Exercise has many great health benefits, but does exercise affect hair growth? You may not believe that your workout can prevent the seemingly inevitable hair loss that comes with aging. Hmmm, maybe there’s some connection.
For one thing, exercise increases blood circulation and oxygen in blood cells, which benefits the hair follicles. Exercise can also reduce stress, one of her factors in thinning hair.
So, if you’re worried about your shiny hair becoming thin, read on. We spoke with Dr. Fuat Yuksel (opens in new tab)a hair transplant surgeon who works with patients battling hair loss, how hair restoration works, and whether jumping on one of the best treadmills or stationary bikes can make a difference.
Does exercise affect hair growth?
Unfortunately, until now, there have been few scientific studies on the effects of exercise on hair growth. It is reasonable to hypothesize that it could potentially support healthy hair growth.
Before delving into the mechanisms by which exercise may promote hair growth, it’s helpful to understand some basics about hair growth in general.
Hair grows through alternating cycles involving phases of rapid growth and elongation of the hair shaft and regression phases triggered by apoptotic signals.
The hair growth cycle can be divided into three stages:
- growth period: The anagen phase is an active growth phase in which the hair shaft sprouts from the hair follicle. This stage can last several years.
- regression period: This is a transitional phase when the hair stops growing and actually recedes, losing about one-sixth of the diameter of each hair shaft. In addition, tufts, or short, stubby hairs, may form, which often fall out and appear thin. Factors that increase the formation and shedding of club hairs include hypothyroidism , hyperthyroidism, stress, and vitamin deficiency.
- resting period: It is a telogen phase in which no growth occurs.
So how does exercise promote hair growth? According to Dr. Uksel, exercise has a positive impact on overall health, so it will always have a positive effect on hair growth.
“Your hair follicles benefit from increased blood circulation and increased oxygen in the blood cells,” explains Dr. Uxel. [anagen phase] become longer. Therefore, the hair will have more time to grow. ”
Additionally, exercise can reduce stress, and since stress is one of the factors in the regression phase that causes hair thinning, consistent exercise may prevent hair loss.
How much exercise should I do to stimulate hair growth?
While it’s unrealistic to think that one run or two yoga classes will suddenly reverse hair loss and grow lots of new hair, Dr. Uksel says general guidelines for physical activity levels should suffice. said..
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (opens in new tab) Adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, Dr. Yuksel says, to support a healthy hair growth cycle. is sufficient for
What kind of exercise is most effective for hair growth?
Interestingly, not all types of exercise are the same when it comes to promoting hair growth. According to Dr. Yuksel, strength training for hypertrophy is not as effective as aerobic or aerobic exercise. This difference is due to the effect of hypertrophy training on testosterone.
“Muscle growth is directly related to testosterone, and high levels of testosterone, including DHT (dihydrotestosterone), cause hair follicles to shrink, shortening the hair growth cycle,” says Uxel.
When it comes to strength training, multi-joint exercises that use larger muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges, increase testosterone the most, says Dr. Yuxel.
“This can exacerbate genetic hair loss. But exercise reduces stress hormones and improves how the body responds to stress,” he adds. If you do, you may see positive effects of resistance training.”
Dr. Yuksel adds that taking steroids in addition to resistance training is a recipe for hair loss, so these drugs should be avoided at all costs.
Does exercise cause hair loss?
The good news is that even if you’re pumping iron a few days a week to build muscle, exercise doesn’t directly cause hair loss.
“Exercise alone will not make you bald,” assures Dr. Uxel. “Hair loss can be caused by many factors, including lifestyle, genes, hormone levels, and medications such as antidepressants.”
He further explains that hair loss can be divided into two categories: permanent and temporary. and can be reversed by improving general health.
Additionally, Dr. Yuksel says hair loss isn’t associated with marathons or other strenuous endurance training, but it can be affected if you don’t take care of your body to support your training.
“Athletes who do not meet the nutritional needs of such training may experience hair loss due to lack of iron, vitamins and other minerals,” he points out.
Other Factors That May Affect Hair Growth
In addition to exercise, following a healthy lifestyle such as getting enough sleep, quitting smoking, and eating a nutritious diet can help promote hair growth.
Hair growth is contingent on getting a proper total calorie intake. Prolonged dieting, especially combined with a lack of protein intake, causes the body to stop turning over hair cells.
In addition, there are several essential nutrients to keep hair follicles healthy and stimulate new hair growth, including folic acid, beta-carotene, iron, biotin, zinc, vitamin C, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Finally, Dr. Yuksel says that leaving sweat in your hair after exercise can also help. “If sweat stays on your head for too long, it can clog and weaken your hair,” he explains.