Hats and hair have a bit of a complicated relationship. On the one hand, hats are stylish and can be a lifesaver in helping to keep you cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Also, the type of hat you wear can make a tremendous difference in the overall safety of your hair.

Generally, hair loss can be attributed to more things than whether you’ve been wearing a hat or not. Genetic factors, hairstyles, and scalp hydration are all very common reasons why a person may have hair loss. However, that doesn’t mean that a hat cannot adversely impact your hair.

If you wear a hat too often, it can cause hair damage. Firstly, the material the hat is made out of can be a huge factor. Cotton, in particular, can be especially dangerous because it absorbs the oils from your hair. With too much exposure, your hair can become dry and brittle, and your scalp can become dehydrated.

If you wear a hat during the summer, or exercise and work up a sweat, the sweat can be absorbed into the hat which can irritate the scalp.

Dirty hats can do a great deal of harm as well. Be wary of borrowing things like hairbrushes and hats from others. Ringworm, for example, is easily passed on through contact with contaminated clothing or items. You also increase your risk of ringworm if you have damp skin for an extended period of time and are in contact with something contaminated with ringworm. Infected soil can also be another cause. Ringworm can cause your hair to fall out; however, the hair will typically grow back after the ringworm infection is treated. Ringworm isn’t the only thing that can negatively impact your hair; there are other risk factors are present as well. Just be sure to keep your hair and hat clean and discard or wash anything you suspect may be dirty.

Scalp and skin irritation can also impact your hair if you are using soaps that can cause an allergic reaction. Select a mild soap if you do have allergic reactions and be sure that your hat is well rinsed.

Some hats can get caught in your hair and pull your hair out. Excessive pulling of the hair can result in noticeable bald spots. If you notice your hair is repeatedly getting caught in the material of your hat first try to remove the caught hair to minimize damage and consider switching out your hat if your hair is getting caught in it too often.

Hair loss is typically the result of a variety of factors; however, a hat can exacerbate those factors by a small margin if your hair is overexposed to it.  There are some hats that are lined with silk or satin. Hats like these reduce the risk of pulling and don’t cause as much friction between the hat and your hair. Additionally, satin and silk don’t absorb moisture like other materials. Straw hats may also be a safe alternative for combatting the heat during the summer.