Do you happen to wear a lot of headphones? Whether it's for gaming, streaming, or your work, sometimes there is no option but to wear headphones. Especially in this current situation where most of the work is done online.
This brings up a question that, can wearing headphones cause hair loss? That's what I am going to discuss here today. You will get all the answers related to this topic and more. So, let's not waste any more time and get started with this.
Do headphones cause hair loss?
The straightforward answer to this question is, yes, wearing headphones for long hours daily can cause hair loss. There is even a medical term for this known as traction alopecia. The term defines the situation when something tight pulls your hair right from the root and ends up causing hair loss.
To get a better understanding of that, I have to dig a little bit deeper. So, why do headphones cause loss of hair, and when does this happen.
First, let's go through why does it happen. Like I said earlier, loss of hair due to wearing too many headphones is a medical issue known as traction alopecia. This is a kind of hair balding scenario where you keep losing hair due to traction or friction from something. In this case, it's the headphones.
Whenever you have to adjust your headphones, you are essentially pulling on your hair. This creates traction on your scalp. As soon as there is traction on the scalps, it messes up with the hair follicles. Thus you end up losing your hair.
Now, let's talk about when does this happens. Because it's not something that will happen in a day or two, if you continuously have your headphones on for long hours, this thing can happen to you.
Related: Are headphones bad for your brain
How bad is traction alopecia?
Luckily, the thing about traction alopecia is that you can see it coming and treat it as well. So, it doesn't get as bad as you would think. However, if you find out and still don't do anything about it, then several years later, it can permanently damage your hair follicles. This then leads to balding.
Now, there are several signs that you might have traction alopecia. You can easily understand the reason after seeing those signs if you do something to pull your hair constantly. So, let's check out the signs quickly.
- You will notice some form of redness on your scalp, especially on the front.
- You will have stinging and an itchy feeling on your head.
- Your scalps will face scaling issues.
- Irritation in your hair follicles is also a crying signal for this condition.
- There will be a lot of blisters on your scalp with pus inside.
- You will have an unprecedented headache most of the time.
These are the signs that can indicate that you have traction alopecia. Once you have any of the signs, make sure to think about whether you do something that creates traction in your hair. If you do then, you have to ascertain that it's traction alopecia.
Treating traction alopecia
Okay, you know that you have traction alopecia; what to do now? First of all, you have to stay calm and not worry too much. Because the condition is treatable and it's not that difficult or expensive to treat either. Here's what you do when you find out about traction alopecia due to wearing headphones all the time.
The best thing to start with would be to consult a dermatologist. This will help you understand what you have to do next and lay out a plan for you. Other than that, you can do the following –
- First, you have to take precautions against infections. To do that, you can take antibiotics that help you with the infection problems. Once again, consult a dermatologist before you go into any medication.
- You can also try out various types of steroids that will help you fight off the inflammation or irritation on the scalps. Some antifungal shampoos can also help in preventing irritation.
- Later on, you can move on to getting some hair growth treatments. One popular hair growth treatment that is quite popular and inexpensive is Topical Minoxidil. It is an excellent option for promoting hair growth.
- Another excellent hair growth solution is Biotin supplements.
Now, when you are taking on these treatments, don't expect them to work right away. These treatments are part of a long-haul process, and you get results slowly. If you can continue with treatment for several months, you will surely see the results.
But if you are looking for a shortcut, I hate to break it to you; there aren't any. The best thing you can do is to avoid the problem altogether. Let's check out how you can do that.
How to avoid hair loss from wearing headphones?
Yes, there are treatments, but aren't we all familiar with the concept, "Prevention is better than cure"? Well, the preventive measures for traction alopecia or hair loss from friction are pretty straightforward.
There are lots of things you can do to avoid the problem altogether. I will take you through them one by one and explain how do they help you. Let's get started.
Place the headphones differently.
, moving the headphone placement can be a solution that you can try out from right now. Instead of keeping the headband on your head touching your scalp, move it on the back. This way, the band will be hanging in the air without even touching your head.
Since it won't be touching your head, there is no possible way to cause any traction. Thus, you can avoid the whole thing about traction alopecia. However, some things may stop you from doing this. You can't do this with every headphone.
Some headphones are too heavy for this to work, and some headphones just don't stay on the back of your head. That's when you have to move on to the later solutions.
Get an adjustable headphone.
Here's another simple solution for you. Just get a headphone with an adjustable band. How does that help? Well, you can make the band larger, creating a gap between your hairs and the band. Sometimes you don't even need a gap; simply keeping them loose and laying them on your head also helps.
In this case, all you have to be careful about is how loose the band is. Don't keep it too loose, as that can interfere with the comfort factor at times.
Use in-ear headphones or earbuds.
Another excellent solution for you would be using in-ear headphones. I don't think I have to explain it too much here. In-ear headphones won't even have any form of contact with your head or hair, so there is no way to cause any friction or traction there.
You can also use earbuds which are wireless versions of in-ear headphones. The reason for using them is pretty much the same as using in-ear headphones. Moreover, you get that wire-free convenience added.
Seems to be the best option, right? Well, there are some issues here. Not everyone enjoys in-ear headphones. Also, if you are a gamer, it's hard to find in-ear headphones that provide excellent quality for gaming. In short, finding the proper in-ear headphone becomes a daunting task for you.
Avoid using headphones for long hours.
Now, this is a solution that can be a bit debatable. Sometimes there is no option but to use your headphones for long hours. In those cases, I suggest taking breaks. Other than that, try not to keep wearing your headphones for more than 4 hours continuously.
In a survey of gamers, 90% of them said that they don't wear headphones for more than 4 hours a day. They don't face any issues of hair fall either.
Use a cap while wearing headphones.
If you have to wear headphones for long hours, try wearing a cap and then wear the headphones. Wearing a cap can help you with the situation a lot. However, make sure to wear a cap that doesn't pull on your hair too hard or isn't too tight on your head.
That may lead to further damage to your hair which isn't something you want.
Among all these solutions, I think the most appropriate and less troublesome one is getting a headphone with an adjustable band. This way, you still get to use a headphone without worrying about anything else whatsoever.
All in all, now you know how wearing headphones can cause hair loss. While it's possible, it's also treatable and avoidable. So, there is nothing too much to worry about the matter.
Now, if you see signs of this issue in your case, you can move on towards the treatment part. And if you think you can potentially face this problem, you can try out a method to avoid the problem.
The great thing is, it's easily treatable and avoidable. Just don't ignore the problem, and you will be fine.
Graduated with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production. He has worked with a number of studios as a Recording Engineer, with over 10 years of servicing experience in both re-recording mixing and sound editing.