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How To Stop a Wool Hat From Itching

By Taylor James


Updated on

Wool is a wonderfully soft and insulating material, perfect for keeping you warm during the cold winter months. Unfortunately, it can also be very itchy, especially with wool hats. Don’t fret, though, as there are a few things you can do to make your wool hat less itchy and irritating.

Here’s how to stop a wool hat from itching:

  1. Soften your wool hat by soaking it in mild detergent.
  2. Use anti-itch products on your scalp.
  3. Purchase softer types of wool hats.
  4. Buy organic wool.

Keep reading to know how you can stop and prevent the dreaded itchiness and what makes wool such an itchy material in the first place.

wool hats
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2. Soften Your Wool Hat by Soaking It in Mild Detergent

A common solution to wool’s itchiness is to soak the wool garment in a mild detergent or soap specifically designed to be used on wool. These products help soften the coarse fibers, making them less itchy on your sensitive scalp.

Simply fill up your sink or a bucket large enough for the hat with room temperature to mildly warm water, add a small amount of the Heritage Park Luxury Silk & Wool Detergent from Amazon, and soak the hat thoroughly in the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes or so. Let the hat air dry naturally before putting it back on.

2. Use Anti-Itch Products on Your Scalp

Perhaps the most well-known way to make a wool hat less itchy on your scalp is to use hair products designed to prevent itching. 

For example, Head and Shoulders manufactures shampoos and conditioners for your hair that are designed to make your scalp less itchy, irritated, and prone to dandruff.

Another product you could try before putting on your hat is Batiste Dry Shampoo from Amazon; this will help absorb any sweat or moisture produced by your scalp, reducing the hat’s itchiness. 

Wool hats are highly insulating, meaning they’ll keep your head warm–in some cases, a bit too warm, causing you to sweat more than usual. Excess moisture can cause dandruff and painful rashes that’ll cause you to constantly scratch at your irritated scalp.

3. Purchase Softer Types of Wool Hats

While this option won’t necessarily solve the itchiness of the wool hat you already own, it may be worth considering buying a hat made of a softer or hot water-cleaned wool. While these products tend to be a bit more expensive, they’re well worth it, as they’ll save you a lot of frustration and irritation later.

Wools like Merino, which are made of softer and more delicate strands, tend to be less itchy than cheaper, more coarse varieties. Remember, all wool is different, and it can be processed in many different ways, which can cause it to be more or less itchy and uncomfortable. You could even try a satin-lined beanie which is far more gentle on hair and skin. Read about satin-lined beanies in this article.

4. Buy Organic Wool

Here’s another option that will benefit you the next time you purchase a new wool hat. Consider buying a hat made of organic wool, as they’re typically made without the harsh detergents and dyes that contribute to more rough and coarse fibers.

As a general rule of thumb, the more processed a wool garment is with harsh chemicals, the more uncomfortable it’ll be. Although organic wool is a bit more pricey than non-organic wool, it’s still well worth the extra cash, as it’ll save you from lots of itchiness in the future.

Why Are Wool Hats So Itchy?

While wool is a highly popular material for hats and sweaters, it is also notorious for being incredibly itchy and uncomfortable on the skin. There are a few factors that contribute to wool’s overall itchiness.

The main issue is that wool clothing is made of thick, coarse strands of the material. The more rough and unrefined the wool is, the more those large strands are going to irritate your skin. Additionally, because the fibers are so dense, they won’t bend while you wear them. As a result, the strands will end up poking your skin, or in this case, your scalp.

In addition, all wool is different. Some varieties of wool are cleaned with hot water before they are sold to make them softer and less irritating, while others aren’t treated at all. Others that aren’t overly processed often contain trace amounts of hay and other grasses that contribute to their overall itchiness. Some wool manufacturers will also use dyes that make the material even more coarse and rough on your skin.

In short, wool is just a naturally itchy material due to its thick, dense fibers, and it only becomes more irritating depending on how it is processed and dyed.

Could You Be Allergic to Wool?

One reason why your wool hat might be particularly annoying is that you’re mildly allergic or sensitive to the material. Wool allergies are fairly common, and they cause symptoms like itching, dandruff, rashes, and more typical allergy symptoms like runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and frequent sneezing.

If you suspect you’re allergic to wool, you may want to contact your primary care physician to confirm your suspicions. If you have a wool allergy or even a wool sensitivity, you may want to avoid the material altogether.


Wool is an incredibly versatile, cozy material commonly used in sweaters and hats; however, it can also be very itchy due to its thick and rough fibers and the way it’s processed. 

Try using anti-itch products on your scalp or soaking the hat in a fabric softener or detergent designed for wool before putting it on your head. If you still aren’t satisfied, purchase a hat made of organic, pre-washed wool. 

Finally, make sure you aren’t allergic to wool before buying clothing made of the material.

About Taylor James

As Philip Treacy once said, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.” And on that note, I hope you enjoy your hats and find the site useful. Learn more about Hat Realm's Editorial Process.