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Why Hats Can Give You a Headache – 5 Reasons

By Taylor James


Updated on

If you suffer from frequent headaches and aren’t sure why, it’s possible that something as simple as a hat or a cap could be the main culprit. You may not even be aware of the pressure a hat can put on your head. But, why would wearing hats give you a headache? 

Here are 5 reasons why hats can give you a headache:

  1. Hats can trigger allodynia.
  2. Tightly worn hats can add pressure to your scalp.
  3. Hats can pull hair and irritate the follicles.  
  4. Moist or wet hats can lead to sinus pain.
  5. Certain hat materials can cause allergic reactions. 

This article will discuss how wearing hats can lead to headaches and what you can do to prevent them.

How Wearing Hats Can Give You a Headache

It may feel a little silly to get a headache because of a hat. However, there are several potential reasons why wearing certain hats, or hats altogether, may trigger headaches and discomfort. If you find yourself suffering from headaches due to wearing hats, it might be time to seek out medical assistance or rethink your favorite accessory. 

Let’s break down some of the reasons why you could experience headaches due to wearing hats.

  1. Hats Can Trigger Allodynia

While you may have never felt any discomfort from other headgear, a seemingly harmless hat can sometimes trigger headaches. Your skin may become sensitive to being covered completely and you may feel a headache coming on.

Mostly, when you get a headache from wearing a hat, the hat isn’t always to blame. A previous injury that may have gone unnoticed, a medical disorder, or even a pressed, pinched nerve can lead to mild or severe headaches.

  1. Tightly Worn Hats Can Add Pressure to Your Scalp

Hats that are too tight can often cause tingling, numbness, and pain, which can last hours if you don’t take the right course of action.

Known as external compression headaches, these occur when added pressure to your head triggers the pain receptors from your face to your brain, causing headaches. People with these headaches usually experience a moderate level of constant pain that typically goes away with pain medication and treatment.

However, the pain can become worse overtime if you persist in keeping the hat as tight as it was.

  1. Hats Can Pull Hair and Irritate the Follicles

Also known as a ponytail headache, hats can cause this type of headache if you keep your hair pulled back and in the same position for long periods of time.

Keep in mind, hair does not contain nerves. But your scalp and follicles underneath it does. Pulling on your scalp can disturb those nerves and cause headaches, which can become full-on migraines if you do not give your scalp some rest.

A word of advice would be to not use your hat as a hair-styling accessory, otherwise it will affect your hair strength and increase the risk of headaches.

  1. Moist or Wet Hats Can Lead to Sinus Pain

If you’ve ever experienced a sinus headache because of wet hair or a wet towel kept on for too long, you can imagine how bad a wet hat can be.

Wearing a sweaty hat for too long or keeping your wet hair covered with a hat can also lead to headaches and sinus pain, which can then evolve into migraines. The best thing here is to keep your hair dry and to not wear a hat if you get sweaty or if your hair is wet, otherwise it will trigger a headache.

  1. Certain Hat Materials Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Hats are typically made of cotton or wool, which are hypoallergenic. But, you’ll also find that many hats on the market are made from synthetic fibers, such as polyester, and therein lies the problem.

Allergic reactions to polyester and other synthetic fibers are quite common. So, while you think you’re wearing a simple hat, the fabric can actually be triggering an allergy, and one of the symptoms can include a headache. 

How To Avoid Getting Headaches From Hats

You can prevent headaches by wearing hats less frequently, or not at all. For aesthetic purposes, there are plenty of hair accessories that may give you a look you desire. If you wear hats for functionality, an umbrella may serve the same purpose, only in a more extensive area.
Or, you can prevent headaches by only wearing hats properly. Get a hat that fits your head circumference. If you have scalp sensitivity, leave your head as is and don’t disturb your skin with any accessories or headwear. Any wrong fabric or even liquids used to wash those fabrics could end up triggering your scalp.

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.