Can wearing headphones cause hair loss?

Are you using your headphones regularly to listen to music or play games? You must be very concerned if the use can cause your hair loss or not. The worry is valid. So, can wearing headphones cause hair loss?

Can wearing headphones cause hair loss? 

Using headphones on an occasional or a casual basis will not cause any serious harm to your hair. But, aggressive and frequent use of headphones can be a root cause of what we call traction alopecia. This is a medical condition in which the patient loses hair due to consistent friction.

This gives birth to different questions such as:

What type of headphones can cause damage to your hair?

When do you have to start worrying about your headphone use? 

What are some tips to prevent hair loss? 

Below, we have compiled everything you need to know about the relationship between headphones and hair loss. 

What type of headphones can cause damage to your hair?

Traditionally, using headphones to a high extent can cause hair damage. Such headphones feature tight-band fitted headphones over the head with two speakers that go on your ears. If these headphones do not have an adjustable band, they can cause damage to your hair. 

So, to your question: can wearing headphones cause hair loss? The answer is that it can, but it can definitely be avoided. 

You can simply eliminate the risk by wearing the band over your neck or behind your head. However, wearing it this way is not suitable for everyone, such as the musicians, who need the band to be fitted over their heads. 

In comparison, headphones that do not have a band cause less damage to your hair. Those earphones that directly go into your ears and do not interact with your hair at all, pose no threat to your hair. If you are wondering that Bluetooth headphones do not last long, that is a myth.

Headphones with a non-adjustable band are more often known to cause damage to the hair. However, chances, in this case, are too low as well. 

How many times can I wear my headphones in a day?

There is no set figure that justifies the headphone usage per day. Although, if you are using headphones for increased hours per day, you also increase the risk of damage. 

Gamers report feeling an irritated scalp who use their headphones for several hours (more than 4 hours), however, the cases are reported to be as low as 1 in 10 people. The tightly-fitted headphones can cause traction alopecia in such individuals. 

If you are still wondering: can wearing headphones cause hair loss or not? Read this:

What is Traction Alopecia?

Alopecia is a common term used for hair loss. Traction alopecia is coined for hair loss due to traction, i.e. constant pulling or friction. The pulling is on any specific part of the hair, than the other parts. 

Traction Alopecia can be cured when the pull or tension on hair is released. The condition takes 2 to 3 weeks to get back to normal. However, if there is a constant pull, you might lose your hair permanently, resulting in baldness.

Can wearing headphones cause hair loss


Causes of traction alopecia

Causes of traction alopecia include the repetitive use of headphones, ponytails, hair clips, and such things that apply tension to your hair.

Symptoms of traction alopecia

If your condition is mild, you might observe some small red dots on the affected area of your scalp. However, as the situation worsens, you can observe missing hair. 

Usually, traction alopecia affects the forehead of a person. However, it doesn’t imply that it cannot affect any other area. Here are some common early signs and symptoms of traction alopecia:

  • Flakey scalp
  • Redness and spots on the scalp
  • Itchiness on the scalp
  • Blisters with puss

If you get this condition, unfortunately, you must right away shift from headphones to earbuds or so. 

Can traction alopecia be avoided?

Yes, with precaution you can completely eliminate the risk of traction alopecia. This can be done by opting for:

  • Headphones that are loose around your head
  • Using earbuds
  • Simply by wearing the band of headphones around your neck
  • Reducing the headphone use, generally

Wearing headphones says nothing if you are not doing abusing them. However, if you feel any redness or irritation, the best way is to reduce the use. 

Some other ways to avoid traction alopecia is by changing the way you tie your hair. Reducing heat products such as dryers and straighteners on your hair and cutting your hair shorter can help as well. Also, avoid the constant use of tight-fitted caps and headbands that are not flexible.

Quick solutions for hair loss and traction alopecia

You should be seeing a dermatologist in case you observe the signs of traction alopecia. However, here are some common solutions offered by the doctors:

  • Antifungal shampoos that are known to reduce irritation
  • Biotin supplements to promote the growth of hair
  • Topical steroids to reduce any kind of swelling on the scalp
  • Antibiotics to cease the infection

Can wearing headphones cause hair loss? Conclusion

We have summed up how using headphones on a regular basis can lead to traction alopecia. However, if you are someone who uses headphones within a limit, there is nothing to worry about.