Health benefits of regular workouts can’t be overstated – we know that physical activity promotes heart health, better mood, and reduces the risk of many diseases. But, what is the relationship between exercise and hair loss? As we’re about to see, this relationship is complicated, as working out can both help and damage your hair growth.
How Does Exercise Help?
As we mentioned before, regular physical activity can help reduce stress levels. And, since stress is one of the leading causes of baldness (especially male pattern baldness), exercise could indirectly help you avoid hair loss. Another hair loss condition that can be triggered by stress is alopecia areata – an autoimmune disorder characterized by patchy hair loss.
The Link between Exercise and Hair Loss
On the other hand, exercise can also damage your hair growth. According to a 2012 report, too much exercise can cause telogen effluvium – a disorder that manifests in hair thinning around the scalp. The condition is usually temporary and the hair grows back during the next hair growth cycle.
Furthermore, the same report says that excessive exercise can speed up the hair loss caused by male or female pattern baldness. The reason for this could be that training increases testosterone production. Free testosterone then converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which plays an important role in androgenic alopecia.
Although there might be a link between exercise and hair loss, it shouldn’t be enough to prevent you from hitting the gym regularly. Exercise health benefits outweigh potential side effects, and exercise helps us prevent some conditions that are far more serious than the cosmetic problems caused by baldness.