There are a lot of theories out there about what causes hair loss. Some of them are true, others are complete myths. In any case, there is a lot of misinformation, and a great deal of it comes from people we trust. So, we’ve decided to start a series giving an in-depth look into each of these theories, and coming up with a ranking of its veracity: True, mostly true, mostly false, and false. We’re going to start this week by looking at the most common of these theories: hats cause hair loss.
The idea here is that wearing a hat prevents oxygen from getting to your scalp. If your scalp is denied oxygen for long periods of times, the hair follicles will start to die, and won’t grow back. Before you know it, half of the hair on your head is gone. You can probably think of someone who wears a hat a lot and is bald. Now think of where they’re bald. Probably on the top of the head, with hair still there on the sides, right? This may seem like further proof that hats cause baldness, since it typically happens in the places on the head where they cover.
The overwhelming bulk of hair loss in most mean happens due to their genes. Our body produces something called dihydrotestosterone, DHT. This chemical is what’s responsible for hair loss, and so, the more of it produced the faster your head of hair will disappear. Your genes are in complete control of how DHT is produced, and wearing a hat won’t send some sort of signal to your body to produce more.
What about the correlation between people wearing hats and being bald? That can’t be a coincidence, right? It’s not. But the reason is much simpler than you may think. People going bald often feel shame. They don’t want others to know, so they try to cover it up. One of the ways they cover it up is with hats. So, hats are used to mask already developing baldness, but it doesn’t cause it. Also, most people tend to lose hair on the top of their head, and toward the top of the skull, so it’s just a coincidence that hats cover those areas.
But, this idea does have a slight bit of truth. There’s a thing called traction alopecia, which is caused when the head is exposed to prolonged periods of traction. This has to be really tight pressure, consistently applied over time. This can damage the hair follicles, causing scarring, and then they can’t grow back. But this won’t happen from a hat. It will take something like a very tight ponytail (or man bun, for that matter) or a military helmet.
We conclude that this theory is MOSTLY FALSE. Wearing A hat is not a major cause of hair loss. But, it’s always great to be able to show off your full head of hair. If you’re not able to do that right now, get in touch with us, and we’ll make it happen.