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6/11/2015 1:06 PM grooming • 0 Comments

Can Wearing Caps Make You Bald?

Growing up, I had this friend—let’s call him Chris—and I remember when I first met him, he had this thick head of very blonde, curly hair. From the 7th grade all the way up to our senior year in high school, he wore a baseball cap—in fact, I’m fairly certain he wore the same stupid John Deere cap for those six years, because even during our graduation, he had that god damn hat on and it was filthy.


By the time we were 18 years old, Chris, who had once had these lush locks, now had a receding hairline; his hair looked like it had been choking. He kept wearing baseball caps as he entered college and by his second year, Chris was one bald bastard.


Here’s the big question: Can wearing a hat in general—not necessary everyday like this jackass— damage your follicles and make you go bald? If you think about it, we humans have loved wearing hats for most of known history. Whether it was something with a feather, a captain’s hat or just a beanie, we’ve donned hats for many reasons, whether it be for our profession, or simply because we love to and think we look fan-freakin-tastic.


If you enjoy your fedoras, sun hats or your favorite team’s cap, here are some theories and points to at least think about so that you may prevent your hairline from disappearing like my buddy Chris’. (Keep in mind: like with balding itself, while we have some information on the topic, in my opinion, it’s limited.)


  • Some studies claim that Traction Alopecia occurs when we put pressure and stress on our hair follicles, in turn, making the hairline recede. It’s very similar to what takes place on people who wear their hair pulled back (e.g., ponytails, braids) most of the time. Whatever you decide to do with your hair, make sure that it’s not tight and straining your scalp.


  • My mother, a hairstylist, who has worked on thousands of people’s heads and hair, considers herself a balding expert and has a few interesting theories of her own. She says that wearing caps frequently causes a loss of oxygen, which leads to a depletion of nourishment to the hair follicles.  Additionally, the friction from the cap puts stress on the hair, which therefore can cause a form of alopecia. One thing we do know for sure is that if you can stop any sort of friction to the hair and scalp, you will be lessening the stress and tension on the follicle.


  • While hats are great in the heat of the summer for protecting your head from dangerous UV rays, one thing you do have to be careful with is that wearing a hat also makes your scalp perspire; your sweat will mix with grime while the skin cells shed, in turn, causing pores and hair follicles to clog. An unfortunate side effect from this issue is that your scalp becomes sensitive, which can affect your hair growth. Remedy this problem by using a natural shampoo—one that won’t strip your scalp of its nutrients. After you shampoo, also get in the habit of brushing your hair with a nice brush or comb to help eliminate pore-clogging dead skin cells.


  • Hats and baldness could also be a part of the “Chicken or the egg?” theory—another reason we link hats and baldness together is because most men who start losing their hair, rock a cap to hide their exposed scalp. So, what really causes baldness? I believe it’s a mixture of many different things—heredity, imbalanced diet, poor sleeping patterns, side effects from medications, and the most common reason, dihydrotesterone (aka, DHT).


  • When it comes to wearing cap or a hat, moderation is key. Additionally, make sure you invest in one that has a slightly loser fit as opposed to one that snuggly hugs your head.