Hair Restoration Blog

Is Your Workout Causing Hair Loss?
December 25 2017

Is Your Workout Causing Hair Loss?

Thinning hair can be a problem for men and women - and like it or not, your workout can be one of the causes of hair loss.

Working out, done right, will improve the health of your hair as well as the rest of the body - but a lot of us don't do it right, for various reasons. If you work out regularly or are training as an athlete and notice thinning hair, here are some things to consider:

Nutrition

You need to eat to match your workout. This is most often a problem for people trying to lose weight - counting calories can result in not getting all of the nutrients you need. Hair loss is associated with deficiencies in Vitamin D, Vitamin C and biotin, a B complex vitamin that specifically promotes the growth of hair and nails, as well as overall skin health.

Protein shakes

Especially for men. Protein shakes containing creatine and DHEA, intended to rapidly increase muscle mass, can also increase testosterone above natural levels - and too much testosterone can cause hair loss. Protein shakes do not cause hair loss, but they can make it worse if you already have a genetic predisposition. To make it worse, there may also be a connection between lifting a lot of heavy weight and premature balding.

Stress

Stress can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, in which hair follicles stay too long in resting state - this causes hair loss across the scalp. (This can also be caused by the nutritional deficiencies above). Excessive exercise causes chronic stress. The good news is that telogen effluvium is completely reversible.

Anemia

Particularly in women - women need more iron to fuel their reproductive system, and thus are prone to iron deficiency, which can also cause hair loss.

Steroids

In addition to all the other bad things anabolic steroids can do to you, it can also cause hair loss - as with the protein shakes, this is an acceleration of loss you were at risk of already, but that doesn't make it any better.

Swimming

Both the chlorine in chlorinated pools andthe salt water of the ocean do bad things to your hair. They dry your hair out, causing it to become brittle - and eventually it can break. Use a swim cap. Some people also recommend using spray leave-in conditioner regularly when at the beach. Shower before entering the pool - this will encourage your hair to absorb the less chlorinated water from the tap. Do not blow dry after swimming - the heat will cause brittle hair to break (in fact, you should avoid blow drying as much as possible in general). Applying a pre-sun and swim product to your hair can also help reduce damage (and reduce sun fade, unless you like your hair faded).

Obviously, you should not let fear of hair loss or damage keep you from exercise and its overall benefits for your body, but you should also consider the health of your hair - avoid over-training, don't use steroids, and make sure to wash off sweat build-up (which can also dry out your hair). Make sure you are getting the right nutrition. If you are still worried about thinning or receding hair, then contact us at New Look Institute. We can give you advice on keeping your hair healthy and offer a variety of products designed to encourage hair growth, slow hair loss and make hair look thicker and shinier. Our expert trichologists can give you advice on diet and nutrition or supplements to improve your hair and scalp, or even laser hair therapy. Call us today for a free consultation if you have thinning hair or other scalp conditions - or want to know how to protect your hair from the ravages of an athletic training program.

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