If you live in the United States, chances are you wear or have worn a hat. The market for hats and caps in the U.S. amounts to $7.295 million in 2019 and is expected to grow by 6% by 2023. Per person, when broken down by population and revenue, that equates to $22.17 per person living in the United States in 2019. The likelihood that you bought a hat and wear that hat is high — especially if you’re one of the many men affected by hair loss.
20% of men in their 20s are affected by male-pattern baldness and the percentage just rises as men get older.
If you wear a hat, will you lose your hair? The short answer – no. Wearing a hat will not cause hair loss in the sense that most people believe. However, there are a few side effects of wearing hats that could lead people to believe hats cause baldness.
Here are a few:
- Placing your hat on your head and removing your hat from your head often.
If you’re constantly adjusting your hat, pulling it off your head and then placing back down on your scalp, it’s possible that you could irritate a few already delicate hairs. If you are already experiencing hair loss or hair thinning, the act of removing the hat and replacing the hat could aggravate already fragile hair on your scalp.
- Wearing a dirty hat or sharing hats.
If your cap is dirty, it’s possible it may lead to a scalp infection that could cause or accelerate hair loss. If you contract tinea capitis (which can be passed if you share hats with someone who has tinea capitis), also known as ringworm of the scalp, you’ll experience itchiness. It’s possible your hair will break at the scalp and you’ll see hair loss.
- Wearing your hat too tight.
It’s possible that if you were to wear your hat too tight, uncomfortably tight, for an extended period of time, you would experience hair breakage which might look like you have thinning hair.
WHAT REALLY CAUSES HAIR LOSS IF IT ISN’T HATS?
Did you know that both men and women are affected by hair loss? According to research, the hereditary lottery plays the biggest role in deciding whether or not you will be affected by hair loss. In fact, your genes account for about 80% of your predisposition to baldness.
Studies prove that heredity accounts for about 80% of the predisposition to baldness.
Around 20% of men in their 20s are affected by male-pattern baldness, and by the time men are in their 40s, nearly 50% of them are affected by hair loss. By the time men reach their 70s, the percentage increases to nearly 80%.
Nearly 50% of men in their 40s are affected by hair loss.
For all men, androgenetic alopecia, or what we’ve described here as male-pattern baldness, actually accounts 95% of hair loss. The drawbacks are countless. Many men report feelings of frustration and unhappiness. Many even say they would spend their life savings to change or reverse the effects of hair loss. Hair loss even affects both professional and personal relationships, causing some men to change career paths because of their balding or thinning hair.
WHERE DID THE HAT AND HAIR LOSS MYTH START?
Some people believe that “the hair loss comes from hats” myth stems from watching men enter the military, wearing a helmet every day, and coming home with less hair. Because we know that hair loss is genetic, it’s likely that the myth coincided with the time many men start to see the effects of male-pattern baldness. Around 25% of men with male-pattern baldness, which is genetic, start to lose their hair before they turn 21 years old.
Around 25% of men with male-pattern baldness start to lose their hair before they turn 21 years old.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT HAIR LOSS?
If you have experience hair loss or hair thinning, understand that wearing your hat WILL NOT cause long-term hair loss. There are many men experiencing male-pattern baldness because of their hereditary predisposition for androgenetic alopecia. It is important to understand that you have options. There are many solutions to hair loss, some with pros and cons:
- Hair transplant surgery
Many men turn to hair transplant surgery to replace hair on their scalp that has fallen out. The truth is — hair transplant surgery doesn’t replace, it can only relocate hair follicles from other areas. The scalp continues to be affected by male-pattern baldness, and loss continues, regardless of how many surgeries the patient endures. In addition to creating scar tissue, surgery can also cause other side effects such as infection, swelling of the scalp, folliculitis, shock loss, and bleeding.
- Topical applications
If you experience hair loss or find yourself searching out an answer to the “do hats cause hair loss” question, you’ve likely heard of Rogaine (Minoxidil). It’s the most common topical solution to hair loss. While it has shown some effectiveness in PREVENTING further hair loss, this solution can’t actually REGROW hair that has already been lost. Aside from that drawback, the effects are temporary and only continue as you use the product.
- Hair systems
Another common solution for hair loss is the hair system. Costly, this solution can set you back between $300 – $500 every 3 weeks just in maintenance costs and likely around $1,000 – $1,500 in replacement costs (expected every 4 – 6 weeks). There are many restrictions for a hair system, including swimming, high speed sports, and the general fear of detection.
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