If You Rock a Hat Every Day of the Week, This Is What's Happening to Your Hair

Did you know that wearing hats all the time might help you prevent hair loss? Experts

Kori Williams - Author

Apr. 2 2024, Updated 10:30 a.m. ET

A woman wearing a hat while hiking.
Source: iStock

For many people, a hat is a much-loved accessory. Not only do they upgrade your look, but they can also shield your skin from the sun, show your devotion to a specific sports team, hide a thinning patch of hair, and more. Wearing a hat once in a while is one thing, but some people wear them every day.

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For some people, wearing a hat becomes a staple of their outfit. Think of Willy Wonka and his purple top hat or Indiana Jones and his classic fedora. But wearing something on your head all the time might have negative aspects as well. Is wearing a hat every day bad for your hair, or is keeping your head cool the key to being dressed for success?

A woman wearing a knitted beanie while sipping a hot drink on a living room couch.
Source: iStock
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Is wearing a hat every day bad for your hair?

According to interviews in Time, wearing hats doesn't have anything to do with losing your hair, aside from the fact that many people wear hats to hide signs of hair loss.

Dr. Michael Wolfeld, a plastic surgeon specializing in hair restoration and an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, spoke to the publication and said that genetics have a much bigger role in when and if this happens.

Male and female pattern baldness occurs in response to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If your body is more sensitive to it, your hair follicles will likely become weak and start shrinking. According to the Cleveland Clinic, aging is another natural process that causes people to lose their hair.

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A woman wearing a knitted beanie on a farm.
Source: iStock

Does wearing a hat everyday cause hair loss or baldness?

The Time article does point out that wearing a hat too tightly over the years could damage your hair and that might cause some kind of hair loss. But hats could actually save you from damage! A 2013 study shows that those who wore hats lost less hair than others around their temples.

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However, before you get carried away collecting headwear, note that wearing a hat won't help much. You also should be mindful of what you're putting on your head. Haircare brand Hairstory says that wearing head covers that are dirty or covered in your sweat isn't great. It can cause itchiness and oiliness that can irritate your scalp.

A woman wearing a sun hat in a pool.
Source: iStock
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On the other hand, a few external factors can contribute to hair loss. Dr. Wolfeld told Time that braids and ponytails that are done too tightly can cause tension in your hair. If you keep tight hairstyles for years, it could damage the hair and make it fall out. Loose versions of these hairstyles are fine, but if your head hurts during the day, consider putting down your hair. Chemicals in some hair products could also be the culprit.

Additionally, Healthline says that there are a number of different things that can contribute to hair loss including:

  • Certain medical conditions like alopecia, scalp psoriasis, trichotillomania, and more
  • Drugs and medical care including cancer treatments
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Hair loss could also be a sign that you aren't eating healthy enough or that you have an excess of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet. If you think this could be an issue, it's best to speak to a medical professional about your concerns.

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