common causes of hair loss.

Is wearing a hat bad for your hair?

Wearing a hat doesn’t have any direct impact on hair growth or hair loss. However, certain hat-wearing habits could potentially indirectly contribute to hair problems.

Traction alopecia

If a hat is worn too tightly and puts excessive tension on the hair follicles, it could lead to a condition called traction alopecia. This type of hair loss is caused by constant pulling on the hair and is more commonly associated with hairstyles like tight braids or ponytails, but wearing a tight hat or helmet for extended periods could also contribute. 

Scalp hygiene

Wearing a hat for long periods without washing it regularly might cause sweat, bacteria and dandruff to build up on the scalp. This, in turn, could lead to scalp issues that may impact hair health.

Allergic reactions

In some rare cases, people might develop allergic reactions to certain materials used in hats. This could lead to scalp irritation and potentially cause hair loss if left untreated. If you’ve noticed your scalp has become itchy and hasn’t improved in a few days, speak to your GP.

Sun exposure

Wearing a hat can protect the scalp from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn on the scalp. Prolonged sun exposure on the scalp could potentially damage the hair follicles, but wearing a hat could prevent this issue.

Is wearing a hat everyday bad for your hair?

One study that looks at hair loss in identical male twins found that daily hat use was associated with decreased hair loss at the front of the head. The study found that increased hair loss was linked to lifestyle factors such as:

How often you wear a hat shouldn’t have an affect on the amount of hair you lose. Wearing a hat in moderation shouldn’t cause hair loss. If you’re worried about the amount of hair you’re losing, speak to your GP.

Do different types of hats cause baldness?

It’s unlikely that the type of hat you wear including caps, beanies and even wearing your hat backgrounds will influence hair loss. Ensuring that your choice of hat fits comfortably should not cause any hair loss problems.

However, if you notice any significant changes in your hair health, you should speak to your GP as they can help find the underlying cause.

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Hair loss treatments

Depending on the type of hair loss you’re experiencing and the cause there are treatments available for men and for women. These range from prescription treatments like Finasteride that can slow or even reverse hair loss in men.

Lifestyle factors can also play a role in hair loss. It’s important to make sure you’re eating a healthy balanced diet so you can get all the nutrients your hair needs to be healthy.

Headwear to cover hair loss

If you’re experiencing hair loss you might be considering wearing a hat or scarf to cover a bald patch or thinning hair. People may start to wear hats or wear them more often when they begin to experience hair loss such as alopecia.

Covering your hair loss can help you feel more confident, especially if you’re having cancer treatment. If you are undergoing cancer treatment there are options to choose from including wigs. The Irish Cancer Charity has loads of advice to help you cope with losing your hair.

Hats and hair loss

Hair loss commonly affects men over 50 but it can happen at any age. Women can also experience hair loss and hair thinning. Hair loss is influenced by different factors from your genetics to lifestyle choices. It’s not usually caused by wearing a hat, however taking care of your hair and health can help prevent hair loss.

Losing a certain amount of hair each day is perfectly normal, if you’re worried about the amount you’re losing, speak to your GP.



Authors and editors

Reviewed and updated by: Our clinical team Date reviewed: 15-02-2024