It probably started out with a baseball cap because you began to notice, with some alarm, that your hair was thinning. You felt more confident with a hat on, because the receding temples and growing bald spot made you look older than you felt on the inside. The thought of a shiny crown was actually kind of frightening, and the prospect of looking like your granddad anytime soon filled you with dread. Pretty soon you and your hat were inseparable.
As the years went by the hat collection grew. In winter the cover of choice might have been that Patagonia beanie. Then there was that fedora-style number you picked up in Panama. And of course the commemorative Super Bowl topper, and your go-to Titlist golf cap. You looked wistfully at historic pictures of men in the 1950s, when every man wore a hat to work, because that’s the one place you had trouble pulling off the whole hat thing.
And without a hat your hair loss was exposed. The secret of your premature balding was revealed. Your discomfort seemed to grow in direct proportion to how your hair didn’t.
Well, take heart. You are not the only one hiding hair loss.
Many Men Wear Hats To Hide Hair Loss
At the Hair Sciences Center, Dr. Harris has spoken to thousands of men over the years and the majority of men own a sizable hat collection. Cowboy hats, pork pie hats, jaunty newsboy caps, berets, Greek fishermen—the styles change but the motive remains: hide your hair loss at all costs, in every situation possible.
By age 40, 40% of all men will experience noticeable hair loss. With 160 million men in the U.S. you don’t need to be a mathematician to see why hat sales are a $2 billion a year industry. Granted, not all of those baseball and golf caps are worn to hide thinning hair. But if you know someone who is “that hat guy” (maybe it’s you), chances are there is a chrome dome (or its beginnings) beneath it.
Can Hats Actually Contribute To Hair Loss?
There are many myths about the causes of baldness, and among them the claim that a hat can contribute to hair loss (it cannot). For a hat to contribute to hair loss it would have to be so tight as to cut off circulation to the follicles (and your scalp causing a host of other issues!). Prolonged wearing of dirty hats is just poor hygiene so it’s a good idea to wash or replace hats often. You can rest assured that covering your bald spot is not enhancing its circumference.
Should I Embrace The Chrome Dome?
If you’ve worn hats for years, you may be, well, worn out. Perhaps you have toyed wit the idea of just ditching the hat, grabbing the electric razor or Bic, and buzzing off what’s left of your thinning hair. That is certainly one solution, and it works for a lot of men. Think Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, or Vin Diesel—strong guys with advanced male pattern baldness who embraced that look and never lost their appeal to women.
While this option works for some, not everyone is comfortable sporting a shaved scalp. Instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, you may want to save the hair you have. If so, we invite you to explore your options for growing new hair, or transplanting some healthy hair to the thinning areas. There are now advanced techniques and viable options that many men prefer over a shaved head.
Dr. James Harris is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, inventor of patented follicular unit excision technology, published author in the field of hair restoration and an advocate for patient care. He is currently at the forefront of research and development in the field of hair cloning. Learn more about Dr. Harris or read rave reviews from his patients.