Sports and Hair Loss
The relationship between exercise and hair growth or hair loss is a commonly asked question. You might have received mixed signals about the effects of working out on hair health. Some say it has a positive effect on hair health while some oppose this belief, keeping you puzzled!
Factors affecting hair health and hair loss are not easily countable and everyone can experience hair loss despite taking enough precautions and using high-quality hair care products. Doing sports regularly can also affect your health factors but does it directly affect hair quality?
To understand the relationship between exercise and hair health, we need to first understand the causes of hair loss and barriers of having healthy hair.
Why Do We Lose Hair? 11 Culprits for Hair Loss!
There is no problem with losing hair; we normally lose some hair every day and gain some. However, if a person begins to lose an unusually large volume of hair, this might be cause for concern.
Losing hair in a large amount is a painful experience, making huge harm to self-esteem and confidence.
In general, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the root reason for hair follicle weakening, although they have recognized numerous circumstances and causes of hair loss. The following are some of the most widespread reasons for hair loss:
Unusual doses of some hormones result in permanent hair loss. Women over the age of 30 can experience a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to hair loss and the reduction of GM products.
Menopause and hormonal changes that occur in its natural state, as well as pregnancy, can commonly result in hair loss. Pregnant women’s hair is thicker, however, hair loss can occur two years after giving birth. Thyroid issues, as well as disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, can cause hair loss in women.
A man or a woman might inherit a genetic predisposition that causes baldness from their male or female parents. Male pattern baldness is also associated with genes.
Some temporary hair loss might occur as a result of a stressful lifestyle since stress can have a negative influence on the general system of the body.
It is another factor that affects hair loss. Men are much more likely to have hair loss than women. But, that doesn’t mean women don’t suffer from hair loss.
Ignoring diversity in meals, thus missing lots of essential vitamins and minerals weakens follicles, causing immense hair loss.
Vitamin D deficiency is considered to be one of the causes of hair loss. If more cases occur such as lack of sun and being indoors, you must take extra vitamin D. Additionally amino acids, copper, and zinc deficiency also causes hair loss. In cases of lack of protein, the hair becomes weaker.
Some medications such as chemotherapy treatments and blood thinners are blamed for hair fall, mostly causing temporary hair loss.
It occurs when the immune system attacks cells and organs in the body. Hair follicles are sometimes considered as the target by the immune system, so the immune system tries to remove them, causing hair loss.
Physical harms and wounds on the skin that are not limited to surface layers can spread the damage to hair follicles and cause hair loss. Damages might also happen due to excessive exercise.
Temporary hair loss or thinning hair signs can be caused by some illnesses and medical conditions, including thyroid disease and diabetes.
Shampoos and hair products containing chemical ingredients such as sulfates can injure hair follicles and cause hair loss.
As it is obvious, severe hair loss has several causes, which makes identifying the cause of one’s hair loss crucial before making any conclusions.
How Does Working Out Affect Causes of Hair Loss?
So, how does working out relate to hair loss? We have studied hair loss causes and sports effects on each. It can give an insight into exercising and its indirect effects on hair and its health status.
Hormones: How does working out affect hormones?
Regular exercise is a well-known source of stress relief, which assists your body manage hormones like insulin. If you have diabetes, a metabolic disease, or other illnesses caused by your hormones not working as well as they should, starting a regular exercise routine might be one of the most important strategies to start feeling better (1).
Genetics: Do exercises make any changes to genetic factors?
Hair loss caused by genetics develops in a predictable pattern known as male pattern baldness (MPB) or female pattern baldness (FPB). By the age of 80, around 80% of males have MPB, and almost half of women will have female pattern hair. Androgenetic alopecia, the medical term for MPB and FPB, is the most frequent cause of hair loss. According to twin studies, genetics account for roughly 80% of the cause of male pattern baldness (2).
It is understood that the genetic cause for hair loss is not affected by any other parameter such as sports activities or supplements.
Stressful Lifestyle: How Does Working Out Reduce Stress?
Studies have proven exercise increases dopamine levels in the brain, which decreases stress and even depression. This chemical causes the famous “runners-high” because it enhances those “feel-good” transmitters.
Gender: Which gender-related hair loss cause can be affected by sports?
Gender-related hair loss is mainly related to pattern baldness types and hormonal changes. It is more significant in men as DHT is one of the main causes of hair loss in men. A study (3) has shown that DHT levels in men experience a significant increase after a heavy workout.
In men suffering from hair loss due to high DHT levels, working out can have a temporary hair loss effect.
Poor Diet: How doing sports solves poor diet problems?
To be able to keep on doing sports, having a healthy balanced diet is crucial, which forces you to modify your eating habits and acquire a healthier diet. This alone, can enhance your hair health and stop its loss if it roots in your unhealthy eating habits.
Vitamin Deficiency: Does working out solve Vitamin deficiency problems?
Findings of older research suggested that vitamins can be lost during working out and the sweating process. However, later studies have proven that the lost amount of vitamin in workouts can be neglected. The amount of vitamin lost in a workout session can also depend on the type of the vitamin; whether it is water-soluble or fat-soluble.
Enough vitamin intake is a necessary factor for being able to continue working out. A balanced diet and enough vitamin and minerals intake can ensure a successful workout habit as well as healthier hair.
