Is donning your favorite baseball cap causing hair loss?
Luckily for those of us who sport headgear advertising our favorite teams, bowlers, and beanies, hat wearing is a relatively safe fashion statement.
Alopecia : One common cause of hair loss is called alopecia. Alopecia is usually an autoimmune disease similar in nature to eczema and cannot be contracted from your headgear. Trichology, the science of scalp and hair problems, studies the scalp and hair under microscope to determine how your hair has been damaged throughout your life. Microscopically, hair is affected by alopecia often looks like an asparagus tip at the end there is broken off or damaged. That being established, hat could possibly contribute to something called traction alopecia. Traction alopecia happens by exposing your scalp to massive amounts of stress, causing the hair follicles to recede from all that pulling. This often happens with African-American women who regularly sport very tight braids over a long period of time, but it can happen to almost anyone. Usually hats are not the culprit, but if you are concerned about traction alopecia just loosen your headband a bit.
Another explanation to justify that hat wearing myth is that, by wearing hats, you deprive your follicles of oxygen and important nutrients available from the sun. While most hats are not worn tightly enough to be a danger of oxygen depriavtion, excessively snug headgear could cause your hair follicles to break. Thankfully, this is temporary and I will go back as soon as you stop wearing an overly restrictive hat.
Though scientists haven't been able to directly tie lack of sunlight caused by hats to hair loss, it has been proven clinically that men suffering rom genetic based hair thinning or baldness may benefit from something called low-light laser therapy (LLLT). In particular, it seems that an LLLT in 830 nm wavelength stimulates hair growth.
Results of a recent study suggest LLLT treatments, such as the Igrow Hair Growth Device, can increase hair growth by as much as 35%! Microscopic analysis of the hair patterns of patients who have used LLLP show that their hair patterns go from patchy bald spots to consistent thick and healthy hair.
These results make sense. Light is a powerful healer and sunshine is potent medicine. Spending time in fresh air allows your body to fully experience the life-giving elements offered by sunlight and is useful for treating many diseases, including hair loss.
When the sun shines on your scalp, your nerves are able to take in energy and send that life-giving energy throughout your body. It also creates vitamin D that allows you to better absorb calcium and has a calming effect. Exposure to direct sunlight is one of the single best ways to adjust your attitude and get a new take on life.
Though the correlation between hair growth in increased light expose is established, it doesn't imply that the lack of light is the cause of hair loss. Though reduced sunlight caused by hats won't negatively affect your hair, hats significantly reduce the number of nerve endings available to absorb this valuable nutrient. Meaning, ditching the hat may allow your body to absorb more vitality as a whole. Conversely, if you spend a lot of time in the sunshine a hat may protect you from possible damaging rays that contribute to skin cancer.
The Real Culprits : Almost everyone who has experienced some form of baldness or thinning is anxious to find the culprits hair loss. Stress and illness are among the top perpetrators. Also, there is bad news for smokers. Both smoking and obesity are linked to early hair loss.
Doctors have also learned that hair loss is often a result of underlining medical problem that just happens to affect the hair cycle. Hair loss is commonly associated with hormonal problems, medication side effects, fungal infections, excessively tight hairstyles, or overusing chemical hair products. It is important to get to your doctor for a check-up if you experience hair loss or thinning.
The Short Version : Most of the time, you can chalk up hair loss to genetics. If you are male, check out grandpa on your mother's side to get a preview of what your hair might look like later in life. But like most things, the best intervention keeping your favorite hat collection and tossing out the cigarettes. Maintaining a health weight and adopting an active lifestyle will give you the best possible chance of retaining healthy, full hair.
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