This is something an old parent or grandparent would say to young children in the family: “Don’t wear a hat, you’ll get bald soon.”
But, is it true? Does wearing a hat cause hair loss? Is it really true that the hair follicles on your scalp are so weak that a simple baseball cap or any other hat can make them fall out?
What Research Says
In a medical study conducted on ninety-two pairs of identical twins, researchers investigated the environmental factors that contribute to hair loss. Results showed that twins who wore a hat daily experienced less hair fall than those twins who didn’t wear a hat throughout the experiment.
Hair loss is essentially caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal and external factors related to stress etc. – none of which are even remotely related to wearing a hat.
However, if you wear hats that are extremely tight, you could experience “traction alopecia” – the gradual loss of hair due to timely pulling or tension of the hair on one’s scalp. Tight hats can decrease blood flow to the hair follicles, causing them to fall out. Luckily, such circumstances are only temporary and can be mitigated with time.
So, Can I Wear My Hat Every Day?
Technically, yes! But imagine wearing your hat like you wear your gym socks without washing them. Unhygienic, right? In a similar way, unwashed hats can attract dirt, dust and bacteria that can irritate your scalp and leave your hair dirty every time.
If you wear your hat on a hot summer day, the sweat that accumulates on your head can irritate your scalp and cause your hair follicles to weaken.
Hence, be it your baseball cap, snap back, beanie, floppy or beret, make sure you keep it clean and allow your scalp to breathe on some days!