Whether it’s a BBQ, a baseball game, or a vacation, everyone wants to be outside and enjoy the weather during the summer months. But you might be nervous to step out into the sun because of the effect it may have on your hair.

Well, we have good news for you, almost everything you’ve heard about summer hair loss is false. And that’s because male pattern baldness isn’t caused by the environment, but rather your genetics.

So let’s run through some of the myths you may’ve heard and explain why they’re all wrong.

Myth #1: Hats cause hair loss

This is probably one of the most popular hair loss urban legends. Luckily for you, it’s completely false. While a ball cap may up your style game, it will not decrease your hair count. Even if you wear it every day.

Quick tip

Just like you frequently wash your underwear and socks (we hope!), give that same treatment to your favorite hat. Especially because washing your hat frequently helps you avoid scalp infections from dirt and sweat, which helps to ensure you have healthy hair.

Myth #2: Too much sunshine causes hair loss

Although it may feel like your head is on fire after hours hanging out at the beach, sustained exposure to sunshine is not a direct cause of hair loss. However, Dr. Antonella Tosti, hair loss expert and Keeps medical advisor, notes that if you notice your hair getting lighter during the summer, it’s a sign of damage that’ll likely result in your hair becoming dry.

Quick tip

Just because that blazing hot sun doesn’t cause hair loss, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Be sure to always apply SPF—it’s your skin’s best friend—and add a hat up top if you want some extra protection.

Myth #3: Applying sunscreen on your scalp leads to hair thinning

Looking for another excuse not to apply sunscreen? Sadly, this is just a myth because there is no evidence that sunscreen causes hair loss. And while we’re talking hair products, it’s important to note that there aren’t any hair products that directly cause male pattern baldness.

Quick tip

If you have a bald spot or are experiencing overall thinning, be sure to apply SPF on that area to prevent itchy or uncomfortable sunburns.

Myth #4: Chlorine and salt water leads to baldness

Although excess chlorine and salt water may dry out your hair for a few days, neither of these things cause hair to fall out. However, if you’re worried about the texture of your hair after spending time in the pool or ocean, check out these research-backed tips to get your hair back to peak health.

Quick tip

Before and after swimming, condition your hair to maintain its moisture. Tosti recommends rinsing your hair with tap water to reduce how many chemicals (such as chlorine) are absorbed.

Now that you know the truth, you can get out there and enjoy that sunshine. But, before you go grab your hat and put on your sunscreen, read up on the real causes of hair loss.

The more you know, the more you keep your hair. Not to mention, the more interesting your small talk facts will be at that BBQ. (What’s that? We’re the only people who talk about hair loss over hot dogs and burgers? Weird.)

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Image credit: Andrew Wise