Hair Loss and Bodybuilding – Are Bodybuilders Prone to Hair Loss?

Hair Loss and Bodybuilding
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Hair loss and bodybuilding are thought to have a connection, although this is generally a myth.

Although it may appear that a lot of bodybuilders are bald or experience hair loss, this is simply a correlation and not a causal relationship.

Hair growth and hair loss are effected by diet, environment, stress levels, and genetics amongst many other factors.

Keep reading below to learn about the connection between bodybuilding and hair loss, and learn why this is a common myth!

Common Myths About Hair Loss and Bodybuilding

Are you worried about thinning hair as a result of getting big arms? Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other!

Before you sabotage your efforts with bad information, take a look at these hair loss and bodybuilding myths!

Weight Lifting and Hair Loss Go Hand in Hand

A common myth out there tells people that bodybuilding or simply weightlifting and hair loss go hand in hand.

This is not true at all, but a lot of people believe it.

While it’s true that testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), DHT is associated with hair thinning, and DHT levels are higher in those who exercise, the relationship is not as direct as increased DHT equals hair loss.

There are several factors that determine whether or not hair loss or hair thinning occurs, and simply taking a DHT blocker while starting a bodybuilding career will not make a significant difference if you are genetically predisposed to hair loss, or you eat a diet that promotes hair loss.

The More Nutrients You Intake, the Thicker Hair You’ll Have

Bodybuilders and 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. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way to go about improving your health.

There are limits to how much you should get of each nutrient.

Too much Vitamin A, for example, can make you lose hair and cause other troubling problems such as cardiovascular problems.

Don’t believe the companies promoting products that contain hundreds or thousands of times the RDA or DRI of certain vitamins or minerals, claiming that they will improve your hair. Instead, focus on consuming a healthy diet that contains all the vitamins and minerals you need.

Sweat Causes Baldness

There is absolutely nothing harmful about sweating if you’re healthy. Additionally, sweat, itself, is a good thing for your body!

Swear rids toxins from your pores, including your hair. For example, if you quit smoking or drinking sugary drinks, sweat is a way to detox your body from harmful toxins!

Sweating is the result of increased heat and increased blood flow, and this increased blood flow also improves circulation, which in turn promotes healing and even thicker hair.

These are all great things!

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.

So, make sure you always shower after your workouts, and always use shampoo on your scalp.

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 life is so stressful that your emotions are bordering on trauma, severe anxiety, or depression, it’s time to seek help or make a change in your life.

There are several natural remedies for stress, but you may also want to consider speaking with a professional who can help you handle your thoughts and emotions.

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.

Getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals promotes hair growth as well. So, make sure that you’re eating a diet high in plant foods that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as occasional animal foods to fill in additional vitamin and mineral gaps.

Minerals like zinc, magnesium, and sulfur, along with vitamins like folic acid, biotin, and inositol play a vital role in maintaining healthy and beautiful hair!

Don’t rely solely on supplements to get your nutrition, either.

Eating a healthy diet, complete with additional supplements or superfood powders only if necessary, is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need!

Actual Causes of Hair Loss in Bodybuilders

weightlifting and hair loss

As I mentioned before, the most likely causes of hair loss for bodybuilders are genetic factors or stress.

For female bodybuilders, hair loss can be caused by additional factors such as using an improper hair straightener that damages your hair.

Although it is likely not going to cause hair loss on its own, the relationship between bodybuilders, hair loss, and DHT is important to be mindful of. DHT is produced when testosterone is converted by the enzyme 5AR (5 Alpha Reductase).

Although DHT and 5AR have been associated with hair loss, as studies have shown that people who have high levels of 5AR in their bodies also have higher levels of DHT, bodybuilders who use testosterone therapy or other synthetic hormonal therapies may be at an increased risk for hair loss.

Due to this, DHT blocker supplements may be useful. In fact, Finasteride, an inhibitor of type II 5alpha-reductase, decreases serum and scalp DHT by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT, and slowed the progression of hair loss and increased hair growth in clinical trials over 2 years.

If a doctor has recommended that you try a DHT blocker, you can take your pick from these best natural DHT blockers or you can ask for their suggestion.

Dietary Factors and Hair Loss in Bodybuilding

Dietary factors are incredibly important in enabling your hair to grow consistently.

A diet that 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

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 adequately grow hair.

Sweet Potatoes

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

Coconut oil is an oil that 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.

Coconut oil is particularly high in lauric acid, which naturally occurs in human breast milk and supports hormone and cellular health.

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.

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Adam Kemp
Hello! My name is Adam Kemp, and I am a professional basketball player and Certified Personal Trainer. In 2014 I graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Sports Communications and a Minor in Psychology. Also, I am currently a Masters Student studying Nutrition Education at American University. Please enjoy the health and fitness articles on my website, where you can find a variety of information I have learned throughout my life and see my unique perspective on health and fitness overall. If you would like to learn more about my life, please take a moment to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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