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Does A Durag Cause Hair Loss? (EXPLAINED)

Does a durag cause hair loss? They’re designed to do the opposite, but if you’re wearing your durag wrong, there’s a chance you’ll hurt your hairline.

Table of Contents

What Is A Durag?

A durag is a head covering designed to protect your hair from sweat, tangles, sunlight, and other environmental factors that could cause hair damage.

They’re most often used to protect African hair. Celebrities like A$AP Ferg, Rihana, and Snoop Dogg made them a popular modern style in the U.S., but durags in fashion hail all the way from the 60s and 70s during the Black Pride movement, and they were designed as we know them now in the 1930s.

When you put on a durag, it looks like a hood with ties. The hooded part goes over your hair to protect it, and the ties secure at the back to keep the durag on. 

Guys in construction and athletics often wear durags to protect themselves from helmet hair and possible balding.

Does A Durag Cause Hair Loss?

Durags do not cause hair loss.

But you might think you’re suffering from hair loss if you’re new to using a durag and you tie it too tight. Securing your durag too tight can leave lines in your forehead and pull out some of the hairs along your hairline. Loosen it up to avoid that discomfort.

Can A Durag Cause Baldness?

Most guys suffer from baldness simply because of genetics. If you’re wearing a durag and going bald, the two aren’t necessarily connected. It’s likely that you’re going bald because most guys go bald eventually. So if you’re still thinking “does a durag cause hair loss?”, don’t worry about it.

Do Durags Damage Hair?

Durags do not damage hair – they’re made to do the opposite.

However, if you have extremely oily scalp, wearing a durag too often or too long can clog your pores, causing scalp acne or folliculitis. This usually isn’t a problem for African hair because it has the opposite problem – a durag protects the hair from getting too dry.

If you think wearing your durag at night might be causing scalp issues, try switching to a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases help you retain moisture and stop your hair from tangling, so they serve a similar function to durags without being wear-able.

What Does A Durag Do To Hair?

Durags trap moisture in your hair, keeping you hydrated, and helping you avoid frizzy or dry hair. Some guys say that their durags promote hair growth because their scalp feels healthier when they wear their durag consistently. It protects new hair growth.

If you wear your hair in braids or waves, a durag helps keep your hair-do looking nice when you sleep on it at night. 

Wearing a durag during the day blocks UV rays from the sun so that you don’t lose moisture from your locs. 

How To Prevent Durag-Induced Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia is a condition where frequent stress on your hair causes breakage and eventual hair loss.

Here’s the thing: durags are made of soft, slick material, and you should never tie your durag tight enough to put any stress on your hair.

More often, tight ponytails, braids, hair extensions, and chemicals cause traction alopecia. If you’re using a durag to cover up one of these hair styles, it’s likely that the style itself is causing hair loss, not the durag.

So there’s really no such thing as durag-induced traction alopecia unless you’re wearing your durag very, very wrong. Durags don’t cause traction alopecia, but they also don’t prevent it.

Is It Bad To Wear A Durag All Day?

The only time it’s bad to wear your durag all day is if you can feel sweat and oil building up underneath it, and you don’t take it off before bed.

A durag is not a substitute for washing your hair regularly and using a dreadlock shampoo if you’re using your durag to protect dreads.

High-quality hair products and a durag are a great combination.

Should I Wear A Durag Every Night?

Some guys are religious about wearing a durag every night. It’s not a bad idea, but if you’re struggling to keep your durag on in bed, you do have other options.

Instead, try a silk or satin pillowcase. It has similar hair-protecting benefits to a durag. You might also prefer the feel of a bonnet or scarf if you have long hair that doesn’t quite fit in your durag.

You should have a game plan for how to protect your hair at night, but you don’t necessarily have to always choose a durag.

How Long Should You Leave A Durag On?

It’s more important to know when you should wear your durag, as opposed to how long you should leave it on.

Durags are not like wave caps. They won’t style your hair for you. They’re just there to protect your hair. So you should wear a durag when you have something to protect your hair from.

Consider wearing a durag when

• You go to bed at night. It’ll protect you from bed head.

• You work out. It’ll block sweat and grime.

• You spend a long day outdoors. It blocks the sun so that your hair doesn’t get dry.

• You have a hairstyle to protect. It’ll keep your curls, waves, or straight hair intact for that special event.

You can leave your durag on for as long or as short as you want. It won’t cause hair loss.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.