Sun 27 Apr 2008
Is there any evidence to suggest that wearing a hat or covering the head day in day out over a long period of time (years for example) may lead to premature hair loss?. Also is there any evidence that suggests taking glucosomine supplements can lead to baldness, or is this just a load of old cobblers?
This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Michael Beehner of Saratoga Springs, NY who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.
I would agree that hats do not have a negative effect on hair growth, either your natural hair or follicular unit grafts that have been transplanted.
The only thing that goes on the head that I do know can have a negative impact on some patients is wearing a hairpiece. Over the years, I would say that approximately 15-20% of my alopecia wig wearing hair restoration patients have had slight to moderate diminishment of growth compared to my normal non-hairpiece-wearing patients. A few years ago I had a discussion about this with some other very experienced doctors, including Dr. Bobby Limmer and Walter Unger, and they had noted this also in their practices. Their recommendation to me at the time, which I have followed, is to not have a hairpiece worn during the week after a procedure, and then to have the patient have the hairpiece off as much as possible, wearing it only for essentials such as work and social engagements – but wearing a ballcap around the house or nothing on the head. I have noticed a slight improvement since switching to this policy, but still see an occasional patient with diminished hair regrowth.
The reason for this is not fully understood. Most feel it has to do with a close “shuffling” of the piece on the newly implanted grafts, perhaps somehow preventing them from “taking root.” Increased temperature or bacteria present would be other wild guesses that probably don’t apply.
Most of us have people who wear motorcycle helmets, ski helmets, and hard hats not wear their headware for at least 7-10 days after hair transplant surgery.
Mike Beehner, M.D.