In professional sports and other recreational activities, wearing protective headgear or helmets is a must.  These products were designed and developed to protect the brain from serious injuries such as concussions or TBI’s (traumatic brain injuries).  While these are an asset for athletes, there is considerable debate over the adverse effects they may have on one’s hair.

A great deal of research has been done in order to back up these claims and there is evidence that clearly shows how some individuals have suffered with hair loss even though they weren’t genetically predisposed to the condition.  The condition is more commonly known as “traction alopecia” and we typically see this among individuals who repeatedly done caps or helmets in sports.

The repeated wearing of caps and helmets causes damage to the hair by pulling on it and loosening the roots.  We commonly see this condition occurring among athletes involved in sports such as baseball, football, and hockey.  When you consider that these individuals start when they are very young, and continues through their high school, college, and professional careers, that equates to years of hair damage.

Bacterial and Headgear Damage

Scientific research has revealed that the hair is damaged in two different ways.  First is the aforementioned repetitive wearing of caps and helmets. Second, the bacteria that is caused by perspiration accumulates on the surface of the scalp and is exacerbated by the use of the headgear.  Let’s talk about the bacterial issue first. If you wear a cap or helmet repeatedly, heat is released from the body through the scalp, hence the issue with sweating. There is also the dirt and foreign matter from the environment.

The constant wearing of headgear keeps these elements close to the scalp until you are done wearing it.  Unfortunately, while remember to shampoo our hair on a regular basis, we often times forget about the cap or helmet.  These need to be washed regularly as well. Not washing the headgear provides the bacteria with an opportunity to spread and eventually infect the scalp.  This elevates the risk of hair loss or at the least, causes hair growth to be stunted.

The fact that the headgear is required for protection further complicates the issue.  As the cap or helmet pulls on the hair, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the follicle to stay anchored in the scalp.  Eventually, the hair is going to start falling out. There are ways to combat the issue if you wear headgear on a regular basis, one of which is to wash it and then spray an anti-bacterial product on the inside of the cap or helmet.  If you’ve noticed that you are losing more hair than normal, you should consult with a hair loss or hair restoration specialist before the condition worsens.