There’s an age-old myth that says hats can lead to hair loss and breakage. Well, we talked to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, to debunk that myth once and for all. Can hats cause breakage? The short answer is no, but keep reading to find out what Kingsley has to say about the rare instances where hats can lead to hair breakage and what kind of hats you should avoid if you’d like to save your strands.
Mane Addicts: Can wearing hats cause hair loss or breakage?
Anabel Kingsley: Hats do not cause hair loss. If you wore an extremely tight hat, you would pass out long before it had a chance to affect hair cell production. However, hats can, although rarely, cause breakage. The most likely reason for this would be if the hat had metal or jewel embellishments on its border and the hair became tangled in them. Another cause for breakage would be if you put up your hair very tightly under a hat. But, this would have more to do with the tight hairstyle than the hat itself. An exception to this is if you kickbox or do any activity that requires wearing a heavy head guard. I have seen a case where a woman’s ponytail was being weighed down by her head guard. Over time, it caused quite a bit of breakage at the crown. However, in general, hats are pretty safe for your hair.
MA: What is the worst material for your hair that hats can be made of? The best?
AK: Potentially, the worst material would be one with extravagant designs that your hair could become caught in and subsequently snap. Very warm hats may also cause your scalp to sweat, which can leave you with a disheveled hairstyle. The best materials will be those that feel most comfortable. If a hat feels like it’s scratching your scalp, or getting tangled with your hair, it’s best to take it off.
MA: How can you avoid breakage?
AK: If you know your hat has seams or designs that your hair might become tangled in, remove the hat carefully and gently to make sure no hairs are being pulled. However, if a hat is so uncomfortable that you think it might be breaking your hair, find an alternative. If you generally want to strengthen your strands and make them more resilient, use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. I love our multi-award-winning Elasticizer. Originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn, Elasticizer plumps the hair shaft with moisture to increase elasticity and shine.
MA: Any suggestions for styling hair underneath of the hat to avoid damage?
AK: It’s never a good idea to wear your hair back too tightly. This can place too much traction on the hair and hair follicle, causing breakage. Tight hairstyles may even pull hairs out, and if done for an extended period of time, can result in permanent hair loss. In terms of what you tie your hair back with, opt for fabric-covered bands or smooth clips. Uncovered elastic bands and sharp metal edges can cut into the hair shaft.
Now that you know hats are A-okay to wear, THESE are the best hairstyles to pair with any cap you don!