Does Working Out Cause Hair Loss? What You Need To Know

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Exercise is essential for all people to keep healthy and comes in many forms but it is possible to overdo it. In this article, we discuss whether working out can in fact cause hair loss.  

Does Working Out Cause Hair Loss?

Written By Summer Wise

So, does working out cause hair loss?

In general, working out does not cause hair loss. However, excessive exercise paired with poor nutrition and lack of hair care could cause hair loss. Make sure you balance your workouts with a nutritious diet alongside a proper hair care routine.

Too Much Exercise And Hair Loss

Regular exercise does not affect hair loss and neither does intensive, daily exercise. In fact, working out regularly could even help prevent the development of conditions that would cause hair loss.

Daily workouts can also reduce general stress and improves blood circulation. This provides benefits for the entire body.

However, over-exercising to an extreme level may contribute to malnutrition and chronic stress.

Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which is used in the body for the regulation of processes such as fat distribution, hair growth, and stress responses.

When cortisol is used up constantly in response to stress, the hair growth cycle can be affected. 

In this way, excessive and stress-inducing exercise could lead to hair loss. However, it would have to take place over a prolonged period. It is usually also paired with an inadequate diet that lacks the nutrients necessary for hair growth.

Symptoms You May Be Over-Exercising

Over-exercising is an unsustainable practice for the body and can result in symptoms that signify the damage being done. These symptoms can include:

  • Long-lasting muscle pain
  • Performance Issues
  • Insomnia
  • Injuries
  • Tiredness

If your exercise routine is causing symptoms such as these, it is important to reduce the frequency and intensity of the workouts to help your body function healthily.

Working out may not cause hair loss directly but pushing your body to its limits will reduce its capabilities for functions and hair growth is no exception.

Also Read: How To Use Castor Oil For Hair Loss

How Does Hair Loss Occur?

Hair loss most often occurs due to an imbalance of hormones inside the body. This can interrupt the cycle of growth for hair or cause it to fall out prematurely.

Hair follicles are the part of the body that hair grows from, developing from the root.

Follicles are the tiny holes in your skin from which the hair grows, emerges, and sheds. When hair is dropped from the follicle and hair does not regrow, hair loss occurs.

Other Causes Of Hair Loss

There are many reasons why hair loss may occur that have nothing to do with exercise.

Hair loss can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the root cause. Genetic baldness is most often permanent, while an imbalance or deficiency may be able to be fixed which will allow hair to regrow. 


Hair loss can simply occur in some people due to their genetics which could cause balding if they have a family history.

This is most likely the cause for male pattern baldness, as opposed to random patches of hair loss, although pattern baldness can occur for different reasons.

Traction Alopecia

For those with long hair, it is necessary to tie hair up before exercising to keep it out of your eyes and face while moving around.

If you are exercising daily, your hair is pulled up into a tie very regularly which could begin a condition known as traction alopecia.

This is when hair loss occurs around the face due to hair being pulled back tightly regularly. The tension causes hair to break or pull out from the follicle, which can leave bald spots at the front of the hair.

Physical Damage

Follicles can also stop producing hair due to physical damage. This includes burns, scarring, or other injuries to the scalp. If the follicle is damaged, its ability to produce hair is impaired. 

Therefore, if you have a patch of the scalp that is physically injured or similarly compromised it is possible to experience hair loss in that spot due to that damage alone.

Hormone Imbalance

Many instances of hair loss are related to various hormones throughout the body. Hair growth can be interrupted by certain contraception, medication, and treatments. These may also cause hair shedding.

This type of hair loss is more likely to be reversible but is still an issue that requires work to help prevent as much hair loss as possible.

Poor Diet

Not getting the correct amount of nutrients, vitamins, and calories into your body leave your hair without the necessary elements needed to continue healthy growth. 

Those who restrict calories too much or eat an unbalanced diet may find they start losing hair after a while on the diet.

Paired with excessive working out, it can cause hair to fall out or break due to poor health.

How To Prevent Hair Loss

Hair loss that is not due to genetics can often be helped by improving your diet, reducing stress where possible, and introducing a hair/scalp care routine into your daily life.

A diet packed with nutrients and the correct number of calories will greatly aid health, especially when paired with regular, achievable exercising practices.

Knowing your body’s limits will help to prevent overexertion and hair loss that can follow extreme workout habits.

If you tie your hair back to exercise, use a hair-friendly tie, and be sure to not pull at the scalp when fixing the style into place.

Reducing this pressure on the roots will help prevent hair from being pulled out in patches and reduce the chances of traction alopecia.

Some people also turn to natural remedies such as moringa powder or black tea to help with hair loss.

Hormonal imbalances and medication-induced hair loss should be discussed with your doctor to find out the best course of action for your personal issues and ways to recover lost hair.

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Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.