Hair loss and bodybuilding are thought to have a connection, although this is a generally a myth.
In fact, genetics are one of the most important factors in almost all parts of the human body, and this includes hair as well. Hair growth and hair loss are effected by diet, environment, stress levels, and genetics amongst many other factors.
Maintaining a healthy level of hair growth can be challenging as hair loss can sometimes be too severe to resolve with just a few simple changes. Furthermore, this issue doesn’t only affect men. Women can have similar issues.
Keeping your hair is a combination of both controlling the environment around you, and maintaining a healthy diet that nourishes your hair and skin.
Keep reading below to learn about the connection between bodybuilding and hair loss, and tips for maintaining your hair as a bodybuilder.
Common Myths About Hair Loss and Bodybuilding
Are you worried about thinning hair as well as the thickness of your biceps? You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
Many aspiring-bodybuilders don’t understand the relationship between health, fitness, and overall healthy hair and skin.
Before you sabotage your efforts with bad information, take a look at these hair growth and bodybuilding myths!
Myth #1: Weight Lifting and Hair Loss Go Hand in Hand
There is a common myth out there that tells people that exercise and hair loss go hand in hand. So, the assumption is that weightlifting can make you go bald.
This is not true at all, but a lot of people believe it.
While it’s true that testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) when we exercise, which can shrink hair follicles in genetically susceptible individuals, our hair growth cycle takes place over 3 to 5 years, and you would see that extra (temporary) shedding many years into your program.
If you’ve started a program recently, and you’re worried you’ve lost hair, it’s highly unlikely that it has to do with your weight lifting program.
Myth #2: The More Nutrients You Intake, the Thicker Hair You’ll Have
Health nuts love to use supplements, and many do so with the mistaken belief that the more nutrients you put into your body, the better your overall health. This isn’t the way to go about fitness or nutrition.
There are limits to how much you should get of certain nutrients, especially those meant to help you bulk up. You absolutely need to know what you’re putting in your body, especially when it comes to weight loss supplements.
Many supplements meant for building muscle have nutrients that can affect testosterone levels, which in turn can shrink your hair follicles, cause premature male-pattern baldness, or even disrupt your hair cycle.
Even too much Vitamin A can make you lose hair and cause other troubling problems such as cardiovascular problems.
Myth #3: Sweat Causes Baldness
There is absolutely nothing harmful about sweating if you’re healthy, and sweat, in and of itself, is a good thing for your body.
It actually rids toxins from your pores, including your hair. For example, if you quit smoking or drinking sugary drinks, sweat is a way to rid yourself of the harmful toxins in your body.
Why does this work? Increased blood flow from exercise improves circulation, which in turn promotes healing and even thicker hair.
These are all great things.
One thing to know: Sweat is great, but a clean scalp is even better. Sweat is only a problem when you let it build up and dry on your scalp, which can clog your hair follicles, leading to irritation and even, at times, fungal infections.
Always shower after your workouts, and always use shampoo on your scalp.
After workouts, massage your scalp gently with shampoo to help your hair grow faster, and rinse with cool water.
Myth #4: Stress Makes Your Hair Fall Out and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It
While it’s true that a high-stress life can force your hair to enter telogen effluvium, a “resting phase” in which hair follicles pause during their hair cycle, that doesn’t mean that you’re destined to live with thin hair forever.
It’s important to recognize that when we’re talking about this type of stress, it’s not just your everyday commute or exams that cause it. Stress often has to do with trauma or loss, and rarely has to do with your everyday life.
However, hair loss from stress can absolutely be real, and you can’t really prevent it.
If you suspect that your new job is so stressful that your emotions are bordering on trauma, or your move to the big city has caused you to sink into a deep, anxious and stressful depression, it’s time to seek help or make a change in your life.
There’s no secret formula to helping your adjust to a new life, especially if you’re suffering from a loss in your family or other life event. Time is often the best healer in these cases.
Myth #5: There’s Nothing You Can Do To Promote Hair Growth
Can exercise help thin hair grow back? It doesn’t hurt, especially because it can help promote better circulation. Cardio workouts are especially recommended to get the blood flowing and stimulate your hair follicles.
