Did you know hair helps to regulate body temperature?

If you have been particularly struggling with the heat, your alopecia might have been a contributing factor. 

Hairs on the skin trap more warmth if they are standing up on end, and less if they are lying flat. Tiny muscles in the skin can quickly pull the hairs upright to reduce heat loss, or lay them down flat to increase heat loss.

If the body is too hot, glands in the skin secrete sweat onto the surface to increase heat loss by evaporation. This cools the body. Sweat secretion slows when the body temperature returns to normal.

Along with the psychological impact, there are clearly also a number of physical implications to not having hair, regulation of body temperature being one of them. Also, without scalp hair, there is nothing to absorb the sweat and some of us find it literally pours down our faces. 

We don't have any magical solutions to cope with the heat (sorry!) but have come up with a few ideas as suggested to us by those living with alopecia. We hope they'll help in this hot weather!

Switch wigs for headwear

We totally understand that not everyone will feel able to move away from wearing a wig but alternative headwear can be a cooler option to wearing a wig. Headscarves, caps, sunhats, tube scarves, bandanas, turbans - there are lots of stylish options available, both in high street stores and from online retailers. You can search for 'headwear' options from the businesses listed on our Service Directory here

TOP TIP: One of our favourite options for hot weather is a tube scarf as they feel lightweight and cool to wear. Consider running one under under a cold tap, wringing it out and wearing the cool damp scarf on your scalp. Or some people keep headwear in the freezer! 

Keep hydrated

It might seem like an obvious one but it's so important to stay well-hydrated in high temperatures. To avoid getting dehydrated in the heat, consider drinking more water than you would normally, particularly if you’re sweating a lot. Consider carrying a water bottle around with you at all times. 

Take a break

If you feel very hot wearing your wig, try and take short breaks. Carry some wet wipes or one of those cool sprays. A quick trip to the loo, whip off your wig and have a quick refresh. A short breather can really help. 

Other suggestions with mixed reviews

The following tips have been shared by members of our private Facebook group but have mixed reviews, with some having success and some not! Putting deodorant or talc on the scalp before putting on a wig/headwear has been helpful for some whilst others found it didn't make a difference to the amount they sweated. Some recommend putting absorbent paper in the wig cap to mop up any sweat, with some suggesting a panty liner can prove very helpful!

Bamboo caps or other wig liner products are subject to mixed feedback too. 

Share tips and experiences with others

Our private Facebook groups are a really popular place to chat with others with alopecia. We have over 11,000 members in our main Alopecia UK Facebook group, a space designed for peer support. 

Our sub-group, 'Alopecia UK Products and Services Chat Group' is a private group dedicated to chat about wigs, headwear and other products. This is the place to ask for tips and recommendations about products and services. 

Posts and comments made within a closed Facebook remain private from other Facebook friends, unless they are also members of the group. 

And finally, stay safe in the sun! 

If you do go without a head covering, be sure to use a high factor sun cream to protect yourself from sun burn and ensure you reapply regularly as per the product guidance. A burnt scalp is a VERY painful thing to experience (and don't forget to protect the rest of your body too!) 

And if all this fails, there are always ice lollies!