Jonathan Wier and Ayla Brown

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Are You Supposed To Wash Your Hat?

The answer is, YES. Wearing the same hat every day can look good, especially if you have one that you absolutely love, but did you know that if you don’t wash your cap, it can cause bacteria in your hair and on your head?

If your baseball cap has sweat marks, it’s time to wash your cap. Constantly wearing your hat can cause your hat to become smelly and dirty, which means that your scalp and hair can become sweaty and dirty. Your scalp is constantly producing oil and shedding dead skin cells. Those go into your hat.

If you are prone to acne, wearing a hat everyday can cause breakouts around the forehead and along the sides of your face.

Beware if you exercise in your baseball cap because that can cause something called “dry scalp.” The more you sweat, the more it can actually dry out your scalp, which can lead to hair loss. There was even a study done in 2017 that concluded that hair loss was more prevalent in the summer and fall, when people were more likely to wear their baseball caps while working out. And this problem is more common for men, as opposed to women.

What Are Doctors Are Saying About Scalp Health?

Here’s what Dr. Mary Wendel, Medical Director at Medi Tresse had to say about wearing baseball caps: “Wearing a baseball cap (or really any hat) constantly every day isn’t great for scalp health.  The scalp skin is very thin and very prone to irritations and inflammation.  Wearing a cap all the time allows dirt, oil, heat and sweat to accumulate on the scalp which can inflame the skin and cause rashes, dermatitis and folliculitis.  The scalp needs time to “air out” or be open to the air to diminish the effects of these irritants. It’s like keeping a bandage on the same area of the skin for too long.  When you take it off, the skin is discolored and friable (tears easily).  It’s also important to note that putting pressure on the same area of the head for prolonged periods of time can rarely cause hair loss in those areas.”

How Do You Wash A Hat?

Most washing machines have a delicate cycle. If you decide to wash your hat in the washing machine, try and put it in your machine alone, and put it on delicate cycle.

If you wash your hat in the sink (preferred), make sure your sink is clean, fill it up with warm water and add a little bit of laundry detergent. Rinse your cap, and gently scrub with your hands, or even a small toothbrush on tough stains. Be careful about scrubbing too hard on logos, as the thread might fray. Soak your cap in this water for 2-3 hours, then rinse clean. Pat your cap dry and let it airdry. Always be careful with the brim of the hat.

How to wash baseball cap without ruining it

It's safer and more effective to wash baseball caps by hand. Air-drying ensures the cap preserves its shape. The fabric of the cap matters and can inform if it should be spot-cleaned only. If you wear a baseball cap often, chances are it looks and smells the part.

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