Take these a step further by always showering with a gentle shampoo post-workout.
Massage your scalp gently and rinse with cool water to help stimulate new hair. Getting enough of the right vitamins and nutrients promotes hair growth as well – make sure that you’re getting enough Biotin, iron and protein.
Without these nutrients, a difficult workout can wreak havoc on your body and deplete your defenses, as well as cause breakage with your hair, skin and nails.
Nutrient deficiency and inadequate poor diet is regarded as the major cause for hair loss in both men and women. Just like any other part of the body, our hair also requires nutrients and energy to remain healthy, essential minerals like zinc, magnesium and sulfur, important vitamins like folic acid, biotin, inositol play a vital role in maintaining healthy and beautiful hair.
One of the easiest ways that you can manage hair loss more effectively is by fixing your diet to intake more of the necessary vitamins for your hair, and more vitamins and minerals!
Different tests carried out proof beyond doubt that a magnesium deficient diet if taken continuously results in huge hair loss. Similarly, prolonged consumption of foods which are deficient in Vitamin B6, biotin and inositol result in complete hair loss.
This kind of hair loss is found to be reversible and introducing good amount of these nutrients in diet grows back normal hairs again.
It is observed that men and women deficient in folic acid and vitamin B6 are at a higher risk to lose hairs and get bald in initial stages of life.
So, a well-balanced diet which is rich in these nutrients can help immensely for them to regain the lost hair. In many individuals, intake of these vitamin supplements in good amounts triggered normal hair growth.
Similarly, essential fatty acids improve hair texture and prevent brittling and drying of hairs.
Consuming regular doses of vitamin A supplements for some time can act adversely and may result in hair loss. But once the vitamin A level is back to normal the hair loss stops and normal growth of hair resumes.
Consuming vitamin B rich foods like carrots, soy beans, eggs, nuts and bran has direct affect and ensures better hair health. If you are running low on vitamin B6 you may consider consuming B complex supplements for immediate results. Supplements like Pyridoxine, Pantothenic acid etc can immensely help to control vitamin B6 deficiency almost instantly.
Vitamin C helps in improving blood circulation in scalp, this indirectly helps to increase follicle strength and aids in hair growth. Vitamin E improves oxygen intake to follicles with bloodstream, this helps to keep hair healthy and fresh.
Essential minerals like zinc and magnesium enhances immune functions and helps in controlling hair loss.
There are lots of supplements available. Dht blocker supplements one of them. Before taking any of the vitamin supplement, you must take opinion from your doctor or dietician who can work with you to devise a detailed well planned and balanced diet which is rich in both vitamins and minerals and help you to improve your overall health with hair.
Improving your diet, and using products without chemicals is the best way to improve your entire health. If you are looking to remove hair from your body, the same rules apply.
Naturally removing hair from your body involves fixing your diet to have healthy skin, and using a hair removal cream without chemicals.
You can also check out this awesome website for a more in-depth look at ways to improve hair thickness!
Don’t rely solely on supplements to get your nutrition, either.
Eating a health diet, complete with additional supplements or superfood powders is an important aspect of overall wellness.
Not sure if you’re getting what you need? Your health insurer will probably cover visits to a nutritionist, and it’s worth the copay in most cases.
Causes of Hair Loss in Bodybuilders
For bodybuilders, hair loss is primarily caused by DHT. Dihydro-testosterone (DHT) is a byproduct of testosterone, and makes bodybuilders overly susceptible to hair loss at earlier ages. For female bodybuilders, hair loss can be caused by additional factors such as using an improper hair straightener that damages your hair. Unfortunately, females who do bodybuilding could use improper products to get the ultimate sleek and chic look for the stage. However, these things can add additional damage along with the affects of DHT.
DHT is produced when testosterone is converted by the enzyme 5AR (5 Alpha Reductase).
DHT and 5AR have been associated with hair loss in bodybuilders as studies have shown that people who have high levels of 5AR in their bodies, also have higher levels of DHT; and therefore, are more likely to lose hair earlier in their lives.
If you are genetically disposed to having higher levels of 5AR or DHT in your body, it will be a naturally tougher battle for you to avoid early hair loss (especially if you are a bodybuilder).
