May 25, 2018 2 min read

Each day many people hit the gym in order to look and feel their best. Sadly, some forms of exercise may accelerate hair loss, such as over exercising and short, intensive heavy weight lifting. At the same time, other forms of exercise like aerobics and yoga can help to prevent hair loss.

When intensively lifting weights, testosterone is released as part of the process that enables men to bulk up and get that body builder physique. This can encourage men's hair loss, because the testosterone is then converted into an androgen called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. Those with a genetic vulnerability to male pattern baldness, the DHT androgen inhibits hair growth and over time can make the hair follicles smaller. Across many hair growth cycles, hair may stop growing from these follicles altogether.

How can over exercising also can encourage hair loss?

Most would agree that over exercising can be defined as any type of work out that is performed for more than an hour a day, for more than five days. Some would recommend exercising even less. Excessively working out will put your body into a state of chronic stress. When stressed, the body believes that it is threatened and diverts blood away from the hair follicles to the vital organs, like the heart, lungs and kidneys. These hair follicles receive fewer nutrients and can eventually become permanently damaged.

Of course, not all forms of exercise encourage hair loss. Actually, exercise is often recommended to people struggling with hair loss. Healthy amounts of aerobic exercise and yoga improves circulation and reduces stress, therefore promoting hair growth. Such exercise also is far less likely to release testosterone that could be converted to hair growth-inhibiting DHT. Aerobic exercises, like swimming, jogging, walking and cycling, can even lower DHT levels.

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