Santa Claus is something of a mysterious figure, seen only in December every year. Even more mysteriously, Santa is never seen without his hat. Is it possible that Father Christmas is hiding a receding hairline?
The ever-present hat
For many years old wives tales have told of the potential damage that hats may cause to a man’s hairline. Many of these stories revolve around the suggestion that hats prevent oxygen from reaching the scalp, thereby causing the hair to die. Other tales claim that hats cause the scalp to sweat, resulting in other unwanted side effects.
Wearing hats is actually perfectly safe for the hair unless they are too tight. Should a hat pull too tightly on the roots of the hair the wearer may, over time, develop a patchy baldness condition known as traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is caused by hair follicles in the scalp becoming deformed due to the attached hair being pulled constantly, causing the hair to fall out.
Despite never being seen without his hat, it is unlikely that Santa is experiencing hair loss because of his.
Cold and snow
Living at the North Pole, Santa will never be short of snow. But is it possible that constant exposure to cold weather could be causing him problems with his hairline?
Low temperatures are known to reduce blood flow to the scalp, which is why people undergoing cancer treatment are offered cold caps in an attempt to prevent hair being lost as a result of the drugs used in treatment. A good flow of blood to the scalp is essential for delivery of nutrients to the hair follicles in the scalp, so constant exposure to cold is unlikely to be helpful.
Lack of sunlight
As well as being cold all year round, the North Pole is also shrouded in constant darkness for several months of the year. As well as providing much needed warmth, sunlight is also one of the best sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential to calcium absorption and bone growth, and there are some suggestions that it also plays a part in healthy hair growth. Without regular exposure to sunlight, Santa’s overall health may be suffering, far beyond his hairline.
There is little evidence that Santa eats anything from year to year barring the “gifts” he is left by eager children every Christmas Eve. Eating nothing but mince pies washed down with whisky and the odd bottle of Coca Cola once a year is unlikely to provide the nutrition needed for healthy hair growth.
Proper hair growth relies on a balanced diet that contains all of the major vitamins and minerals. Eating nothing but foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat have a detrimental effect on overall heath, including hair. If Santa really is experiencing hairloss, it is more likely to have been caused by his irregular and unhealthy eating habits than anything other factor.