This is truly serious:
My pair of headphones and my lovely dark hair define who I am. So, the mere possibility of can wearing headphones cause hair loss is freaking me out like anything!
I’m sure you must be feeling the same way. There can’t be a choice, right? Our hair and our favorite headsets are precious to us.
And here is where this updated guide comes in handy. I’ll not only discuss the headphone hair problem but will provide actionable solutions to deal with this newfound crisis.
Let’s get started:
First, The Million-Dollar Question: Does Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?
Short Answer: Yes, but in very rare cases.
Long Answer: Wearing headphones too tightly can result in losing your beautiful hair, thanks to a condition called traction alopecia.
Allow me to explain:
Traction Alopecia refers to gradual hair loss resulting from the constant pulling of the hair. If you pull your hair tightly, the hair shaft will get loose from the follicle, which will cause hair to fall frequently.
There are good ways how headsets may cause hair loss. It has all to do with the quality of your device and the way you use it.
And yes, I mentioned the word “headset” for a reason.
We wear these over-ear devices for primarily two main reasons: music and gaming. And both these reasons are sufficient enough to let us use them for hours every day.
So, knowing how our everyday companion can turn against our beloved hair can help us adopt healthy habits so that we can avoid hair loss forever.
It’s in the interest of the entire headphone community. So, let’s get started right away then:
How Headphones Can Cause Hair Loss? Probable Reasons Revealed!
I’ll discuss all the relevant reasons here combining experiences of regular users and health experts. Here we go:
#1: Your Headphones Are Too Tight!
I’ve mentioned this already. And, this is the problem with most of the so-called “budget” headphones, which are in reality, cheap in quality.
They don’t offer an adjustable headband that has padding to prevent raw parts to come in touch with your ears.
As a result, regular users complain about the tight fit. There are dozens of critical reviews available online about unhappy buyers detailing their discomfort while using their pair of headphones for extended hours.
External compression headaches, bouts of migraine, and, in some rare cases, hair loss due to constant pulling off hair.
We’ll come to solutions in a bit, so let’s head over to reason #2:
#2: Your Headphones Are Too Heavy!
Even the weight of the headset you are constantly using can contribute to your hair loss, and, more specifically, with cheap headsets coming with a built-in microphone.
Such bulky and poorly built headgear can cause your ears to ache, hurt the top of your head, and may lead to hair loss if you are wearing them all day.
The worst part?
While tightly fitted headphones can be loosened to increase your comfort, there is no such remedy available for cheap heavy headphones.
Headphones that weigh more than 0.75 lbs are considered to be heavy on your head.
But your worries don’t end here:
#3: Your Headphones Don’t Have Padding!
This is again related to your comfort. And this is strange:
How can you invest in a device which you will use extensively without checking whether it has sufficient padding in ear cups and the headband?
There could be two reasons: Either you are not aware of headphone comfort, or you are going after cheap prices.
And I’ll not blame you. Even I used to run after cheap deals sometime back.
But trust me, they cost you much more than they charge. And the truth is:
Manufacturers can add foam to headbands and cups to ensure comfort. Considering they can’t add leather without charging some extra bucks.
Headphone padding not only affects comfort and damages your lovely hair, but is also important for passive noise isolation and the quality of the sound you hear as well.
Long story short: If you don’t check headphone padding, you are at a loss.
#3: You Are Wearing Your Headphones Incorrectly!
I know what you will say:
Hey! I have been using headsets since the day I came to know that they exist in this world, and now you will tell me how I should wear them, you pesky writer?
But I have to tell you the truth and trust me, you will love it when you know it in full.
If you are putting your headband directly on top of your head, all the pressure gets concentrated on a single portion of your head, leading to excessive strain and hair damage.
Excessive use of headsets throughout the day can also strain your hair cuticles thanks to that same headband pressure.
How To Prevent Hair Loss From Headphones and Headsets?
Let’s talk about solutions now. We need to accept that using headphones & headsets for music and gaming is part and parcel of modern living. We can’t part with them.
But our lovely hair?
They are a part of who we are. No hair means no cool selfies, lovely interactions with our significant other…
In short, no hair means no life. So, here’s what the headphone community can do:
#1: Change Your Hairstyle!
You would not believe it, but, certain hairstyles can protect your hair during long headphone usage. They do it by reducing the friction between your hair follicles and the headset.
Examples of such hairstyles include:
Here’s how it works:
You style your hair in a braid or two and your hair will absorb the wavy braid’s texture instead of causing a headphone dent.
You can also come up with your own. Just make sure that the hair is away from the scalp and is freely placed underneath your headphone band. This will reduce the friction and will solve your headphone related hair-loss forever and for good.
