Though it sounds like some old wives’ tale, a lot of people actually believe in the notion that wearing a hat triggers hair loss.
Dr. Hayley Goldbach, dermatologist for the UCLA Health, has been asked a lot about the truth behind this viewpoint. He explains that a probable reason why people think this way is because when people start losing hair, they usually use hats to hide their baldness. This may have led people to think that wearing the hat prompted the hair loss, but Goldbach clarifies that this is not really the case.
According to Dr. Michael Wolfeld, a plastic surgeon and expert in hair restoration, genetics play a big part in hair loss. Wolfeld says that baldness is partly due to acquired sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This sensitivity results to the withering and falling of hair follicles as a reaction to the DHT. Hence some of the well-known hair loss therapies like Propecia (finasteride) operate by hindering the generation of DHT.
Wolfeld doesn’t discount other factors as reasons for hair loss. One factor can be tying or braiding the hair back stiffly, which can create strain and pull on the hair follicles and ultimately lead to hair loss.
Similarly, habitually wearing a hat so snugly that it leaves a mark or indentation on your skin can damage your hair follicles which can lead to hair loss after a period of time. Wearing hats can also instigate hair loss if the materials used for production causes an allergic reaction. Frequently wearing a sweat-stained hat can likewise cause inflammation and accelerate baldness.
Experts clarify that simply wearing hats occasionally do not contribute to hair loss and these accessories, in fact, provide more protection to people than they do damage.