Do Hats Cause Hair Loss? - Particle (2022)

There’s no denying it; hats are stylish and can elevate any man’s appearance. What woman isn’t enticed by a casual backward baseball cap or fancy fedora?

But you know what is not quite so elevating? Balding.

So, what happens when wearing hats is responsible for you losing your hair? Is this even possible? How can it be prevented?

Today, Particle will be answering the dreaded question of whether or not hats cause hair loss, and explaining how you can avoid going bald by using the right products.

Do Hats Really Cause Hair Loss?

For the most part, you are in the clear — hats have not been shown to just plain cause hair loss. That being said, there are a few situations where wearing a hat can make hair loss worse.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a form of acquired hair loss. The direct cause of this hair loss is repetitively putting tension on the scalp. This tension must occur for prolonged periods to be categorized as traction alopecia.

Symptoms of traction alopecia include itching, redness, scaling, folliculitis, infection of the hair follicle, and hair loss or thinning.

In terms of what areas of the scalp are affected, traction alopecia will most commonly affect the front and sides of the scalp. Nevertheless, any area of the scalp may experience these symptoms depending on the individual’s hair and the cause of their traction alopecia.

Common causes of traction alopecia include tight braids or dreadlocks in the hair and hair products containing strong chemicals, such as hair relaxers.

In terms of hats, it would take a very tight and ill-fitting hat being frequently worn to result in traction alopecia. While this is not impossible, it is extremely rare because it is avoidable.

As previously stated, this form of hair loss is acquired, meaning that it occurs because of a known external cause that can be avoided. By simply taking the time to ensure that the hats you are wearing fit comfortably and properly, you should be able to wear the hat of your choice worry-free.

If you find that the hats you currently use do not fit as well as you believe they should, it is definitely worth your time to replace them or even get them tailored to suit you better. While traction alopecia does not initially pose long-term effects, excessive tension to the scalp will result in scarring.

This means that your hair follicles can become indefinitely damaged, and this temporary form of alopecia can become permanent.

Frictional Alopecia

Frictional alopecia is a form of hair loss that is caused by, you guessed it, friction. When the skin around your hair follicles or the follicles themselves are rubbed consistently, it will result in a loss of hair.

An easy way to understand this form of alopecia is to think of chafing. Chafing occurs when your skin experiences a combination of friction and moisture. Though the most notable symptoms of chafing are mild burning and swelling, you may also notice that it tends to cause a loss of hair in the affected area. This is a direct result of the friction.

Friction is the resistance that a substance encounters when moving over or against another. The force of friction can technically be observed even in fluids; however, dry friction is specifically the force that opposes the lateral motion of two touching solids.

If hair follicles located anywhere on your body are being rubbed against something else, they are experiencing friction. If this friction often occurs enough or is strong enough, it will result in lost hair.

In terms of hats being the cause of frictional alopecia, your hat would need to rub against your scalp often enough for the hair follicles to undergo wear and tear and eventually lose the hair that it is holding.

It is more common for other body parts to be impacted by frictional alopecia than the scalp. For example, a commonly cited source of frictional alopecia is the feet. By wearing socks consistently for years, and the material inevitably rubbing against the skin and its hair follicles as you walk, it is likely that certain areas of your foot or ankle will be hairless.

That being said, frictional alopecia on the scalp is definitely possible, just unlikely. The chances increase if, rather than it being a hat rubbing against your hair, it is a helmet used for riding a motorcycle or playing sports. Hopefully, your helmet is well fitted for safety purposes. It does not do much moving around, but any agile activity like skateboarding or playing football will likely result in some degree of movement in your helmet.

To avoid frictional alopecia, make sure that you are wearing the right size hat or helmet. The less movement, the better, but be sure that it is not too tight because, as previously discussed, this may lead to traction alopecia.

More importantly, give your head breaks. To develop frictional alopecia, you will need to experience friction for long periods. As long as you are not wearing your hat to bed, you should be clear.


We often forget that, just like other articles of clothing, hats require cleaning. If you have a favorite hat that you are wearing all the time, you must wash it often. Keeping up with your hygiene can make a significant difference in ensuring that hats are not the reason for your hair loss.

If dirt and bacteria build up inside your hat and you never wash it, wearing it can be harmful to your scalp. The first physical reaction to this interaction will be irritation. Your scalp will become irritated, perhaps developing pimples or dandruff.

Scalp acne is typically the result of unclean hair and clogged hair follicles. Just like other acne, scalp acne will appear as small pimples that feel sore and sometimes itch. Buildup on the scalp combined with bacteria is the most common cause.

Preventing scalp acne is easy. Wash your hair frequently, especially after sweaty workouts, cut down on the number of hair products you use, and wear looser-fitting hats or headgear. The purpose of adjusting your hat size is to ensure that your scalp has the space it needs to “breathe.”

Dandruff is a skin condition in which flakes of dry skin fall from the affected area. Dandruff is not necessarily the direct result of poor hygiene, though this can act as a catalyst. The actual cause is an unhealthy scalp.

Dandruff may also be a symptom of other dry skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. There are several useful dandruff shampoos and scalp treatments for quick resolution on the market.

Moving back to the effect of dirty hats on the scalp, if you manage to treat them quickly after developing acne or dandruff, you should not experience long-term consequences. However, suppose you continue to wear a dirt hat and continue to weaken your scalp. In that case, the resulting irritation will eventually harm your hair follicles, resulting in damaged hair or hair loss.

Keeping your scalp and everything you put on it clean and bacteria-free should be enough to prevent this form of hair loss.

Strength & Recovery

In full transparency, you really have very little to be concerned about when it comes to hats and hair loss. Nevertheless, the best way to ensure that you will comfortably wear hats as often as you like without the fear of going bald is to strengthen your hair and scalp. Similarly, if you believe that your hair may benefit from some additional support after years of wearing hats, there are ways for your scalp to recover.

In either instance, we recommend using our Particle Hair Revival Kit. This kit includes a hair and scalp cream and a scalp massager that is engineered for men who are experiencing thinning or loss of hair.

The cream combines nine clinically proven ingredients that energize the scalp, stimulate hair growth, and toughen hair follicles. The silicone massager allows the scalp to effectively absorb these active ingredients and stimulate circulation more quickly. Together, they work to restore your thick, young, and healthy hair.

Use a hair kit every three days. Start by washing your hair thoroughly before application. Then proceed when your hair is damp or dry. Use a marble-sized amount of cream and apply it to your scalp using your fingers. Using the massager, rub the cream into your scalp in a circular motion for approximately 30-60 seconds.

If you are still not convinced, you are welcome to look through our overwhelmingly positive reviews yourself.


Though it is, in fact, possible for hats to cause hair loss, it is actually quite difficult for them to do so. It would require the consistent wearing of a dirty, ill-fitting hat for your headgear to impact your hair loss. For additional support and security, we suggest working to strengthen your scalp and recover from any previous hair damage.


Traction alopecia | DermNet NZ

Frictional (Sock) Alopecia of the Legs: Trichoscopy as an Aid | NCBI

How to treat dandruff | AAD

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Nicola Considine CPA

Last Updated: 10/30/2022

Views: 5561

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nicola Considine CPA

Birthday: 1993-02-26

Address: 3809 Clinton Inlet, East Aleisha, UT 46318-2392

Phone: +2681424145499

Job: Government Technician

Hobby: Calligraphy, Lego building, Worldbuilding, Shooting, Bird watching, Shopping, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Nicola Considine CPA, I am a determined, witty, powerful, brainy, open, smiling, proud person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.