There are 2 more things you can do:
Keep your hairstyle extremely short such as buzzed hair. Such a hairstyle is foolproof against hair loss as the strands aren’t long enough to feel the friction from the headphones you are wearing.
Or you can keep it very long. Long hairstyles distribute the headband’s pressure equally to all parts of your head as they move a lot preventing hair loss.
There is more here:
You should never wear headphones after your shower or during the shower. I know that music showers are really refreshing, but your hair is naturally weak when it is wet, and can easily tear away with the headphone friction.
Bonus Tip: Use a curling cream or detangling cream to further protect your hair from additional wear and tear caused by prolonged headphone use.
But the award for the best styling tool goes to…
Seriously. You can use a spray bottle or wet a comb before running it through your hair. This will make your hair denser and will reduce the chance of any hair loss.
#2: Time To Put On A Hat!
This is in continuation to solution #1. And you might know what I’ll suggest next:
They are the new fashion statement, look great and, protect your hair from getting tangled inside your headphones.
But mind you: I asked you to put thin beanies and that’s for a reason.
You shouldn’t put too much pressure on your head or your pair of headsets. That’s why breathable beanies are the best. Neatly slip the beanie over your head completely so that it gives enough protection from prolonged headphones while being funky and cool!
#3: Gear Up For Headphone Hygiene!
You wear this device for hours on your head every day. So cleaning them regularly is a must.
This is because viruses and bacteria can get deposited on your headphones if you don’t clean them properly which can get into your hair and then your scalp weakening your hair roots and causing that nasty hair loss!
It can also cause ear infections, especially when you are using in-ear headphones.
Here are some cool headphone hygiene tips you should practice:
- Wipe your headphones every 2 days with a bit of soap on a dry cloth or an antiseptic liquid. Don’t miss any part of your device and give special attention to the ear pads and the headband.
- You can clean your headphones daily as well, depending on your preference.Whatever you do, make sure it’s done regularly. Otherwise, there will be no real impact.
- Never share your headphones with anyone else. It increases the chances of infection.
- If you are using in-ear headphones, keep them in a protective case after every use.
- Use headphone ear covers for over-ear headphones. Store them in a neat and clean place after use.
(Have doubts? Refer to this guide for a detailed tutorial!)
#4: You Need Properly Fitting Headphones!
Tightly fitting headphones are a problem. So, are headphones that move around too much!
So, make sure your headphones are neither too loose nor too tight.
Go for headphones with adjustable headbands. They have sliding hinges that allow you to adjust your headset position to one that suits you. You will be able to expand or contract the headphone fit so that they don’t dig into hair and scalp resulting in excessive strain and hair fall.
#3: Go For Lightweight Headphones!
This is in line with my earlier solution. If your headphones are too heavy, they will exert too much pressure on your head, causing headphone hair.
We have already discussed what’s “too heavy”. It’s anything above 0.75 lbs.
If you are planning to replace your old headphones or deciding to buy a new one for your friend, choose them with a weight of 0.55 lbs or less.
And don’t forget to take this parameter into account:
#5: Great Padding Is A Must!
Along with proper fit and lightweight design, adequate padding on crucial areas adds to the much-needed comfort.
Good headphone padding reduces the clamping force exerted on your head and distributes the weight of the device more evenly, preventing bulk pressure on one side of the head only.
The crucial areas which need adequate padding include ear cups and headbands.
Also, make sure that your device is made of good quality material so that it can effectively block unwanted noise besides adding comfort.
#6: Say Goodbye To Hair Loss With These Cool Hacks!
You have known the most effective strategies to safeguard against hair loss from headphones already, isn’t it?
Now, let’s explore some lesser-known hacks to say goodbye to messy hair for once and for all:
- Adjust Your Headband:Place your headband below your chin or at the back of the head instead of putting it atop. This will allow you to use them comfortably and also ensure a good fit for your ear pads – a win-win situation.
- Shift Position While Using HeadsetsUse this if the first hack isn’t viable. Shift your headphone band position frequently as you use it so that the pressure doesn’t get accumulated on a single area on your head. Try to move it in the front and slightly tilt it back after a few hours.
- Use EarbudsEarbuds are more portable, small, and are directly worn into your ears. So, there is no risk of hair loss altogether. Don’t forget to listen within safe limits and clean them regularly to avoid ear infections.
- Give Your Hairs A Rest!Remove your headphones occasionally by listening to music directly from your PC or phone. This will avoid getting your hair squished for long hours. You will protect your ears too from this!
Some Other Causes Of Hair Loss (And Their Solutions!)
Remember I talked about Traction Alopecia? The condition of gradual hair loss due to constant straining of hair? Here is how common it is:
Traction alopecia is not as common as you fear it to be. Especially if you are a regular headphones user. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have hair loss.
