Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss? Headphones are useful for listening to music, gaming, and isolating yourself from video noises. Many people, however, are concerned that wearing headphones too frequently will cause hair damage and loss.
Wearing headphones or a headset on a casual basis will not cause serious hair damage. However, daily use of a headset can cause traction alopecia, which is hair loss caused by constant friction or pulling on the roots.
So, what types of headphones are harmful? When should you start worrying? How do you keep your hair from falling out? Everything you need to know about headphones and hair loss is right here.
SO, CAN WEARING HEADPHONES CAUSE HAIR LOSS?
Yes, the excessive use of headphones can lead to hair loss. The medical term is called traction alopecia. When the headphones are too tight, the band is pulling your hair from its root.
Hair loss from headphones is rare and treatable. The short answer may have left you worried, let’s clear things up.
WHY DO PEOPLE THINK HEADPHONES CAUSE HAIR LOSS?
But the reality is (and some of us will have to face it one day) that men become balder as they age, with up to 16% of men between the ages of 18 and 29, and 53% of men between the ages of 40 and 49 experiencing moderate to extensive hair loss. Let us pause for a moment of silence.
That is a frightening set of statistics; to be honest, it scares me. My hair is an important part of my identity and self-image. I feel a little old when I lose my hair (especially when I can’t control it). I do not want to be a part of that statistic.
Perhaps that’s why I jumped at the chance to blame my headphones. It’s a classic case of “it against me” – I’m looking for someone or something to blame. If my headphones are causing my hair loss, I should be able to fix it, right?
So what if I’m genetically predisposed to going bald one day and don’t want to aggravate the situation? While your headphones will not cause hair loss, there is a chance that they will assist those little suckers (and I want them to stay there as long as possible, of course).
Most healthy hair follicles can withstand a little pushing and pulling, but those on their way out won’t provide much resistance. Taking a few precautions with your headphones will help you a lot.
WHAT TYPES OF HEADPHONES CAUSE DAMAGE?
When used excessively, traditional-style headphones can cause hair damage. This design features a tight band that fits over the head and two speakers that fit over each ear. Headphones with non-adjustable bands are more prone to damage.
Many people prefer to wear their headphone bands behind their heads or around their neck to reduce the risk of hair damage or loss, but this may not be practical for musicians who require the band to be tightly fitted to their head.
Earphones that go directly into the ear do not interact with the hair and thus pose no risk of hair loss. Adjustable-band headphones are also less likely to cause hair loss and damage.
Although headphones with a nonadjustable band are more likely to cause damage, it is important to note that the chances of serious damage are minimal, and they only pose a real risk when they are constantly worn.
HOW TO AVOID HAIR LOSS FROM WEARING HEADPHONES?
Yes, there are treatments available, but aren’t we all aware that “prevention is better than cure”? The preventive measures for traction alopecia, or hair loss caused by friction, are simple.
There are numerous things you can do to avoid the problem entirely. I’ll go over them one by one and explain how they can help you. Let’s get this party started.
1. Place the headphones differently
Moving the placement of your headphones is a solution you can try right now. Instead of wearing the headband against your scalp, wear it on the back. The band will dangle in the air without even touching your head this way.
There will be no traction because it will not come into contact with your head. As a result, you can avoid the whole traction alopecia thing. However, there are some factors that may prevent you from doing so. This isn’t something you can do with every pair of headphones.
Some headphones are too heavy for this to work, and others simply do not stay on your back of your head. That is when you must proceed to the later solutions.
2. Get an adjustable headphone
Here’s another quick fix for you. Simply purchase a headphone with an adjustable band. What difference does that make? You can, however, make the band larger, resulting in a gap between your hairs and the band.
Sometimes a gap isn’t even necessary; simply keeping them loose and laying them on your head can suffice. In this case, the only thing to watch out for is how loose the band is. Keep it loose, but not too loose, as this can interfere with comfort at times.
3. Place the headphones differently
In-ear headphones are another excellent option for you. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail here. In-ear headphones will not come into contact with your head or hair, so there will be no friction or traction.
Earbuds, which are wireless versions of in-ear headphones, can also be used. The reason for using them is similar to the reason for using in-ear headphones. Furthermore, the wire-free convenience is included.
