Do Sports Helmets contribute to Hair Loss?

Protective helmets are a key component in a number of outdoor recreational activities and sports.  These devices were designed and developed to protect the brain and skull from injury. Anyone who engages in such activities should view their helmet as a great asset.  However, they can damage the hair over time. While there have been a number of discussions on the subject, scientific research has resulted in some agreement where hair loss attributed to helmet-wearing is concerned.

The Research

Whether or not an individual is genetically predisposed to baldness and hair loss, many research studies have clearly shown that people who wear caps, hats, and helmets over an extensive period of time are prone to experiencing hair loss.  This condition is more commonly referred to as “traction alopecia.”  It typically occurs when their headwear pulls on the hair and the roots in the scalp begin to loosen.  The condition is prevalent in sports such as baseball, football, and hockey where athletes wear protective headgear.

According to the research, there are two different ways that caps, hats, and helmets can cause hair loss.  First, hair loss is attributed to the repeated us of the headgear and second, the use of caps, hats, and helmets causes bacteria to gather on the surface of the person’s scalp.  In fact, wearing the headgear exacerbates the condition. If you have a concern about losing your hair because of the repeated use of these types of headgear, you should discuss this with a hair restoration specialist or surgeon.

The Bacteria

Whether you play baseball or football, ride dirt bikes or motorcycles, or wear a cap when walking the beach, sweat accumulates around the band of the headgear you’re wearing.  Even worse is the fact that the headgear itself keeps the sweat and other pollutants. Ironically, most individuals fail to realize that they need to wash their headgear almost as frequently as their hair.  Wearing a cap, hat, or helmet without washing it on a regular basis provides the bacteria with an opportunity to spread.

Combatting the Bacteria

There are a number of ways that you can combat the accumulation of bacteria, one of which is spraying an anti-bacterial solution inside the headgear and then ensuring that it dries thoroughly.  You can use anti-bacterial cloths as well. Just like your skin, your scalp has pores that must be kept clean in order for your hair to keep growing. The best way to ensure this is to consult with a hair restoration specialist or surgeon.