Does Wearing A Hat Cause Hair Loss?

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

The age-old question of whether wearing hats leads to hair loss has generated much debate and curiosity. While our headwear choices reflect our style, could they be inadvertently contributing to hair loss?

This article delves into this intriguing topic, separating fact from fiction, and providing useful insights for the fashionably conscious and health-aware.

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    Does wearing a hat cause hair loss?

    a dark man wearing a cap hat on city background, looking bald

    Many people believe that regularly wearing hats could lead to hair loss, but is there truth to this?

    Let us clear the air. No, wearing a hat does not cause hair loss, not directly.

    Scientific studies, such as the one conducted by James Gatherwright and colleagues in 2013, have explored various factors contributing to male alopecia but haven't established a direct causal link between hat wearing and hair loss.

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    What does science say on hat and baldness?

    Although we need to assess many factors, in the end, it depends on the person wearing the hat. There is a lack of scientific studies regarding this issue.

    However, there has been one notable piece of research that can help us conclude if hats do cause baldness.

    The research uses quantitative methods by using questionnaires, pictures, and other biological measures to assess if hats were a cause for baldness. Subjects of this study were 92 identical twins who could be the closest thing to being genetically identical.

    Each identical twin's data was compared to the other to identify external factors, outside of genetic predisposition, which contributed to hair loss or baldness.

    Investigating identical twins made it easy for them to exclude genetic factors and focus on the external factors. The results proved that hat does not contribute to hair loss but can help decrease temporal hair loss.

    Temporal alopecia is a genetic type of hair loss often referred to as the receding hairline that many men will be familiar with.

    If anything, the aforementioned study emphasizes that genetic and environmental factors play a more substantial role in hair loss. Factors like smoking duration, dandruff presence, and testosterone levels were more significantly associated with hair loss patterns than hat usage.

    Why do hats cause your hair to fall out?

    People believe that if you are predisposed to male pattern hair loss, wearing a hat will worsen it. We came across some reasons that would be leading to such speculation.

    • Tight Hats and Circulation: Wearing overly tight hats could potentially affect blood circulation to the scalp, but this is unlikely to cause significant hair loss.
    • Sweat and Hygiene: Non-breathable materials in hats can increase sweating, potentially clogging hair follicles. However, this typically leads to temporary and reversible hair loss.
    • Friction and Traction: Constant friction or traction from tight hats might contribute to hair breakage or damage, but again, it's not a primary cause of hair loss.
    a woman wearing a cap hat on escalator

    How to avoid hair loss while wearing hats?

    To enjoy hats without worrying about hair health, consider the following tips:

    • Choose Breathable Materials: Opt for hats made from natural, breathable fabrics to reduce sweat accumulation.
    • Ensure Proper Fit: Avoid too tight hats that can cause unnecessary pressure or friction.
    • Maintain Hat Hygiene: Regularly clean your hats to prevent bacterial buildup that could irritate the scalp.

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    Can wearing hats speed up hair loss?

    Wearing hats does not speed up genetic hair loss. However, tight hats can cause traction alopecia, leading to hair breakage or thinning. It's important not to wear hats too tightly to avoid these issues.

    Does hair grow back if you stop using hats?

    If hair loss is due to genetic factors, stopping hat use won't lead to hair regrowth. Hats don't cause permanent hair loss; hair thinning observed with hat use is usually temporary.

    Is wearing a hat every day bad for your hair?

    Wearing a hat daily isn't inherently bad for hair. Problems may arise if the hat is too tight or traps sweat and moisture, leading to scalp irritation. Hats can protect hair from sun damage when worn properly.

    Does wearing a hat cause baldness?

    No direct evidence suggests that hats cause baldness. However, frequent use of tight, non-breathable hats can lead to hair breakage and scalp issues, potentially contributing to hair loss over time.



    1. Grant Phillips T, Paul Slomiany W, Allison R II. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. AFP. 2017 Sep 15;96(6):371–8.
    2. Gatherwright J, Liu MT, Amirlak B, Gliniak C, Totonchi A, Guyuron B. The Contribution of Endogenous and Exogenous Factors to Male Alopecia: A Study of Identical Twins. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 May;131(5):794e.
    3. Smith A. Traction alopecia: Causes, treatment, and prevention [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2021 Sep 12]. Available from:
    Luat Duong

    Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.