That appears to be the best option, doesn’t it? There are a few issues here. In-ear headphones are not for everyone. Furthermore, if you are a gamer, it is difficult to find in-ear headphones that provide excellent gaming quality. In short, locating the ideal in-ear headphone becomes a difficult task for you.
4. Avoid using headphones for long hours
This is a potentially contentious solution. Sometimes you have no choice but to use your headphones for extended periods of time. In such cases, I recommend taking breaks. Aside from that, try not to wear your headphones for more than 4 hours at a time.
In a survey of gamers, 90% said they don’t wear headphones for more than 4 hours per day. They also have no problems with hair loss.
5. Use a cap while wearing headphones
If you have to wear headphones for an extended period of time, try wearing a cap first, followed by the headphones. Wearing a cap can greatly assist you in dealing with the situation.
However, wear a cap that does not pull too hard on your hair or is too tight on your head. This may cause additional damage to your hair, which you do not want.
Among all of these options, I believe that getting a headphone with an adjustable band is the most appropriate and least troublesome. This way, you can still use headphones without having to worry about anything else.
6. Opt for lighter headphones
If you have long or thick hair, any extra pressure on the top of your head can cause it to pull. When this is combined with ill-fitting headphones, you have a recipe for disaster.
It also contributes to headphone hair, which stinks to say the least and is an unnecessary extra thing to deal with when you’re already preoccupied with hair loss.
Lighter headphones (which are literally as light as a feather) won’t add any traction or pressure; you won’t fiddle with them, and you won’t even notice they’re there! It’s also a good idea to get adjustable headphones so you can try to increase the arch, which will lift the headphones off your head.
7. Change your hairstyle
So far, I’ve discussed the negative effects of excessive pulling on your hair, but excessive pushing can also cause hair loss. When you leave your hair to its own devices – messy, “bedhead” – you’re asking for trouble.
The headphones will have a natural pushing effect on curling hair beneath the band, which may cause hairs that are already weak to break or fall out.
To combat this (and traction alopecia), tie your hair into a neat loose ponytail if you have long hair; if you have short hair, consider combing it to the side (Trump style) so it moves with the band.
8. Proper headphone hygiene goes a long way
This isn’t something I thought about until I got ear pain from dirty in-ear earphones. Your headphones, like anything else you use on a regular basis, require cleaning. Why not clean your headphones the same way you clean your laptop keyboard, phone, and iPad?
Bacteria and viruses can build up on your headphones (and I shudder to think of publicly shared headphones), and they can get into your ears, hair, and scalp.
HOW OFTEN CAN I WEAR MY HEADPHONES WITHOUT CAUSING DAMAGE?
There is no set time limit for how long wearing headphones will cause hair loss. However, if you wear your headphones for several hours every day, you increase your chances of experiencing hair loss due to traction alopecia.
Gamers who spend several hours playing their games while wearing tight-fitting headsets have reported scalp irritation and hair loss due to traction alopecia caused by these headsets.
When I was writing this article, I asked a Reddit group of gamers about their headphone usage, and the majority of them said they used headsets for at least 4 hours a day.
Despite wearing headsets for several hours a day, 90% of those who wore them said they had never experienced any difficulties or complications due to hair loss as a result of their headphones. As a result, the chances of hair loss from headphones appear to be very low, and the risk is insignificant for the casual headphone user to be concerned about.
DO I NEED TO STOP WEARING MY HEADPHONES?
The short answer is no. As long as you are not abusing your headphones or wearing them constantly, you do not need to worry about possible hair loss. You can safely listen to music through your headphones without having to stress about going bald.
WHAT IS TRACTION ALOPECIA?
Traction Alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by pulling on the hair repeatedly. The most common manifestation of this is damaged hair as a result of pulling it up in a tight ponytail or bun on a regular basis. Tight hats or headbands, elastics in the hair, and (as previously mentioned) consistent headphone use are all possible causes.
Symptoms and signs:
Little red dots on the scalp that resemble pimples are the first signs of traction alopecia. As the condition worsens, you’ll notice missing and broken hairs on your scalp. The front of the brow is the most commonly affected area for hair loss, but traction alopecia can occur anywhere on the scalp.
