Does Working Out Cause Hair Loss? Definitive Answer

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Staying fit and healthy is a top priority for many of us. We hit the gym, pound the pavement, or sweat it out in fitness classes, all in the name of better health and a more toned physique.

But what if the price of those six-pack abs or toned legs was your hair?

When clumps of hair start to populate our bathroom floors and hairbrushes, it can feel as though we're losing more than just strands of keratin.

There's a lot of conjecture and misconception surrounding hair loss, and surprisingly, one of these involves the world of fitness.

Does hitting the gym equate to hitting the drain with your locks?

In this article, we will sift through scientific evidence and expert advice, offering a clear, concise, and engaging read for anyone intrigued by this topic.

Are your regular exercising habits causing your hair to thin or even fall out? Or is this just another gym myth that needs busting?

Does working out cause hair loss?

No, working out does not cause hair loss. Exercise, in general, is beneficial for your overall health, including the health of your hair. However, certain factors related to intense physical activity could potentially contribute to hair loss indirectly. These include:

  1. Stress: Intense training can sometimes lead to physical stress, which might trigger a type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium. But this is typically temporary.
  2. Nutritional Deficiencies: If your diet lacks essential nutrients due to intense exercise or dieting, it could lead to hair loss.
  3. Hormonal Changes: Intense exercise can influence hormone levels, which may indirectly affect hair health.
  4. Sweat and Hygiene: Excessive sweating during workouts can cause irritation or fungal infections on the scalp, potentially affecting hair health.
Why you can trust Scandinavian Biolabs?
TrichoAI Hair Loss Analysis
Our free, anonymous and dermatologist-developed AI analyzes your hair loss in 30 seconds, suggesting personalized solutions to combat thinning. Understanding your hair condition has never been easier.
Yes, I want to fix hair loss

How can working out cause hair loss?

does working out cause hair loss

Exercise, in and of itself, does not typically cause hair loss. However, one of the most common causes of hair loss related to exercise can be extreme conditions, such as overtraining, inadequate rest, or a deficient diet. 

Whether you're a runner who enjoys cardio workouts or a bodybuilder who prefers weightlifting, most intensities of exercise don't provoke the hormonal responses necessary to induce baldness

However, certain extreme conditions might cause hair loss related to exercise.

If you're pushing your body to its limits and getting too much exercise, you could be placing significant stress on yourself that disrupts the growth phase of your hair follicles, hair loss or even thinning hair can occur.

These conditions often involve overtraining, inadequate rest, poor nutrition, or substance misuse. 

But this scenario is quite rare. Once these stressful conditions are removed and the body has a chance to recover, hair loss can be prevented or even reversed.

One crucial element of this conversation is the role of diet. While regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, when coupled with restrictive dieting, it can lead to nutritional shortages, such as iron deficiency that might exacerbate hair fall. 

To sum it up, striking a balance is crucial: maintain a moderate exercise routine, ensure you're nourishing your body with a balanced diet, and provide it with ample time to rest and recover.

What is considered excessive exercise?

workout hair loss

Excessive exercise, which may involve strenuous physical activity, can vary from person to person, but generally, it refers to a workout routine or exercise intensity that significantly surpasses recommended levels without adequate recovery time. The American Heart Association suggests about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, spread out across several days to allow for body recovery. 

This could look like a blend of moderate and vigorous activities throughout the week, like doing yoga or taking leisurely walks on some days, and engaging in aerobics, boxing, or weightlifting on others. 

These low-intensity exercises allow your body adequate time to rest and recover. 

The key here is to distribute these activities over several days to allow your body adequate time to rest and recover. 

With this level of exercise, a regular, balanced diet is typically sufficient to support your body's nutritional needs.

For individuals who prefer high-intensity workouts, it's crucial to seek guidance from professionals like trainers or doctors to ensure proper nutrition and avoid chronic stress.

What should be done with hair after a workout session?

temporary hair loss

While the exercise itself doesn't typically induce hair loss, it could potentially affect the quality of your hair, leading to issues like limp strands, split ends, or even heavy hair fall. 

Ensuring your care for your hair correctly after a workout can help maintain its health and vitality.

Here's a step-by-step guide on what to do with your hair after a workout:

  • Dry your hair: Sweat can make your hair wet, and tying wet hair can lead to damage. After your workout, make sure to dry your hair thoroughly before you tie it up. This will help to avoid any unnecessary pulling or tearing of your hair strands.
  • Gentle combing: Once your hair is dry, gently comb through it. This will help to distribute the natural oils produced by your scalp during your workout. These oils can act as a natural conditioner, helping to keep your hair healthy and shiny.
  • Wait before showering: If possible, wait a few minutes before taking a shower. This will give the natural oils from your sweat time to nourish your hair follicles and strands.
  • Avoid harsh treatments: Try to minimize the use of harsh chemical treatments or excessive heat on your hair. These can disrupt the natural growth cycle of your hair and may affect its overall quality.

