You could be a cycling enthusiast clocking ten kilometers a day, or going green and commuting to work on an electric motorbike. No doubt riding a bike requires wearing a helmet, but did you ever wonder if wearing a helmet can lead to hair loss?
While it's an essential safety measure, wearing a helmet can most certainly cause hair loss. Certain factors, such as wearing the wrong helmet size or one that is made of cheap materials, can aggravate it.
Here are a few tips to keep your helmet on while ensuring you reduce hair damage and minimize hair loss. Keep reading for more.
Why Do You Lose Hair When You Wear A Helmet?
Helmets that are fitted incorrectly or worn improperly are the primary reasons that contribute to hair loss. You must be careful while putting on your helmet and removing it, so you do not damage your hair.
If you can feel any tension in your hair as you go about the process, it is a sign that you're not wearing your helmet correctly, and it can lead to traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition caused due to prolonged tension or pulling on hair follicles. You can commonly see this in people who wear their hair in ponytails, braids, cornrows, and buns.
While a large helmet is a safety hazard as the helmet may slide off during an accident, a tight one can create excessive pressure on your hair and damage its roots, causing hair loss.
Wearing a tight helmet also restricts airflow, which creates the perfect environment to trap dirt and sweat. It becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and can lead to an infection. Scalp infections weaken the hair follicles and may result in hair loss while preventing new hair growth.
How To Prevent Hair Damage From Helmets?
Let's look at a few simple ways to prevent hair damage from helmets.
1. Keep Your Hair Clean
The scalp constantly secretes sebum, which naturally conditions your hair. However, when you don't wash your hair regularly, the sebum builds up and makes the hair greasy and oily.
Excess sebum can be the source of food for microfauna (microscopic organisms), causing dandruff and, if extreme, hair loss.
Regularly washing your hair will keep it clean, and is the first step to preventing hair loss due to helmets. Additionally, it prevents dryness, keeps dandruff at bay, and keeps your hair healthy.
2. Moisturize Your Hair
Hydrated hair significantly reduces the risk of friction between the inner lining of the helmet and your hair. So, whether your hair is thin, coarse, or thick, moisturizing is key to pampering your hair, preventing damage, and maintaining its overall health.
3. Avoid Wearing A Helmet On Wet Hair
If you wear a helmet while your hair is wet, the helmet's insides can become damp. Did you know, a warm and humid environment is perfect for bacterial growth?
The lack of airflow encourages the growth of germs and fungi, causing infections in the scalp that bring about more problems than just hair loss. Moreover, wearing a helmet can cause more damage to wet hair.
It's best to take time out and dry your hair properly before you put your helmet on. A few extra minutes can save you the trouble of enduring other hair problems
4. Wear A Biker’s Mask
Place a thin, breathable cotton cloth between your hair and helmet. Doing so will prevent your hair from being subjected to friction that the helmet's interior may cause. The cloth also helps soak up sweat, which protects your hair and the helmet's interior lining from being ruined.
Make sure you invest in a biker’s mask made from good quality material.
Ensure you wash and dry the cloth as often as possible to keep it fungus-free.
5. Invest In A Good Quality Helmet
The exterior of a certified helmet is made of materials that are tested for their safety in the event of a crash. It is also made using superior quality materials that are breathable and do not irritate the scalp.
Once you find the right type of helmet, find the right size. Helmets should fit and come off your head without causing any tension to your hair.
It is much healthier for people with long hair to leave your hair open than tying your hair in a ponytail or bun while wearing a helmet.
6. Massage Your Scalp
When you starve hair follicles of nutrients, they die quickly. That's why proper blood circulation is essential for hair growth.
A simple way to boost circulation and reduce hair loss is to massage your scalp with some warm oil. This helps channel nutrients to the roots and promotes hair regeneration.
7. Clean Your Helmet
Make sure you clean your helmet on a weekly or biweekly basis. It’s a simple exercise and one you shouldn’t ignore.
You can remove and wash the cushioning on the interior of all good quality helmets. This way, you get rid of any dust, sweat, and bacteria that might have gathered there. Wipe the rest of it thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.
Remember, if you want healthy hair, you must take care of your helmet.
While your helmet is not in use, keep it in a dry, airy place with sufficient sunlight. The sun acts as a natural disinfectant and prevents the growth of bacteria.
What To Do If You Already Have Hair Loss Due To Wearing A Helmet
It’s never too late to fix hair loss caused due to wearing a helmet. Apart from following what’s been listed in this article, you can also implement other things:
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Eat more protein
- Hydrate yourself
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid heat styling tools
If things seem more serious, you should visit a medical practitioner for proper guidance.
Hair loss caused due to wearing helmets is fairly common - so, don't worry if you experience some minor hair loss. However, it's essential to get to the root cause of why your helmet may be causing hair loss. Is it because you wear the wrong size, or is it poor quality? Once you find out, you can minimize hair loss effectively.
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