Aside from hair loss, traction alopecia can also cause:
- Redness on the scalp
- Stinging or itching
- Scaling of the scalp
- Inflammation of hair follicles
- Blisters filled with pus on the scalp
Traction alopecia is not a medical condition, but it can be very harmful and damaging, not only to the hair but also to the scalp.
Headphones that are worn on a regular basis can pull on the hair roots and cause traction alopecia. If you have a proclivity for this. If you have a sensitive hearing condition, you should consider using earbuds or a gentler type of headphones.
HOW BAD IS TRACTION ALOPECIA?
The good news about traction alopecia is that it can be predicted and treated. So it’s not as bad as you might think. However, if you discover it and do nothing about it, it can permanently damage your hair follicles several years later. This results in baldness.
There are several indications that you may have traction alopecia. If you constantly pull your hair, you can easily understand why after seeing those signs. So, let’s take a quick look at the signs.
- You will notice some redness on your scalp, particularly on the front.
- On your head, you will feel stinging and itchy.
- Scaling will occur on your scalps.
- Irritation in your hair follicles is another sign that you have this condition.
- There will be numerous blisters on your scalp, each with pus inside.
- The majority of the time, you will experience an unprecedented headache.
These are some signs that you may have traction alopecia. If you notice any of the symptoms, consider whether you do anything that causes traction in your hair. If you do, you must confirm that it is traction alopecia.
HOW TO AVOID TRACTION ALOPECIA?
Traction Alopecia is easily avoided by using earbuds instead of headphones, selecting headphones that fit around the head more loosely, or wearing the headphone band around the neck or back of the head. It is also a good idea to limit your use of headphones in general.
Wearing headphones is fine once in a while, but if you’re wearing them so much that they irritate your hair and scalp, it’s a good sign that you should cut back.
Other methods to reduce traction alopecia include changing hairstyles, such as avoiding tight ponytails or braids and wearing your hair down. Reducing heat or cutting your hair shorter can be helpful because there will be less irritation to the scalp. You should also avoid inflexible headbands, or tight-fitting hats and hairpieces.
REMEDIES FOR HAIR LOSS AND TRACTION ALOPECIA
If you notice traction alopecia symptoms, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Dermatologists will be able to assess the damage and provide relief and healing remedies.
Doctors may prescribe a variety of treatments to help with traction alopecia, including:
- Antibiotics, which can be used to prevent infections and treat open wounds
- Topical steroids are used to treat inflammation and swelling.
- Topical minoxidil is a prescription-only over-the-counter medication that promotes hair growth.
- Shampoos with antifungal properties to alleviate irritation
- Biotin supplements can aid in hair regrowth.
These treatments, particularly those for hair growth, can take several months to become fully effective. There is no immediate cure for traction alopecia, nor is there a magical hair growth pill that you can take to immediately restore your hair. However, with time and effort, your hair and scalp can return to normal.
After you’ve been treated for traction alopecia, you should try to avoid anything that might irritate your hair or scalp. Wearing your hair down, avoiding tight-fitting hats, and refraining from wearing headphones until the inflammation has subsided.
CONCLUSION – Does Headphones Cause Hair Loss?
Overall, you now understand how wearing headphones can result in hair loss. It is possible, but it is also treatable and avoidable. So there’s nothing to be concerned about.
If you notice signs of this problem in your case, you can proceed to the treatment phase. And, if you believe you may encounter this issue, you can try a method to avoid it. The good news is that it is easily treatable and avoidable. You’ll be fine if you don’t ignore the problem.
FAQs About Headphones Causing Hair Loss
Can loss hair grow back?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in patches all over the body. It can affect people of all ages and genders, but the good news is that with the help of immune-suppressing medication, hair often grows back on its own.
When your hair falls out, what are you missing?
According to research, a lack of vitamin D in your body can cause hair loss. One function of vitamin D is to stimulate both new and old hair follicles. New hair growth can be slowed if you don’t have enough vitamin D in your system.
Can thin hair become thick again?
In any case, the hair follicles must be capable of producing new hair. If this is the case, it may be possible to reestablish normal hair growth and thickness.
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