While hair follicles are ideally made to be strong and hardy, a good deal of tension on them can cause them to get damaged and you end up losing your hair. But can this be actually caused by wearing a helmet for lengthy periods at a time?
Wearing a helmet is easily the most convenient and safest way of keeping your head from sustaining serious injury as a result of a nasty motorcycle accident. For people that are on the road for a long time, the need to have a helmet on for hours on end is almost inevitable. The truth is, wearing your helmet for a couple hours at a time over several days will definitely take its toll on you.
But will it really cost you your hair? Wearing your helmet for long periods at a time over a certain length of time could cause you to lose your hair. This phenomenon is referred to as traction alopecia. There are, however, two schools of thought that we are going to explore.
Just as the name suggests, traction alopecia is a condition that occurs as a result of too much force being applied on a hair follicle. People who suffer this kind of hair loss sometimes have their hair held too tight. However, it is also common among people who wear tight helmets over long periods of time.
Traction Alopecia – How does it happen?
Often times, this condition happens when you wear your helmet too often. More important, however, is that the said helmet is almost always too small for the rider’s head, causing it to apply excess pressure on your scalp and head.
When this pressure is experienced over a long time, it causes a good deal of stress to the hair follicles, also called the roots of the hair. This pressure causes your hair follicles to strain, and some eventually die off. The next thing that happens is that your hair falls off since it has no root, and, therefore, no grounding.
Hair loss from a Doctor’s perspective
The above theory sound theoretically right, but the truth is that there has not been any medical research or observation to support it. according to one doctor, it is possible for people to lose hair from wearing a helmet too long, but not in the way we think.
Hair loss is largely attributed to an assortment of biological factors. For starters, people that seem to experience hair loss from helmets already have an existing hair loss problem, even if it is still unknown to them.
One of the most common hair loss patterns involve receding hairlines, usually at the sides, temples and forehead. The chemical that is responsible for this is called Dihydrotestosterone which is more commonly referred to as DHT, and it is a hormone observed in males. In females, the main source of hair loss is dietary deficiencies and hormonal imbalance and hyper/hypothyroidism. Other factors such as stress can cause hair loss for either genders.
So, what steps should you take to make sure that you do not experience hair loss from wearing the helmet?
While the helmet may not actually be the problem, there are a couple steps you can take that may reduce he chances that your hair loss will be aggravated.
Wear a helmet that fits
A poorly fitting helmet will most definitely pull on your hair. It causes unnecessary tension, especially around the temples and forehead, tagging at your hair in a way that actually causes it to be pulled out. And if your helmet fits, make sure that your hair is not held too tightly.
Clean your helmet
Bacteria in your helmet could trigger a skin condition that could result in an infection and subsequent hair loss. This happens when you do not clean your helmet often, and the moisture in your helmet creates a breeding ground for the bacteria. They could then penetrate your pores and clog them, causing an infection and subsequent hair loss.
Wash your hair often
Washing your hair on a regular basis makes certain that you rid it and your scalp of bacteria and other material that may lead to an infection and hair loss. It takes away accumulated dead skin that could potentially host the harmful bacteria.
Use the right hair products
Be certain to use products that work for the health of your hair and scalp. A healthy scalp and hair will definitely be strong and resist easy damage.
While traction alopecia may actually be a thing, it is important to note that people who experience hair loss as a result often times have a condition that predisposes them. The most important take away is that you should actually wear a helmet that fits right, and that you should strive to maintain proper scalp and hair hygiene.
Does massaging my scalp help my hair to grow back?
In a way, yes. Massaging improves circulation which encourages the follicles to revive.
Is age a factor in hair loss?
Yes, older riders are more prone to hair loss than younger ones.