Urban legends and myths have some people attributing their thinning hairline to the question: does masturbation cause hairfall? There are so many theories that masturbation can result in you going blind to myths about masturbation causing hair to grow on the palms of your hands. But is any of it real? Does your precious hair have to take the hit? We put on our detective hats and found the following answers:
Does Masturbation Cause Hairfall?
One of the myths of masturbation is the idea that masturbation will cause your hair to fall. This is untrue.
Interestingly, some of the websites that claim masturbation causes baldness back up their hair loss claims with evidence that sounds quite reasonable.
But don’t worry because there’s absolutely no scientific evidence linking masturbation to hair loss (or even hair health in general, for that matter).
Nor is there any relationship between the amount of sex you have and the thickness or health of your hair.
What Started the Claim That Masturbation Causes Hairfall?
Some websites reason that because semen contains high levels of protein, each ejaculation deprives the body of the proteins that it could be using for hair growth. Indeed, semen is high in protein — it contains about 5.04 grams of protein per 100 milliliters of semen — but each ejaculation contains just 3.7 milliliters of semen, which is a very insignificant amount compared to how much protein the normal person ingests in a single day.
Basically, you’d have to ejaculate nearly 4 ounces of semen (which can be measured at about half a cup) to match the protein of one egg white!
Some say that masturbation increases testosterone, which in turn increases levels of DHT (a hormone linked to hair loss). Male pattern baldness is caused by DHT, which is made when your body converts testosterone into DHT through the 5α-reductase enzyme.
At no point does masturbation play any real role in the process of causing hair follicles to stop growing.
Reality is far from this as sexual activity has no measurable effect on testosterone. In fact, a 2001 study found that adult males who stayed away from masturbation for three weeks actually had elevated levels of testosterone.
Either way, what goes on down there in no way impacts your look up there. So, you do you — and don’t worry about your hairline taking a hit.
What Really Causes Hair Loss?
If you’ve noticed your hair falling out or your hairline starting to recede, it’s far more likely to be a side effect of sensitivity to stress, nutrition or lifestyle issues than the result of too much masturbation. You can treat these by taking action to lower your DHT levels using medication or changing your diet and lifestyle to eliminate the factors that contribute to hair loss. Below, we’ll look at some of the common reasons for why your hair is actually falling:
Hereditary male pattern baldness accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men.
Genetics plays the largest role in how susceptible you are to androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness), which is the most common form of hair loss. But before you play the blame game, know that these genes can come from both your paternal and maternal side.
Hormones have a hand in hair growth—or lack thereof. For instance, abnormal levels of androgens (hormones that primarily influence the development of the male reproductive system) can contribute to hair loss.
Medical conditions, including—but not limited to—anemia, diabetes, eating disorders, iron deficiency, lupus, and thyroid disease can cause hair loss. The good news is that the hair usually returns once the underlying condition has been treated.
Diet can affect hair health. If your diet’s low on iron-rich foods, you may not be getting enough of the protein ferritin, which plays a critical role in iron storage and has been shown to impact your body’s ability to produce hair. Additionally, severely limiting calorie intake can lead to temporary hair loss too, so please eat a well-balanced diet!
Medications can disrupt the normal cycle of hair growth, leading to two types of hair loss: telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium. Telogen effluvium, which is the more common of the two, causes the hair follicles to go into their resting (telogen) phase and fall out prematurely. Drugs that can cause telogen effluvium include blood thinners, beta-adrenergic blockers to control blood pressure, and birth control pills. Anagen effluvium, which affects cancer patients who are taking chemotherapy drugs, takes place during the hairs’ active growth (anagen) phase, and inhibits the matrix cells, which produce new hairs, from doing their job.
Autoimmune disease can cause alopecia areata, a condition that causes hair to fall out in round patches.
Infections and skin conditions
Infections and skin conditions can do a number on the scalp, leading to hair loss. If ringworm (a fungal infection) develops on the scalp, it can cause patches of hair loss called “tinea capitis.”
Severe infection or folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) can permanently destroy hair follicles leaving small bald patches in its wake. Piedra (a hair disease caused by fungus) deposits hard nodules on hair fibers, weakening them and making them susceptible to breakage.
Injuries and burns
Injuries and burns can cause hair loss but this is usually temporary.
After the wound has healed, normal hair growth will resume. However, scars and hair don’t get along: If a scar is produced, hair will usually never regrow there.
Haircare can contribute to hair loss, too, even though it seems counterintuitive. For instance, if you use hot tools (think flat irons or blow dryers) to style your hair, you can make it weak and brittle over time. But the hair care we are talking about is precautionary.
Avoid heat, tight braids and hair extensions as they can cause tension that eventually leads to hair breakage.
Tension and anxiety can impact the health of your hair. Stress causes people to experience a (temporary) thinning of hair for several months after undergoing a significant emotional or physical shock or trauma.
In short, you can rest easy knowing that masturbation won’t affect your hairline, hair thickness or any aspect of your hair health. Neither will sex. If either did, the vast majority of the world’s population would have serious hair loss problems. Not to mention that we’d be able to spot married couples (who usually slow their sex life down) with long locks and single people bald everywhere. But all jokes aside, this issue would have been studied in length by the medical community – just like a common cold.
As always, you should contact a doctor if you notice a change to your hair, and they can help you identify the root cause. The good news is that if you’re suffering from hair loss, it has nothing to do with masturbation.