An Unexpected Side Effect of Working Out

by Paisley Hansen 3 months ago in athletics

Here's what you need to be careful of

An Unexpected Side Effect of Working Out

Both men and women claim to have seen hair thinning as a result of working out. Is it true that working out leads to hair loss? The answer to this question is not as black and white as we'd hope. In this short blog we will be discussing how working out can contribute to hair loss, why this is the case, and how we can prevent it while continuing to workout.

So, does working out make my hair fall out? To put it simply, the answer is no. However, what does make your hair fall out is stress. Working out is critical for our health, and we all need to do it, but when you push your body to extreme limits it sends signals of distress to your brain. These distress signals can cause hair loss. Additionally, working out tends to make us sweat, and when salty sweat sits on our head, it may cause hair loss or slow hair growth.

Pushing Yourself Beyond Your Limits

Your next question might be "Well, why does stress cause hair loss?" Stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss in young people along with genetics, hormones, and diet.

For one, stress makes the body susceptible to many hair loss conditions such as Alopecia Areata, Telogen Effluvium, and Trichotillomania. All of these conditions increase the rate of hair loss. Alopecia areata causes your body's immune system to attack the hair, viewing it as a threat. Trichotillomania creates an irresistible urge for the body to pull its own hair out. Telogen effluvium is the most common stress related scalp condition affecting somewhere around 200,000 Americans. This condition, brought on by stress, allows for more hair to fall out than the body would usually allow.

Excessive sweat can also be harmful to your hair. The lactic acid produced by sweat binds with the protein inside of our hair, and weakens the overall structure, leaving the hair brittle and weak.


Many men and women with long hair opt to exercise with their hair up. If your ponytail is too tight, this can lead to hair breakage, especially around the face. To avoid this, try using a softer, less harsh hair tie. You may also want to consider wearing a loose ponytail, rather than a tight one to give your hair a break.

How to Prevent It

We all like to push our bodies to the limit at the gym, and see what we're capable of, but be sure to listen to your body. When you get home after a workout shower right away to wash all of the sweat out of your hair. With so many potential threats to maintaining healthy hair, it is crucial to eat a balanced diet, and take vitamins to maintain strong locks. If you’ve seen breakage or hair loss, consider using rosemary oil for hair growth.

On the bright side, most researchers suggest that hair loss due to anxiety is reversible. If you've lost hair due to a stress condition, changes in lifestyle, and/or diet could potentially restore your hair.


Pushing yourself to unhealthy extremes stresses out your brain, and causes excessive sweat, which results in hair loss. To avoid this issue, know when to call it a day at the gym, and simply hop in the shower once you're done.

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Paisley Hansen

Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty, and fashion. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.    

See all posts by Paisley Hansen