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Can Bodybuilding Cause Hair Loss?

why are so many bodybuilders bald

Trichologists say that exercise cannot cause hair loss, but excessive exercise can. Excessive exercise every day means three hours or more. Others suggest that exceeding 300 minutes of exercise weekly means laboring too hard and resulting in physical burnout. Excessive exercise can negatively impact daily life. It is often associated with guilt, exhaustion, shame, and depression.

The theory of hair loss and exercise


Believers of this theory explain that excessive high-intensity exercise can increase cortisol levels, which contribute to stress. Stress can make hair follicles attain a "resting" phase so that they don't produce new hair strands, thereby shortening the hair life cycle. Over time, hair begins to fall out, when washing, combing or touching it. This condition is called telogen effluvium. It is a temporary condition that is reversible once the cause of it is addressed.

There are no studies to back up this claim that stress resulting from exercising can lead to hair loss. More studies are required to ascertain if this theory is actually true. But a most recent study led by Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu of Harvard University studied the underlying mechanisms that link stress and hair loss.

The researchers discovered that a stress hormone is capable of impairing stem cells that are essential for hair growth in mice. If this is anything to go by, stress caused by excessive exercise may be capable of inducing hair loss.


Another reason why hair loss is linked to exercising is the excess sweating that comes with intense workout sessions. Sweat builds up on the scalp and affects your hair health and vitality. It leads to dryness, breakage, and an increased risk of bacterial or fungal infection.

Dried sweat on your scalp leaves a residue that can clog your air follicles with damaging bacteria. The accumulated lactic acid in sweat can damage the natural texture of hair. There is also a large amount of salt contained in sweat which changes the color of the hair and gives it a dull look.

The combination of sweat and sebum (produced in the hair follicles) on our scalp can also block the hair pores and boost the presence of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an androgen and a by-product of testosterone, enhances hair loss. They bind with the hair follicles and prevent them from growing naturally, leading to male pattern baldness.

To avoid any of these, wash your hair after every workout. There's a tendency to just move on with our lives when the sweat dries up. But allowing it to dry up on your scalp blocks the hair follicles, which is the beginning of the problem of hair shedding. Make it a habit to shampoo and condition hair once a week.

Poor nutrition

Excessive exercise may promote poor nutrition. Poor nutrition could happen if one intentionally restricts food consumption because of being overly worried about staying in shape. Studies have linked poor nutrition with hair loss, but evidence from these studies is still not sufficient to make conclusions.

Still, you must consume enough food proportional to the amount of exercise you do. Nutritional deficiencies are still listed as a common cause of hair shedding and poor hair shape condition. Proper nutrition and exercise work together to prevent fatigue and renew lost vitamins.

Zinc, iron selenium, and vitamin D are vitamins that have been found to enrich hair follicles. It makes sense that a lack of these vitamins may affect the overall health of the hair. Therefore it's necessary to eat lots of food rich in protein after every workout. Consume food rich in minerals and vitamins and be on a balanced diet.

Also, drink lots of water before and after a workout as dehydration can cause hair shedding as well. Staying hydrated prevents dandruff and itching. Itching can injure the scalp, inflame the follicles, which cause damage and scarring. Eventually, all of these can stop or slow down hair growth.


Some who engage in physical activities may use steroids to enhance their physical features. Nevertheless, Anabolic Steroids are known to significantly affect androgen levels which is a cause of hair loss problems like androgenic alopecia also known as male pattern baldness.

While they can treat hormone imbalances that cause muscle loss, they can cause detrimental effects when abused and prevent hair growth. They cause hair loss in men and women and have other side effects. Certain corticosteroids can also contribute to hair thinning.

A physically active lifestyle has numerous health benefits. Reduced stress, improved sleep, higher productivity, better heart health, and enhanced immune system support are some of the many benefits you can enjoy if you maintain a physically active lifestyle. On the other side of the coin, too much exercise can have serious, detrimental effects on your health. Take a break if you think you are obsessed with exercising or addicted to exercising.

How do you know you may be addicted to exercise?

* If you get high from exercising.

* Have an uncontrollable desire to exercise.

* Experience withdrawal symptoms if you stay without exercising for long periods.

* If exercising is interfering with other areas of your life that you reduce activities in those if areas.

* If you spend considerable time preparing for or recovering from exercise.

* Have an inability to stick with a reduced exercise routine.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adults engage in either 2.5 hours of exercise per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 1 hour, 15 mins per week of vigorous aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two. Activity should spread throughout the week for best results.

What can you do if you notice you are losing hair?

It's normal to lose 50-100 hairs a day, but if you begin to see more scalp or lose way too much hair when you comb or wash, it should raise concerns. Do the following.

See a doctor: visit a dermatologist to ascertain the cause and get medical help and advice.

Consider a topical treatment: Minoxidil can be used as a medication for the scalp. It absorbs into the skin to strengthen hair follicles.

Consider supplements: Supplements help to improve certain vitamin levels. Ask your doctor to test your vitamin level before taking any.

Consume more protein: include foods rich in protein in your diet. More fish and meat is a good idea.

Take care of your hair and scalp: exfoliate the scalp to stimulate growth. You can also incorporate a hair growth serum into your routine, which can provide essential nutrients and promote healthy hair follicles. Massage the scalp to improve blood circulation, which further stimulates hair growth and reduces stress. By combining these practices, you can maintain luscious and vibrant hair.

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