Tips for supporting stressed-out hair

Use Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

The Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine consists of Hair Growth Serum, Hair Strength Shampoo, and Hair Recovery Conditioner, which can be part of your regular hair care regimen.

The Hair Growth Serum is applied to the scalp once daily and contains ingredients like Capilia Longa and Vanillyl Butyl Ether.

The Hair Strength Shampoo, applied during your regular shower routine, will help to nourish your hair and scalp with vital nutrients, offering the benefits of Aloe Vera for added hydration and scalp health.

Finally, you should apply the Hair Recovery Conditioner after shampooing to enhance hair texture and provide additional nutrients through its Amino Acid Complex. 

Moreover, the use of Zinc PCA in the products helps to regulate sebum production, creating a balanced scalp environment conducive to healthy hair growth.

All these steps together, when done regularly, can be highly beneficial in relieving the stress from your hair and promoting its overall health and vitality. 

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding

Maintain a balanced diet

proper diet for hair loss

A proper diet, rich in essential nutrients, plays a vital role in maintaining the health and strength of your hair.

Nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to healthier, stronger hair. Incorporate lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats into your meals to support your overall hair health.

Manage stress

low intensity exercise hair loss

Chronic stress can negatively impact your hair, potentially leading to conditions like telogen effluvium, a type of temporary hair loss. 

Incorporating stress-management practices into your day-to-day life can help maintain your overall well-being and, by extension, your hair health.

These can include yoga, meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or even just taking a walk in nature.

Get enough sleep

sleep for hair growth

Don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. Restorative sleep aids the body in repairing and regenerating cells - including those of your hair.

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to ensure your body and your hair, are getting the recovery time they need.

Do aerobic exercises cause less hair loss than anaerobic exercises?

Aerobic and anaerobic exercises both contribute to overall health and improved circulation, which can indirectly benefit hair health. There's no definitive evidence suggesting that either type of exercise directly impacts hair loss or that aerobic exercises cause less hair loss than anaerobic exercises. Physical activity, in general, helps maintain a healthy circulatory system, which may promote healthier hair growth by delivering essential nutrients to the scalp.

It's important to note that while physical activity is beneficial, extreme or sudden changes in your exercise routine can potentially cause temporary hair shedding, a condition known as telogen effluvium.

This is more likely related to stress on the body and not specific to the type of exercise performed.

If you notice changes in your hair while adjusting your exercise routine, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional or a trichologist.

Do resistance exercises cause more hair loss than cardio?

While both cardio and resistance exercises offer numerous health benefits, their impacts on hair health can differ due to the distinct biochemical responses they elicit. Resistance training can cause a slight increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can contribute to hair loss in genetically predisposed individuals. 

However, this rise is typically minor compared to other stress sources. On the other hand, cardio exercise, even of moderate intensity, can enhance total body blood flow, including to the scalp.

This improved circulation could potentially bolster hair follicle function, possibly mitigating the risk of baldness.

Does bodybuilding cause hair loss?

Incorporating a mix of cardio and weight lifting into your fitness routine should not negatively affect your hair, provided it's done in balance. However, the situation can change when weightlifting is overdone.

Intense, excessive weight lifting can lead to elevated testosterone levels, which can cause your hair follicles to shrink. This shrinkage can result in hair thinning and may also impede your hair's normal growth cycle.

So, while bodybuilding itself doesn't directly cause hair loss, excessive training, and the associated hormonal fluctuations could potentially affect your hair health.

As with all exercise, moderation, and balance are key to maintaining your overall well-being, including the health of your hair.

Do workout supplements cause hair loss?

The relationship between workout supplements and hair loss can vary depending on the ingredients within these supplements. Certain products, particularly those containing hormones, may potentially impact your hairline by affecting your body's testosterone levels, potentially leading to androgenetic alopecia. This could be especially concerning for individuals already genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness.

Therefore, if you're susceptible to such genetic hair loss or female pattern baldness, it might be advisable to get your protein from natural sources instead.

Foods like fish, eggs, or nuts can provide the necessary protein for muscle growth and recovery without the potential hormone-related risks associated with some workout supplements. 


Navigating the intersection of fitness and hair health can sometimes feel like a tightrope walk, given the many myths and misconceptions surrounding this topic.

However, as we've explored in this article, it's crucial to remember that balance is key. 

Regular, moderate exercise paired with a well-rounded diet and ample rest can support both your overall health and the well-being of your hair.

Remember to take care of your hair on a regular basis, especially after a workout session, to maintain its health.

While certain scenarios, such as overtraining or consuming hormone-laden workout supplements, might impact hair health, you can always refer to some products such as the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine to alleviate your hair growth. 

Ultimately, whether you're hitting the gym or pounding the pavement, it's important to listen to your body and respect its limits.

Ensuring that your physical fitness pursuits align with your overall wellness goals can lead to a healthier, happier you.



Read more:

Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.