Does Wearing a Hat or Hair Piece Cause Hair Loss or Negatively Impact Hair Growth?

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.

Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center
View my Hair Loss Weblog

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3 Comments so far:

  1. Rudy says:

    Research into hair biology revealed that the main culprit of hair loss in men is DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), and there are many products available in the market to inhibit or to block DHT.

    I believe that as long as the product that you choose is to inhibit or to block DHT you should see the results in 5-6 months period. It is also recommended to buy from a recognized pharmaceutical manufacturer. Check with your doctor before you are taking these pills.

  2. nadine says:

    Hi I’m a lady of 26 years old and hav a complex about my hair as it has thinned so badly in the past year. I want to start wearing wigs, I would like to wear them as much as possible,every day if I could as I feel more confident wit one on. I hav heard that wearing a wig will cause mor damage to my thinning hair and loose mor hair! Is this true and if so how many days a week can 1 wear a wig without negative effects?

  3. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:


    In some cases, wigs and weaves can result in a condition known as traction alopecia. Hair loss due to traction alopecia is caused by excessive pulling or rubbing and may be temporary or permanent depending upon the severity of the damage.

    Even famous actors, models and other celebrities with access to the finest stylists and products are sometimes affected by TA. There is simply to way to predict or ensure that your wig will not damage your hair.

    Your best bet is to consult with a reputable wig stylist and discuss your concerns. Keep careful watch on your hair and if you see any signs of further hair loss, stop immediately.

    I also suggest that you try Rogaine (minoxidil) for your thinning hair. It’s the only clinically proven and FDA approved non-surgical hair loss treatment safe and effective for use by women.


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