Caps, Hats & Hair Loss

Young woman who is wearing a baseball cap
Photo: Depositphotos
Q: Will wearing hats make you go bald? I've been wearing baseball caps almost my whole life and am constantly being told that it will cause me to lose my hair. Is this true?
A: No. There has been no evidence (in my research) that wearing a hat will cause anything more traumatic to your hair than a case of "hat hair". That being said, depending on the construction of the hat in question, you could see some breakage or damage resulting from exposed elastic or plastic components in the hat. Even coarse material can "rough up" the hair, causing damage.
The biggest result of constant hat-wearing is usually the lack of air circulation to the scalp. In summer, or during periods of exertion, the scalp will perspire and the sweat can combine with dirt and the skin cells shed by the scalp to clog the pores and follicles. This can lead to scalp sensitivity and can hinder healthy hair growth.
Using a scalp cleansing shampoo (shampoo formulas for an oily scalp are also effective) you can clear away the detritus left behind by the day's toil under the hat. Thorough brushing with a natural bristle brush (after shampooing and drying the hair) will also help to clear away dead skin cells and keep the hair's natural oils distributed.
I think one of the reasons many people have come to believe that hat-wearing is connected to hair loss is because many men who are losing their hair favor hats to hide that fact. They wear the hat because they're losing their hair, not the other way around.
Most commonly, hair loss in men is due to a condition called androgenic alopecia or male-pattern baldness. This condition is a result of age, genetics and hormonal changes. It can be seen as early as the teens in some cases and is usually seen by age 40.
It is also important to know that by the age of 35 nearly 40 percent of men (and women) show some degree of hair loss.
See also:
Hair loss
Hair myths
How can I recognize hair breakage?