Due to this, much research has gone in to products such as Saw Palmetto, which is supposed to inhibit the production and formation of 5AR.
Saw Palmetto and other 5AR inhibitors have been proven to be effective in slowing down the process of hair loss and controlling 5AR, but it has not been able to be effective at all in re-growing hair or helping hair to grow more efficiently.
Although these products are helpful in slowing hair loss, there are more proactive approaches as well.
Diet and Hair Loss in Bodybuilding
Dietary factors are incredibly important in enabling your hair to grow consistently.
A diet which is high in refined sugar, bad dietary fats, and that is low in fruits and vegetables will leave your body depleted and unable to grow hair quickly or at any rate at all.
Eating a diet high in a variety of fruits, vegetables, fish and other natural foods will ultimately allow your body to work optimally and maintain a healthy head of hair. Here are a few specific foods which are excellent for promoting hair growth and limiting hair loss:
Salmon is one of the best foods which is excellent to help hair grow naturally and healthy.
Salmon contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, lean protein, and necessary vitamins and minerals for your body. Eating salmon once or twice per week can counteract other bad fats from your diet, and help create a body which can adequately grow hair easily.
Soybeans are another food that can promote hair growth as they have spermidine in them in high volumes. This is scientifically proven to stimulate hair growth and keep the hair looking stronger as it grows.
Whether this is through the use of soy beans in your diet or incorporating a dairy alternative such as soy milk, this can all help to keep your hair growing and looking great throughout the whole year.
Spermidine helps the hair to stay in the active growth stage for much longer from the follicle to the bottom of the hair allowing you to see significant growth as a result.
Meat is the perfect thing to incorporate into your diet as the protein that is found in meat can help to strengthen the follicle and repair any damage that has been caused to the hair.
Red meat, in particular, is beneficial to your hair as it helps to absorb iron from the other foods that you are eating.
Iron helps the red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the scalp to help stimulate blood flow and encourage growth.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene and can is converted into Vitamin A by the body which is crucial for the health of your hair as well as increasing the blood flow to the scalp.
Vitamin A promotes the production of sebum in the hair helping to keep it healthy and stop the follicles from regressing and the hair becoming brittle.
In addition to Vitamin A, there are a number of other factors that help to speed up the growth of the hair and maintain a healthy level of strength from root to tip.
Sweet potatoes are also one of the best carbs for bodybuilding in general!
Coconut oil is an oil which can drastically improve the look, and health, of your hair whether you use it topically or you ingest it. Coconut oil is widely known to be the richest source of natural medium chain triglycerides (healthy fatty acids) on the planet. These MCTs are a special type of fatty acid that have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which are excessively nourishing for your hair and body!
Coconut oil is particularly high in lauric acid, which naturally occurs in human breast milk and supports hormone and cellular health.
Coconut oil can have huge impacts on preventing protein loss in human hair itself, penetrating the hair uniquely in a way that other oils or products cannot.
Coconut oil has the ability to improve your hair on a cellular level, a form of miracle work for your hair!
Stress and Hair Loss for Bodybuilders
Another factor for growing hair is to limit stress levels in your body overall.
Although bodybuilders can become susceptible to hair loss due to a variety of the different supplements and products that they are taking, exercise is an excellent way to maintain low stress levels.
Certain supplements and products can alter testosterone and hormone levels, and should be avoided if you are genetically more susceptible to hair loss. Weight lifting, cardiovascular work, and many other forms of physical exercise are excellent ways to maintain your bodies stress levels and avoid fatiguing your hormonal systems.
Using infrared saunas is another way which you can control your stress levels, and it will also increase circulation that is necessary for hair growth.
Increasing circulation is necessary for nutrients to be used throughout your body, and an infrared sauna can accomplish this goal while also helping to lower your stress levels!
Concluding Thoughts – Hair Loss and Bodybuilders
For many people, hair loss can cause severe stress and anxiety. Controlling dietary factors, stress levels, and the environment around you can aid in your ability to slow hair loss, and increase hair growth.
For those of you with no other option, hair transplant is a viable solution!