Can Headphones Cause Hair Loss


Are you wondering if headphones can make you lose hair? I guess you heard it from a friend, or you noticed some hair falling off. It sounds counterintuitive, and that’s why many don’t think it’s true. So, can headphones cause hair loss?

Yes, the excessive use of headphones can lead to hair loss. The medical term is called traction alopecia. When the headphones are too tight, the band is pulling your hair from its root. 

Hair loss from headphones is rare and treatable. The short answer may have left you worried, let’s clear things up.

Why Do Headphones Cause Hair Loss

Why Do Headphones Cause Hair Loss
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

Have you ever used headphones with a band that’s not adjustable? If so, you know how uncomfortable those things can be. Either the headphones are too loose or too tight. When they’re too tight, the band will is pulling your hair.

Women and men with long hair find this relatable. Wearing your hair in a ponytail has the same effect as wearing tight headphones. The friction from the brand pulls the hair from the roots.

So, in a nutshell, headphones cause hair loss when the band is pulling your hair. It’s called traction alopecia.

Traction Alopecia

The condition where you lose hair from constantly pulling it is called traction alopecia. It’s quite rare because you get strong headaches before it gets serious. That means it’s easy to notice. More so, you’ll figure out why you have a headache.

Usually, people that develop this condition wear their hair in a ponytail, braids, or a bun repeatedly. If caught early, it’s very treatable. The damage can’t be reversed if you ignore it for years.

Headphones can cause traction alopecia. It’s very rare for someone to develop the condition from using headphones. Mostly because headphones nowadays are quite comfortable with an adjustable band.

Those that develop it though wear tight headphones intentionally. It’s usually musicians, they must have the headphones on tightly when recording. Or, it’s just someone who likes to wear headphones like that. I must note that to lose hair from using headphones, this kind of behavior has to be a habit.

How To Avoid Losing Hair From Headphones

Now, I’m not saying that there is something for you to be worried about. I’m sure most of you have headphones with adjustable bands. Also, placing the headphones so they won’t pull your hair is an intuitive action.

There’s no need to worry if you’re using your headphones normally. I know most of you do. You’ll lose hair only if you wear tight headphones every day for more than an hour or two. Just in case, here are some steps you can take in order to avoid traction alopecia.

Placing The Band At The Back Of Your Head

Placing The Band At The Back Of Your Head
Photo by Nicholas Githiri from Pexels

This is one of the easiest, no-effort ways to avoid hair loss from headphones. In fact, many people doing it without even being aware that traction alopecia exists. They just find this more comfortable.

Instead of placing the band at the top of your head, just place it at the back. This way, the band creates no traction. It’s kind of hanging behind you. The speakers still sit over your ears. Even if the band is not adjustable, there’s no way you’ll lose hair.

Some don’t like wearing headphones like this because it’s a weight on the ears. As I said, the band is hanging on the back of your head, so the cans are weighing down.

Choose Headphones With An Adjustable Band

Maybe you’re here because you have headphones with an adjustable band. You noticed them pulling your hair, and you got worried. Well, you were kind of right. If you don’t like the first way, you’ll need new headphones.

An adjustable band is a simple feature but very useful. You have the ability to lower or raise the band. If the headphones are too tight, just make them looser. There’s no need to make them too loose though. Comfortable headphones fit just right without pulling your hair.

I don’t think there are a lot of models with a fixed band nowadays. The average model that the majority use is with an adjustable band. Either way, if you have headphones like that and they are pulling your hair, get a new pair.

Switch To Earbuds

Switch To Earbuds

For me, earbuds are the go-to device for casual use. If I’m not gaming, I use Bluetooth earbuds. No weight on the head and moving around is easy. Most importantly, no band to pull my hair.

If you’re worried about developing traction alopecia, I recommend switching to Bluetooth earbuds. Here’s our list of the best earbuds for 2020: Best Wireless Earbuds 2020 Buying Guide And Other FAQs.

Don’t Use Headphones Excessively

Developing traction alopecia is really rare. The thing is, you’ll need to wear headphones that are pulling your hair for way too long. The amount of time you use headphones a day matters too. Only for an hour every day, shouldn’t cause hair loss.

What I’m saying here is if your headphones are too tight and pulling your hair, don’t use them a lot. You can’t use headphones like that for your long daily gaming sessions.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Can I Wear A Cap Under Headphones To Avoid Hair Loss

Yes, wearing a cap can help. Only, if the cap isn’t too tight and pulling your hair. Use a comfortable cap, and don’t close the band too tight. Just make sure your hair is not being pulled.

How To Use Headphones Without Messing Up My Hair

To avoid messed-up hair place the band of the headphones at the back of your head. This way the band is hanging at the back, away from your hair. Some people like to drop the band all the way to the neck. Find what’s comfortable, make sure it’s not a weight for your ears.

Closing Thoughts

I think this whole post answered your main and other questions. To sum it up, in theory, headphones can cause traction alopecia. That is if the headphones are pulling on the hair, and they are used every day for more than 2-3 hours.

Andrej Jovanovski

Hi there, I'm Andrej. I've always been an electronic devices addict, especially audio devices like headphones, earbuds, and headsets. I am staying up-to-date with the technology, so why not write about what you know? I'll share some useful tips about all your headphones related questions.

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