Regular exercise is beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. However, some intense workouts may potentially contribute to hair loss if you're not taking the right precautions. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy keeping fit while still protecting your hair.
How to Prevent Hair Loss While Exercising
To help avoid exercise-induced hair shedding, maintain a nutritious diet, hydrate before and during workouts, handle hair gently, allow proper recovery time, and supplement to support hair growth.
Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods
Make sure you’re getting sufficient protein, iron, zinc, biotin and other hair-healthy nutrients through your diet.
Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercising to prevent dehydration and associated hair loss.
Avoid Harsh Hairstyles
Don’t pull hair too tightly back and opt for soft scrunchies over tight hair ties.
Allow Rest Days
Take 1-2 rest days per week to allow your body to properly recover and rejuvenate.
Take Supportive Supplements
Biotin, saw palmetto, collagen, and vitamin C optimize hair growth.
How Exercise Can Cause Hair LossHere are some of the ways intense, sustained exercise may lead to increased shedding:
Creates Energy Deficit
High calorie burn can deprive follicles of necessary energy.
Working out causes oxidative stress and inflammation.
Intense training increases cortisol levels which can shift follicles to dormancy.
Burns through Nutrients
Major micronutrient needs go up with intense activity.
Heavy sweating depletes fluids and electrolytes.
Tips to Minimize Hair Loss from ExerciseFollow these tips to protect your hair while staying active:
Cool Down Properly
Don't skip post-workout stretches which bring the body back into balance.
Eat More Protein
Consuming extra protein helps replace losses through sweat.
Limit Direct Heat
Allow hair to air dry and avoid heat styling to prevent damage.
Try Low-Impact Activities
Switch up intense workouts with yoga, pilates and leisurely swimming.
Wear Protective Styles
Braids, buns and headbands prevent tugging and friction.
When to See a DoctorConsult your doctor if you notice:
Sudden Hair Loss
Shedding spikes abruptly after starting a new routine.
No Improvement with Rest
Hair loss persists even with adequate rest days.
Signs like dizziness, fatigue or irregular periods accompany hair shedding.
Circular bald spots appear on the scalp.
The Bottom Line
Staying active provides many health benefits, but intense exercise may cause excessive hair shedding if care isn't taken. Following a balanced nutrition plan, allowing rest periods, hydrating well, and using protective styles helps safeguard hair.
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