You Can Leave Your Hat On: Winter Hats and your Hair and Scalp.
With the weather having turned colder, the season of the woolly winter hat is finally upon us. Although hats are excellent at keeping our heads and ears warm, we asked Philip Kingsley to enlighten us on the positives and negatives that wearing a hat has on your hair and scalp.
The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, hats do not, Philip says, ‘cause or exacerbate hair loss’. This rule applies to all hats whether loose or extremely tight. In Philip’s words: ’If you wore a tourniquet twisted tightly round your head for hours on end, you would collapse before your hair fell out!’ This hair loss Myth concerning hats came about during the First and Second World Wars when, after returning home from wearing helmets for months or years, it was noticed that many of the soldiers’ hair had thinned considerably. However, this hair loss was due to stress and also to the fact that these men were returning home at an age when male pattern hair loss commonly occurs, not because they were wearing hats.
Although wearing a hat will not cause hair loss, Philip says that hats can cause your scalp to ‘sweat and become more oily’ throughout the day. Also, apart from affecting your scalp, shoving your hair into and/or under a hat can ‘result in knotting and messy hair’ or ‘hat hair’. While this will not cause permanent damage in itself to your hair and is simply annoying, Philip cautions us to take care when brushing these tangles out and re-styling as breakage can occur. In both cases, Philip stresses that you should shampoo and condition your hair when getting home after any tangling or sweating occurs and also use a wide toothed brush or comb to prevent damage to your hair and scalp.
Whilst wearing a hat may mess-up a sleek hairstyle and cause a sweaty scalp, the protection hats offer your hair from harmful elements such as the sun, wind and cold air, is substantial. ‘I am not against hats’ Philip says, ‘They are often a good thing as they provide the hair with protection’. Winter wind and weather can really dry out your hair and can cause permanent damage and breakage if you are not careful. The sun, which can also be quite glaring during winter, can also lead to discolouration, especially for those with processed hair. Philip suggests using an intensive pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, such as the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, to keep your hair in its optimum condition and replenish lost moisture.
Philip Kingsley’s verdict: ‘If you want to wear a hat, by all means wear one. The right hat can not only give your hair and scalp protection, but it can also make you look quite chic.’