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Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss? Tips To Reduce Scalp Friction

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Wearing headphones is a daily experience for many people. Whether you work from home and keep your headphones on for meetings, you work with music for your job, or you just like unwinding with video games -- headphones are a normal part of everyday life.

However, when headphone use becomes excessive, or the headphones are not properly fitting, some people might start noticing negative hair effects, including a form of hair loss.

Below, we will explain why headphones may be damaging to your hair, and tips to help avoid negative hair consequences when headphones are a big part of your life.

Why wearing headphones might be damaging to your hair

For the record, it would be very unusual for people to experience hair loss from occasional or even generally normal use of headphones. When we are talking about actual hair loss where headphones are the main cause, this would be in situations where headphones are being worn for most of your day, they are extremely ill-fitting, or there is a lot of friction between the band and your scalp for some reason.

What can happen with lots of headphone use is a situation called traction alopecia. Basically, this is a (usually temporary) form of excess hair shedding on a part of your scalp where the hair is put under lots of tension, or there is a lot of friction and pulling on the follicles. This situation can lead to patched of pulled-out hairs, redness, irritation, or pimple-like bumps on the area. 

Traction alopecia normally occurs when people wear tight hairstyles regularly like braids, dreadlocks, or tight buns and ponytails. But, it turns out that this can occur with pulling and friction from a headphone headband too.

If the headphone band is very tight against your scalp, or you feel it moving and causing friction on your scalp during use, it can make this situation more likely.

Also, if you are already dealing with hair situations like male pattern hair loss, the hair follicles on the top of your head may already be in a delicate state. So, additional rubbing and pulling of those hairs from headphones may be worsening the situation.

How to avoid hair loss when wearing headphones regularly

Luckily, there are a few tips that can help avoid the risk of hair loss or damage from extensive headphone usage.

  • Choose headphones with an adjustable band, so you can fit them more comfortably to your head shape.
  • Choose headphones with a cushioned strap.
  • Wear headphones with the band turned behind your neck.
  • Wear headphones that are made with a behind-the-head strap.
  • Wear earbud-style headphones.
  • Give your head more headphone-free time if you can.
  • Avoid wearing headphones with a strap across the top of the head when moving around often, like during exercise.
  • Consider wearing a thin hat or beanie under your headphones to avoid excess pressure and friction.
  • Ditch cheaply made headphones that feel uncomfortable when using.

Can wearing headphones cause hair loss?: Bottom line

It is rather unusual to notice hair loss when using headphones. But, in situations where headphones are being used for very long hours, or they are poorly fitting, hair loss may occur from excess friction, pressure, and tension.

Hair loss from tension or friction is referred to as tension alopecia, and while it normally occurs due to very tight hairstyles, it may happen with frequent headphone use as well.

If you are noticing hair changes around the band of your headphones, there are a few steps you can take to help relieve pressure and friction on the area.

Choose well-fitting headphones with an adjustable band and cushioned strap. You can also opt for headphones that connect behind the neck, or wear earbuds. Wearing a thin hat like a beanie may also help some people.

Strut Health prescription hair loss solutions online

Just because you are noticing hair loss, and also sometimes use headphones, it does not necessarily mean that the hair loss is from the headphones. It is possible that you are dealing with other hair loss situations like male pattern hair loss, which is the most common type of hair loss that stems from a genetic predisposition towards hair loss.

If you are wondering if you may be dealing with hereditary hair loss, and you want to see if treatment is an option, Strut is able to help.

At Strut, we offer free online telemedicine visits for innovative customizable hair loss prescriptions in both oral and topical formulations. To get started, simply choose a product that you want to consider, and complete a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation in under 15 minutes. 

Our doctors will review your information and identify if you are a candidate for patterned hair loss treatment. If you are a good fit for treatment, your medication will be put together at a U.S. compounding pharmacy and shipped to your door with our free shipping.

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