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Hair Loss

Hair Myth 1: Wearing a hat, making you go bald?

Growing up, I spent most of my days wearing a baseball cap.I distinctly remember my dad telling me, “you’re going to end up bald if you keep wearing that hat.”

This sort of scaremongering was rife back in the day, with explanations such as;

“You’re not allowing the sweat glands to breathe…”

“ You’re clogging the follicles, which prevents hair growth….’

“ You need oxygen for you to produce the oils that help your hair grow…”

….and so on.

Well, the good news is, there’s no scientific basis for any of these.

Hair doesn’t breathe. The only part of the hair that’s alive and taking oxygen is the part attached to the scalp. It receives all the oxygen it needs from the blood supply.

There is a type of hair loss referred to as “traction alopecia”, which happens when you put a lot of physical stress on the hair follicle, and the hairline recedes because of that pulling. It occurs most frequently in African American women who have worn their hair in tight braids since they were young. But it can happen to anyone who puts continued stress on their follicles through hair extensions and other hairstyles such as tight ponytails and buns.

It’s fair to presume that most guys wouldn’t have this problem. 

Hats don’t provide nearly enough tension to cause traction alopecia unless you’re wearing the hat so tightly that it’s pulling your hair. It would still be an unlikely scenario.

As for where the myth of the balding hatters came from, perhaps it came from balding baseball players, or cowboys, or men who return from military service and go bald shortly after that.

In summary, keep wearing your hat, protect your skin from ageing and cancer, and rest assured if you are starting to thin out on top, your hat is not the cause.


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