Hats are not only fashionable, but also functional. They keep you warm in the winter and help protect your skin from the sun's UV rays in the summer. But what about the notion that wearing a hat is bad for hair health? This is largely a myth, but tight hats and certain materials may cause some minor damage.
Hats might actually do some good for the health of your hair. During cooler days, they protect your hair and scalp from the elements. This is especially beneficial if you go outside with wet hair, which may get weak and become prone to breakage upon contact with the cold. In the warmer months, it's important to protect your hair and scalp from UV rays, as the sun dries out hair and causes the color to fade.
According to the National Health Service, wearing hats frequently and for long periods doesn't accelerate hair loss. However, very tight hats can trap oils at your hair's roots and leave the ends dry. When hair gets greasy, the circulation of oxygen to your follicles may be obstructed and dirt and bacteria may build up, potentially causing hair to fall out.
Avoid damage from hats by choosing ones that are loose enough to let your hair and scalp breathe. A hat should feel comfortable and not be pressed against your head. For straw hats, make sure the straw is tightly woven and smooth, as loose straw can pull on hair and cause breakage.
Aleksandra Ozimek has been writing professionally since 2007 for a fashion blog, various online media and the "Queens Courier," in addition to interning at "Cosmopolitan" magazine. She completed her Bachelor of Science in journalism and photography from St. John's University, where she is completing her master's degree.