Excessive use of poor-quality headphones is one of the very rare causes of hair loss. So if you use headphones and start seeing your hair falling off, just take a deep breath.
This may be because of other prominent factors. Never forget: causation is not equal to correlation.
Here are those prominent factors you need to look for:
#1: Too Much Stress!
Yes, you read it right. Don’t blame your headsets for this: your reaction to the everyday problems is to blame.
So, if you are the person that gets frustrated every time you lose in competitive games, you may find the effect of all this in your lovely hair!
This is because stress causes your immune system to be in attacking mode, and your hair follicles fall to their victim. This leads to that ugly hair loss.
But here is the best part:
Hair loss due to stress is reversible. So, if you start adding positive changes to your lifestyle, do helpful exercises and adopt meditation, you will see your dark lovely hair growing back in no time.
I know a lifestyle change isn’t as simple as it sounds, but one small step in the right direction can go a long way.
You can start by taking every game session as a sport and, when you lose, try to replay your performance and find your mistakes to improve your score next time.
#2: Side-effects of Medicine Intake!
We take all sorts of medications for different reasons. And all its side effects cause our hair to shed.
Don’t believe me? Check out this explainer from MedicalNewsToday.
Here is a quick check-list of those ‘culprit drugs” which can cause hair loss:
- Weight-Loss Drugs (Better go for natural ways to reduce fat!)
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
- Mood Stabilizing Drugs (Exercise and natural sunlight is simply the best to uplift your mood!)
- Thyroid medications
- Birth Control Pills
- Cancer treating drugs
- Acne Medications with Vitamin X
So, what’s the solution?
Never take drugs without the consultation of a registered doctor. Before the doctor prescribes any drug for you to cure your condition, discuss all the potential SIDE-EFFECTS.
That’s a sure-shot way to ensure that your medicines don’t mess up with your amazing hair!
#3: Your Genes Are To Blame!
Yes, you read it right. Regrets first up, if the title offends you, but baldness may not be something you would like from your parents!
When it comes to hair loss, you get the genes from your maternal side. So, you can heave a sigh of relief if you see your dad as bald as you apply gel to your precious hair!
For all the science enthusiasts, here is the fact: genes responsible for the bald head exist on the X chromosomes which come from your mother.
If you detect genetic hair loss, contact a medical professional immediately. Finasteride is a drug that strengthens your hair by preventing the formation of DHC that makes hair follicles weak.
But don’t take any medication without consulting a doctor in the first place. You don’t want those nasty side effects, right?
#4: You’re Not Taking Enough Nutrients!
Chances are that if you are seeing your hair fall frequently, you’re not taking enough Iron, the nutrient responsible for hair cell protein.
Again, lack of Vitamin B12 can cause premature hair fall and leave you feeling tired throughout the day. The reasons are pretty simple:
Vitamin B12 keeps your RBCs happy which in turn carries oxygen better and faster to your tissues.
Here are the best foods for healthy hair growth:
- Almond butter (For vitamin E)
- Greek yogurt (For vitamin B5)
- Eggs (For vitamins A, D, and B12)
- Clams (For daily doses of Vitamin B12)
- Spinach (For high iron and magnesium diet)
- Guava (For high in vitamin C)
- Carrots (For vitamin A)
- Lentils (Good For RBC’s, rich in folic acid)
- Liver (For iron in diet)
- Salmon (For vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids)
#5: Your Hormones Are Not In Balance!
You may not know this but, your hormones have an important role in maintaining your hair growth cycle. So when they are not in balance, you can suffer from:
- Decrease or increase in heart rate.
- Weight gain.
- Increased thirst and hunger.
- Anxiety, irritability and depression.
- Blurred vision.
- And, of course, hair loss.
When there is excess male hormone androgen in your body, you may experience a short hair growth cycle as opposed to the female hormone estrogen, which is great for hair growth.
Excess of androgen may be due to follicle sensitivity or due to genes.
Let me present a list of healthy activities to balance your hormones naturally:
- Include an adequate amount of protein in your diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink Green Tea.
- Consume fatty fish regularly.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar.
- Avoid eating excessively or eating less.
Bonus Tips To Keep Your Hair Healthy!
Your hair needs extra attention for the ideal glossy look and healthy growth. So, here I am discussing these effective bonus tips which you can adopt right away:
Prevention is better than cure. But if your hair loss problem has taken a severe turn, taking a hair transplant or considering prescribed medications, can be the last resort.
But doctor consultation is a must!
Final Words on Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss
So, there you have it. The answer to your anxious query and all the actionable solutions so that you can use your favorite headphones without having the fear of hair damage.
Now, I shall head over to you.
How will you ensure your healthy hair? Will you add extra iron and vitamins to your diet or take scalp massages?
Let me know by leaving a comment below now.