Exercise is undoubtedly a good thing for your overall health, and a necessary component of a fit and active life. But, just how does exercise affect other things like your hair growth or patterned hair loss?
As you might suspect, for most people, exercise is likely to have a positive trickle-down effect on other parts of your appearance including your skin, hair, and youthful glow.
Gym rats may argue that more is more when it comes to extra hours pounding the pavement or lifting weights. But, as it turns out, it may be possible to have too much of a good thing as far as your hair is concerned.
Below, we will cover the positive impact that exercise can have on your hair, including what can occur to your hair if you are regularly overdoing it with your workout regimen, and some general guidelines for exercising in a more responsible way.
For most people embarking on a reasonable exercise regimen, they can likely expect a few positives as far as their general hair health goes.
Better blood flow is almost always a good thing for your hair. Your hair follicles are embedded in your scalp and fed by a network of tiny vessels to supply them with oxygen and nutrients necessary for hair growth, maintenance, and building blocks. In general, improvements in scalp blood flow may be able to optimize growth and provide a good baseline for healthy hair follicles. Most exercises improve blood flow during and for a while after you are active, giving your whole body a blood flow boost.
Exercise can be a great, healthy way to keep your stress levels in check. And, since prolonged chronic stress can induce high cortisol levels and even sometimes trigger hair shedding events, a regular exercise routine can mean good things for your locks as well.
During a good night’s sleep, your body takes the time to renew, repair, and regenerate your cells. This also applies to the cells that make up and support the healthy functioning of your hair follicles. And, anyone who has struggled with periods of bad sleep can likely attest to them not exactly looking (or feeling) their best. A regular exercise routine can help you feel ready for bed at night and improve your overall sleep quality to make sure all parts of your body are getting those all-important rest and repair hours.
While “concerns about your hair” should not be a reason for anyone to avoid exercising, there may be rare occasions where too much exercise may end up being a bad thing for your hair.
Very intense exercises that are pushing you to the point of exhaustion daily, or exercise sessions that are verging on 3-4 or more hours a day, may be considered excessive exercise. When it comes to your body excessive exercise can actually contribute to more stress, or make it difficult to meet your nutritional needs due to all the extra activity. Ultimately, increased physical stress for overtraining or inadequate nutrition can have negative consequences on your hair including stress-induced shedding, slowed growth, or accelerated hereditary hair loss.
Luckily, when most people start on a workout routine, they don’t jump right into intense 4-hour sessions daily. So, this issue is not extremely common.
According to the CDC, the exercise guidelines for general fitness in healthy adults is right around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week and 2 days of some muscle-building activities. Meaning that aiming for 30 minute moderate-intensity sessions 5 times a week could hit your targets.
If you stick around these guidelines with your workout routine and listen to your body, any hair changes that occur are more likely to be positive ones rather than negatives.
If you aren’t sure if you are healthy enough for physical activity, or which workouts may be the healthiest fit for you, talk to your doctor first to help figure out what works best for you, your body, and your current health conditions.
When it comes to exercise and your general hair health, most people can expect good things or just no change to your hair at all.
Regular moderate exercise may improve your scalp blood flow, reduce stress levels, and improve your sleep -- all of which are good things when it comes to general hair health.
But, if exercise is too extreme (on the order of 3 hours or more daily), this could lead to additional stress for your body or a nutritional deficit that negatively affects your hair.
Everyone needs to exercise in order to optimize their health. For most people, this may be a good thing as far as your hair is concerned, just don’t overdo it and listen to your body and your doctor.
A regular moderate-intensity (and duration) exercise regimen can be a great addition to a well-rounded genetic hair loss treatment plan. While exercise can’t take away the root cause of patterned hair loss, a hormone called DHT, it can encourage overall follicle health and boost scalp blood flow.
If you want to directly target DHT in order to slow hereditary hair loss, you may be a good candidate for medications like Finasteride, Dutasteride, or Spironolactone which help reduce DHT and androgens in the scalp.
At Strut, we carry oral and topical DHT reducing agents to help target male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss. If you are interested in seeing if these medications are a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today in under 15 minutes.
If our doctors find that these are a good choice for you, your medication can be shipped to your front door.