Avoid Unneeded Hair Loss - Ditch the Hat (for Good!)

June 28 2020

Have you been wearing a hat all the time to cover up areas of thinning hair? If you’re like many men and women experiencing hair loss, covering up with a hat can become your go-to means of hiding your thinning hair. But studies have shown recently that your hat can be doing more harm than good when it comes to hair loss.

To understand how, it’s important to first understand the factors that can cause thinning hair – some you can’t control, and others you can. We’ll start with a few of the factors that are likely beyond your control.

Genetics. You can’t control your genes, and it’s common to see hair loss when other members of the family have experienced the same thing. When caused by genes, hair loss can be a slow process that happens throughout your adult life. It manifests in patterns that differ for men and women but that ultimately lead to thinning areas.

Hormones. Hormones regulate body function and can fluctuate as we enter different life stages, like puberty or, for women, pregnancy and menopause. Hormones also fluctuate with medical conditions like thyroid issues or when you need to take hormone medications for medical reasons. The hormones present in your body can affect hair growth and, in some cases, can cause hair loss.

Medications and medical conditions. Medical conditions like diabetes or infections, as well as some of the medications used to treat conditions like cancer and heart disease, can affect hair growth. For some medications such as chemotherapy, hair loss is a side effect that many people experience.

There is hope, because while there are factors that you can’t control, you can focus on hair loss factors that are under your control to help minimize hair loss.

High stress. Stress on your body can cause those fluctuations in hormones that may cause hair loss. While not every type of stress is under your control, such as stress caused by medical conditions, managing stress from everyday life can help keep your body balanced.

Scalp and hair habits. Harsh chemicals from some hair coloring and styling treatments can also damage the scalp, which in turn may damage hair follicles and cause hair loss. And here’s where ditching your hat may be one of the best ways to avoid excess hair loss: tight hairstyles and constant hat wearing leads to a constant pulling on the hair strands. Over time, that can cause traction alopecia, a type of hair loss from that constant pulling. Traction alopecia is gradual, so you may not notice hair loss right away. Here are some other ways your hat can contribute to hair thinning:

  • Too tight. The constant tension, as with wearing tight braids or ponytails, can lead to the traction alopecia, as described above. If you need to wear a hat for work, it’s important to get one that fits properly. 
  • Hat materials. If you’re allergic to the materials in your hat, it could cause irritation that could affect your scalp and, as a result, your hair. Inflammation from allergic reactions can damage your hair follicles, so use care when choosing a hat if you must wear one. 
  • Heat and sweat. Confining your scalp every day creates a warm, moist environment where bacteria can thrive and where inflammation can erupt, damaging your scalp and its hair follicles. The best defense is to avoid wearing hats every day, if possible. 

While some factors for hair loss are out of your control, you can make a positive step for your mental wellness and self-confidence by controlling those factors that you can do something about, like ditching the hat. Make positive changes that will help reduce hair thinning and help retain scalp health. 

Another thing you can do for yourself is take steps toward hair restoration so you can stop worrying about covering up those thinning patches and let the real you shine through. It starts with a consultation with one of our experienced medical professionals trained in all aspects of hair restoration. Make an appointment today at the Hair Restoration Institute and get started with a private, discreet consultation where our technicians will develop a personalized hair restoration plan just for you. You can find us at 8030 Old Cedar Ave S #202 in Bloomington or the Edgewater Town Office Park at 2598 Rice Street in Saint Paul in Minnesota, or at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 612-588-HAIR (4247) in Minnesota or 817-854-HAIR (4247) in Dallas/Fort Worth for a complimentary consultation.

Avoid Unneeded Hair Loss - Ditch the Hat (for Good!)