We’re big fans of headbands. In fact, we’ve just launched our limited-edition headband collection, but we’ve seen a few online forum posts asking can headbands cause bald spots?
No one wants to wear something that will cause hair loss.
And if you’re using a headband to keep the hair out of your eyes, then you only want that to be temporary, right? You don’t want to permanently lose hair.
So what’s the answer? We wanted to find out.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss is often completely natural and is nothing to be concerned about.
According to the NHS, we naturally lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day. If you’ve got long hair, you’ll be familiar with hair in the bristles of your hairbrush or comb. The plug hole in the shower can also show how much hair we lose naturally. It becomes more noticeable the older you get, too.
There are other causes of hair loss and some are temporary and others are permanent.
People lose hair because of stress or illness, due to the side effects of medical treatment or medications, and it can also be genetic. Men can lose hair even at a relatively young age. Live Science describes male boldness as being
“related to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, which causes old hairs on the scalp to be replaced by progressively shorter and thinner hairs in a predictable pattern, beginning at the temples and crown of the head”.
One of the most common causes of hair loss in women is iron deficiency, but some women will get bald spots because of how they style their hair and this is where a potential connection between bald spots and headbands becomes a little clearer.
Traction alopecia is caused by repeated stress being put on the scalp. Women who wear wigs, hair extensions or tightly braided or pulled back hairstyles do report having bald spots. Some also say that regular heat treatment and pulling on the hair – hair straightening for example – could also contribute to traction alopecia which is a ‘type of hair loss caused by constant pulling’.
It means that bald spots could start appearing if your hair is under constant pressure. For example, pulling it back tightly into a certain style like cornrows or braids or wearing the weight of extensions on your own hair.
So, what about headbands?
Do headbands cause hair loss?
It’s possible headbands could cause hair loss if you wore one very tightly, very often and if it’s pulling on your hair.
Some headbands have plastic teeth or clips inside to keep them in place. You’ll feel the roots of your hair being back with products like that and this long-term stress on the follicle could mean you are at risk of getting a bald spot.
With regular headbands though, the kind you use in the gym or during sport or to keep sweat and hair off your face when you’re going about your day, probably not.
Gym Hugs headbands stay on your head because they’re made from a polyester and spandex blend which will stay in place on your head without having to pull the hair back.
If you’re wearing tighter bands on your head, then there’s always a chance your hair may start to weaken. You might notice small hairs on the hairline that have broken off.
Of course, the problem could very well be how you style your hair. Straightening or curling, braiding, or wearing heavy extensions of accessories is more likely to cause traction alopecia than a headband.
But it’s easier and it seems more obvious to blame a headband.
You’re also more likely to notice stray hairs on the inside of your headband when you take it off. Remember what we wrote at the beginning: you lose up to 150 hairs each day naturally. Just because you can see these on your headband doesn’t mean your hairband has caused them to come out.
You should be able to feel if your headband is a problem. You’ll feel a tight sensation and possibly a pinching. Your head may even hurt to the touch. These headbands are unsuitable and we’d advise choosing something kinder to your scalp. How can you concentrate on your exercise if you’re head is hurting.
Can headbands cause bald spots? Yes, it’s possible if you’re wearing a headband that’s very tight and which pulls on the roots of your hair, but it’s unlikely. Sports headbands aren’t tight enough and rarely worn for long enough to be an issue. If you’re worried about hair loss, you should also look at how you wear and style your hair. You should always talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about balding spots as well as there could be an underlying medical cause.
We’ve just launched a limited-edition range of headbands designed for the gym and every day. Made from the same Dri-Fit material we use on our sweat-proof headphone covers, its make-up resistance, too. Match it with our new gym socks range, too, to unify your look.