You may have noticed that prominent soccer players like Wayne Rooney, David Silva, Raul Maireles or Liverpool Coach J├╝rgen Klopp have already had a hair transplant. The question arises whether hair loss can be caused from exercise. Sport actually has a positive effect on hair. You don’t have to worry about hair loss from sports if you exercise normally.

How can hair fall result from exercise?

Exercise stimulates blood circulation and thus also promotes blood circulation to the scalp. This leads to a better supply of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles.

Actually, sport should have a positive effect on hair growth. This is guaranteed with normal training. You may now be wondering why prominent soccer players, but also swimmers, runners, bodybuilders and other athletes, often suffer from hair loss.

The reason for hair loss from sport is thatprofessional athletes train very intensively. Of course the genetic factor also plays a role.

These athletes have already a predisposition to a hereditary hair loss, which applies to about 80 percent of all men and manifests itself with a receding hairline and a balding patch on top of the head.

This exercise hair loss is caused by an elevated testosterone level. When testosterone is broken down, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced, which deposits on the hair roots and damages them. The growth phases of the hair shorten so that the hair falls out early and becomes thinner and thinner.

As a result, the hair follicles die and can no longer produce new hair. Hair loss from exercise occurs because exercise increases testosterone levels.

With intensive and frequent training, the testosterone level climbs accordingly. In weightlifting athletes, hair loss from exercise is often caused by the use of steroids that contain a high concentration of testosterone.

These steroids are said to give the body an additional boost of strength. The body shuts down its own testosterone production and has to process the high testosterone intake. This creates a high concentration of dihydrotestosterone.

High concentration of lactic acid

If you train intensively, muscle soreness will occur. This is due to the lactic acid, which is produced by the body during intensive and long training. This causes the body to become acidic. In order to neutralize this acidification, the body attacks its mineral depots. Minerals, especially

are important for healthy hair. Iron promotes blood circulation, blood formation and oxygen saturation in the blood. The hair is better supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Calcium, iodine, zinc and selenium promote hair growth.

If these minerals are missing, this can lead to hair loss in the long term. Acidification can also promote hair loss. If you train in a healthy way, you do not have to fear hair loss through exercise.

You can compensate for a possible lack of minerals after exercise with basic foods or with eggs, nuts, vegetables and fruit. You should allow your body sufficient rest periods after training.

Mechanical stress

Another possibility why hair loss can occur due to too much exercise is a strong mechanical stress on the hair. However, this is only the case if you are tying your hair back tightly with a rubber band or wearing a baseball cap that is very tight.

There is friction in the affected areas during sports. This form of hair loss is known as mechanical hair loss or traction alopecia which causes the hair to break.

Then the hair strands grow ever thinner because the growth phases shorten. The hair enters the resting phase prematurely and falls out. The hair follicles twist and eventually cannot produce new hair.

You can avoid this hair loss through too much exercise by avoiding tight-fitting baseball caps or hair ties during training. The hair can grow back normally if the hair follicles are still intact and the mechanical stress is no longer present.


Another reason why hair loss from sports is mentioned may be sweating on the head. With intensive training, sweating will naturally occur. Sweating can promote dandruff and hair fall.

But don’t panic. You can prevent this hair loss from exercise by taking a shower after exercising and washing the sweat out of your hair with a mild shampoo.

However, if you sweat excessively, not only when exercising, you should consult a doctor. A thyroid problem could cause sweating and hair loss.

How to avoid hair loss from exercise

If you like to exercise, you can avoid hair loss through exercise by sticking to the following regime:

  • don’t exercise too intensely
  • allow your body to rest
  • eat a healthy and varied diet to compensate for overacidification
  • do not take steroids
  • do not tie your hair back tight and avoid constricting baseball caps

Nothing speaks against daily training. However, you shouldn’t train too long. Two training-free days a week are also recommended. With an extended walk or with a sport that does not demand too much of your body, for example Nordic Walking, you can still enjoy physical activity.

Conclusion: Hair loss through sport – a myth

Hair loss caused by exercise is only partially true. Professional athletes who are already affected by hereditary hair loss and train intensively suffer from hair loss.

The intensive training increases the testosterone level. Hair loss is promoted by dihydrotestosterone as a degradation product of testosterone. Bodybuilding athletes, taking steroids with a high concentration of testosterone, will most likely suffer from hair loss.

An increased concentration of lactic acid can also promote hair loss through exercise during intensive training. With a reasonable amount of training and a healthy and balanced diet, you don’t have to worry about hair loss.

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