A portrait of man wearing a beanie and lip piercing.

You might have heard the notion that wearing headwear, be it a baseball cap, helmet, or headphone, for long hours can cause thinning hair. It’s the sort of thing you brushed off as an old wives’ tale until you found stray hairs in your favorite hat. Is there truth to this age-old belief, or is it merely a coincidence? Scroll on to find what science has to say.

Wearing Headwear Makes You Bald: Myth or Fact?

Don’t believe everything you hear. Headwear is not to blame for hair loss. On the contrary, daily hat use can potentially decrease your risk of because it protects your scalp from UV rays and other external stressors, according to a study published in the journal .

The cause of thinning hair is more likely to be related to genetics, diet, and lifestyle choices than your penchant for headwear. Smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, stress, as well as increased exercise duration are significantly associated with hair loss. These factors can weaken the hair follicles and throw your hormones out of balance, disrupting the hair growth cycle.

Why Does My Hair Keep Fall Out Whenever I Wear a Hat?

An increase in is often a multicausal issue. It’s possible that the pressure from your headwear could cause you to shed more strands than usual, especially if you always wear it so tight that it leaves marks and indentation. While it doesn’t damage your scalp, it can be a contributing factor to an abnormal amount of hair shedding.

Similarly, pulling your hair back before putting on a hat can also lead to a condition called traction alopecia. The friction from the accessory plus the tension from the can irritate the hair follicle, which is bad news for men who are already anxious about their thinning thatch. So, while wearing a hat doesn’t cause hair loss, it can contribute to hair shedding from friction.

How to Protect Your Hair

If you really love headwear like hats and beanies (or if you need them for work, like a helmet or a hard hat), you can still wear them without worrying about hair shedding. Follow these tips to help keep your mane protected and healthy.

Check before buying another hat.

Pay attention to the fit of the hat you’re going to purchase. Is it snug without being overly tight? Does the cap have an adjustable closure? It should sit securely on your head and not slide around. Additionally, choose breathable fabrics that can help minimize sweat and moisture buildup.

Don’t skip hair wash day.

You should be washing your hair more often if you wear a hat on the reg. All the sweat, oils, and bacteria trapped underneath will accumulate on your scalp, leaving you at risk of dandruff, which can .

Lather up with CLEAR Cool Sport Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Men. This shampoo combines taurine and Triple Anti-Dandruff technology to remove and prevent dandruff. It also has menthol that gives a cooling sensation to your scalp.

Watch what you eat and drink.

Your scalp needs enough biotin, zinc, and iron to grow more strands. Crash diets as well as consuming too much junk food, alcohol, and caffeine can make it harder for your body to absorb these essential nutrients. For this reason, enjoy and in moderation. Be sure to also balance out your meals with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Get a haircut.

We’re not telling you to shave your entire head. You’ve got other options, and your barber can help you pick one out. A lot of it has to do with your hairline and where you’re thinning. The goal is to cover up any and add more volume. You can try classic cuts, like high and tight, crew cut, or pompadour. Remember to use a heat protectant before blow drying your hair at home.

Hair thinning is the result of several different factors –headwear may or may not be one of them. It all depends on the hats you wear and how you take care of your mane. Prioritize a healthy lifestyle, follow a proper hair care routine, and try your best to be far away from stress. Last but not least, clean your hats. Don’t be gross.