Drugs: What kind of drugs cause hair loss? Can working out help?
While some types of drugs that cause hair loss are related to problems and diseases which have nothing to do with working out, some diseases and problems can be hindered by regular exercise. This shows that in some cases of medicine-related hair loss, regular exercise can stop hair loss in the long term.
Autoimmune Diseases: What is the relationship between sports and the immune system?
Doing sports boosts the immune system, however, causes of autoimmune diseases are not limited, and having a sound immune system is only one of the ways to reduce the chance of getting autoimmune diseases. That said, doing sports has considerable effects on the immune system and we can’t neglect it.
While working out has several positive effects on the immune system (4) such as:
- Physical activity may aid in the removal of germs from the lungs and airways. This may lower your chances of catching a cold, flu, or other diseases.
- Antibodies and white blood cells (WBC) alter as a result of exercise. WBCs are immune system cells that combat illness in the body. Because these antibodies or WBCs circulate more quickly, they may identify diseases earlier than previously. However, no one knows if these alterations aid in infection prevention.
- Bacterial growth may be inhibited by a short increase in body temperature during and immediately following exercise. This increase in temperature may aid the body’s ability to fight illness. (This is comparable to the symptoms of a fever.)
- Exercise reduces the production of stress hormones. Some types of stress increase the likelihood of disease. Lowering stress hormones may provide protection against disease.
It can be harmful in some cases of autoimmune sicknesses (5).
Injuries: Do exercises help with reducing injuries?
We can have several types of injuries, causing hair loss. In some cases, a regular workout routine can enhance blood circulation and shorten the healing process. In some cases, on the other hand, working out can worsen the situation. Make sure to contact a medical doctor and ask them to check and approve your sports routine.
Sicknesses: How do sports affect sicknesses?
As some sicknesses root in genetic or uncontrollable situations, some are directly affected by our lifestyle. As regular exercise can enhance mental and physical health, have positive effects on diet, and help to modify hormonal cycles in the body, it can be beneficial for the healing process of several sicknesses but it might not be effective on other sicknesses and even cause harm in some cases.
Chemicals: Does working out increase the consumption of chemical materials in shampoos?
As you will need to take a shower after each workout session, doing sports can indirectly affect your hair and cause hair loss. You should pay attention to what types of hair care products you use and whether they are sulfate-free or not.
Sports and Hair Boost: What to Consider!
Does Exercise Regrow Hair?
Workouts can help hair grow because they improve blood flow and circulation throughout the body. As blood flow rises, more nutrients and oxygen reach the scalp. If done at least three times each week, half an hour of aerobic exercise can help nourish your hair follicles.
Does Workout Sweat Cause Hair Loss?
Not only water is a sweat component, but natural salts. These sweating components can clog and damage your hair follicles that may lead to hair loss if you.
Will Exercise Stop Hair Loss?
As some hair loss causes are affected by exercises, working out can stop hair loss in some cases. However, many other reasons, some of which are pretty common (Like MPB), root in causes that doing sports cannot affect. In such cases, doing sports won’t make any change.
Should I Wash My Hair After Exercising?
Do not wash your hair on a daily basis. After each workout, most people make the mistake of shampooing their hair. Exercising may cause you to sweat, and your scalp may require a good sweat. However, no matter how much it sweats, wash it at least twice a week, using shampoo.
Hair Transplant: The Only Permanent Solution for Hair Loss
There is no doubt that regular exercise is a necessity for a healthy life. It can boost your energy, immunity, and physical and mental health. All these factors increase the chance of having healthier hair and an attractive hairstyle.
Unfortunately, daily routines do not directly affect baldness in 80% of the cases and mainly follow genetics. No routine change or habit creation can stop this kind of baldness permanently. Doing sports is not an exception and cannot deal with genetic causes of hair loss.
The good news is that you can gain a natural hairstyle again with a hair transplant. Using the latest technologies, hair transplants have made it possible for millions of people to gain their desired hairstyle permanently.
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There is no doubt that having a regular plan for working out boosts your overall health and reduces the risks and side effects of many diseases. However, it is not possible to establish a direct relationship between doing sports and hair loss.
There are many factors that cause hair loss, and doing sports exercises affects them directly and indirectly. Having a daily hair care routine would be extremely beneficial for the health of your hair. Genetic and heredity factors are also extremely important when it comes to hair loss.
- Basile, L. M. (2020, September 6). Exercises to balance hormones. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/the-best-exercise-for-hormonal-imbalance
- Yetman, D. (2020, November 24). Baldness gene: How genetics influence hair loss. Healthline. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/baldness-gene#genetics-of-balding
- Smith AA;Toone R;Peacock O;Drawer S;Stokes KA;Cook CJ; (n.d.). Dihydrotestosterone is elevated following sprint exercise in Healthy Young Men. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23471952/
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Exercise and immunity: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm
- Clarissa, K. (2019, May 20). Exercise and autoimmune disease : A balancing act – carolina total wellness. Carolina Total Wellness – Carolina Total Wellness Blog Topics on Lastest. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://carolinatotalwellness.com/blog/index.php/2019/05/13/exercise-and-autoimmune-disease-a-balancing-act/