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Can Weightlifting Cause Hair Loss?
If you have spent some time at the gym or even at various weightlifting forums, you will find rumors circulating that lifting weights might contribute to hair loss. If you are haunted by the same fear then let me tell you that you’re not alone. Most body builders are stalked by the thought that weight lifting might rob them of their tufts of hair!
As per the American Hair Loss Association, nearly two-thirds of American males suffer hair loss problems by the age of 35. And by the time they are 50, 85 percent of males have considerably thinner hair. About one-fourth of men start experiencing hair loss even before they turn 21.
Hair loss is mainly a hereditary problem, and if you are genetically predisposed then you will go bald either way. Leonora Doclis, Senior Trichologist at the Belgravia Centre says that weight training is not the reason for your baldness.
But wait! There cannot be smoke without fire! Although weightlifting is not directly responsible for hair loss, some studies state that it might speed up your hair loss.
Link between Weightlifting and Hair Loss:
A research indicates that just a 45 minute of weightlifting session is enough to raise your testosterone levels by an average 25%. An elevation in the testosterone levels aids in improving your physical strength, endurance and power. However, this increase in testosterone has a negative impact on your hair.
Dr. Robert Bernstein, a renowned professor of dermatology at the Columbia University, reported that DHT is the main cause for hair loss in men. When testosterone comes in contact with enzyme 5-alpha reductase, a naturally occurring substance in hair follicles, it is converted to DHT or dihydrotestosterone. DHT blocks the essential nutrients from reaching the hair follicles, and thus shrinking them and inhibiting their growth.
However, as the hair growth cycles have an extended duration of nearly three to five years, it is unlikely for someone to start experiencing hair loss soon after beginning a weight lifting session. Furthermore, the increase in testosterone levels brought about by weight lifting sessions is transient in nature, and it does not have a long lasting effect on hair loss. You are most likely to get back your hair after you stop lifting weights.
Supplements and Steroids!
Another reason that is responsible for weight lifters experiencing hair loss is the consumption of supplements such as protein and creatine. Some individuals also take anabolic steroids in a bid to buff their bodies. This can also lead to an elevation in testosterone levels, which further accelerates the male pattern hair loss. Additionally, body building supplements may contain high amount of vitamin A which might contribute to hair loss.
So, can weightlifting cause hair loss? No. It is not directly responsible, but it might accelerate your hair loss if you are already experiencing it. Good news is – getting lean muscle mass will not effect your hair as long as buff naturally, so take the natural way to build a muscular body, eat healthy food and keep your hair from falling out!
This article was posted on August 11th, 2012 in Hair Loss Causes
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