Does Exercise Cause Hair Loss?

A variety of factors may contribute to thinning hair, but is exercise one of them?Before you run out and cancel your gym membership, read this article. We’re going to examine whether or not working out can cause hair loss and highlight some other potential causes you should be aware of. 

Excessive Exercise Can Cause Hair Loss

While regular to moderate exercise is safe and even beneficial for hair growth, over-exerting yourself can have disastrous effects on your hair. Exercising too intensely puts immense stress on your body, which can throw the hormones that regulate your hair growth out of whack. 

Heavy exercise also dramatically increases how many nutrients your body needs to remain healthy. You’ll have to reevaluate your nutritional needs to ensure you’re supplying your body with everything it needs to handle your workout routine. 

Hair Risks Associated with Exercise

When it comes to working out, too much of a good thing can have a severe impact on the health of your hair. In addition to hair loss, exercise can have the following unwanted effects on your strands. 

  • Dry hair - Dry hair is one of the most common side effects of working out. The salt in your sweat strips your strands of their natural moisture, which can cause them to become weak and break off. 

  • Breakage - If you throw your hair into a bun or ponytail during your workout, your hair tie might be doing more harm than good. Tight hairstyles and accessories cause friction, which can cause your strands to break or fall out. Additionally, exercising outdoors exposes your hair and scalp to the sun’s damaging UV rays. 

  • Fungal infections - A damp scalp provides the perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. Sweat and oil also attract dirt, which can exacerbate scalp issues and cause hair loss. 

Other Causes of Hair Loss to Be Aware Of

Exercising excessively isn’t the only thing that can lead to drastically thinner strands. In this section, we’d like to take a look at some other causes of hair loss you should be aware of. 

  • Poor nutrition - When you exercise, your body needs more calories, nutrients, and water to run efficiently. Not compensating for this increased need can cause you to become deficient in essential nutrients, leading to brittle hair and thinning. 

  • Stress - Worrying about an upcoming weight-loss deadline? High and sustained levels of stress affect the health of your hair and may lead to significant hair loss. Luckily, you can almost always reverse stress-related hair loss by reducing your stress levels.

  • Medical conditions - If you’re suddenly experiencing an increase in hair loss, it may signify a severe underlying medical condition. There are a variety of illnesses that can lead to hair loss, including: 

    • Hormone disorders

    • Autoimmune disease

    • Scalp infections

While the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks, you don’t have to choose between beautiful hair and working out. Like most things, the key to keeping your hair healthy is to exercise moderation. Don’t push yourself too hard, and make sure your body has all the fuel it needs to keep running smoothly. We hope this article has given you all the information you need to avoid exercise-related hair loss.




Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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