“Does masturbation make you lose hair?” is a common question we get. We’ve done some research and the answer is a surprising maybe. Read on to find out why.
Why Does Hair Loss Occur?
Hair loss occurs as you get older because your body produces more of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. In men this extra DHT causes hair loss and prostate problems. Hair loss in men starts at the temples and works its way back, causing a receding hair line. Women also get hair loss from DHT which starts at the front and middle of the hair line (at the hair part) and works its way backwards and wider.
In both men and women this pattern hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia. You would think that excess DHT affects men only but women also produce smaller amounts of DHT. In women this small amount of DHT becomes more apparent to their bodies as they reach menopause. Once women reach menopause their bodies stop producing estrogen and testosterone which makes it appear as if DHT levels increase relative to other hormones.
The Science Behind Masturbation and Hair Loss
One study in men found that after masturbation, levels of testosterone increased 13.9% and DHT increased approximately 9.7%.1 If these increases were repeated enough times and for a long enough period, it is feasible that masturbation indirectly causes hair loss by increasing testosterone.
The same study found that cortisol levels also increased post-masturbation by approximately 18%. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is a steroid that suppresses the immune system as well as hair growth. This is why stress is commonly associated with “losing your hair.”
What About Masturbation in Women?
Masturbation in women may also lead to increased hair loss. Several studies have found that sexual activity causes increase of testosterone in women.2,3 Testosterone gets converted to DHT in the body by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase.
Prescription DHT blockers are available to men and women experiencing hair loss. There are also natural DHT blockers, plants and herbs that reduce DHT, that may help reduce hair loss. These can be used to decrease increased DHT levels brought about by masturbation but it may be better to practice masturbation in moderation.
In conclusion, while correlation does not equal causation, it is possible that excessive masturbation contributes to hair loss. This is because increases in DHT and cortisol after masturbation may be short lived and not last long enough to cause hair loss. More studies will need to be done.