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Can Exercise Really Make Your Hair Grow?

When you are losing your hair, you will listen to just about anything that might help you regrow some of that hair back that you have lost. The advice doesn’t even have to come from a medical professional either. If the cashier at the local supermarket casually mentions that she heard that bathing in vinegar could regrow hair, we both know you would run home and fill up the tub. One popular piece of advice that is thrown around quite often is how certain exercises can help a person regrow hair.

Is There Science Behind It?

It may surprise you to know that there is actually a little science behind the idea pf exercise possibly helping you regrow your hair. As you exercise, blood circulates through the body faster than it normally would. Increased circulation stimulates the hair follicles and results in extra hair growth. When your cardiovascular system is operating correctly, your nails become stronger and healthier, your skin becomes clearer and has a bit of a glow to it, and your hair grows quicker and fuller. Who knew that exercise could be good for your hair as well as your body? However, not all exercise is ideal for trying to regrow hair.

Doesn’t Strength Training Increase Testosterone?

If you are sticking to only cardio and doing it often enough, you just might regrow some of the hair that you have lost. However, if you have been enjoying a strength-training program for years, those extra muscles might be costing you a few hair follicles. 

Dr. Jeffrey Rawnsley, clinical associate professor of Facial and Plastic Surgery at UCLA and director of the Rawnsley Hair Restoration Clinic, says that, in theory, lifting weights can lead to shrinking hair follicles and hair loss. As you lift heavy weights, it increases the amount of testosterone traveling around your body. Testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and can result in the shrinkage of hair follicles on your head. Those fine, baby hairs that are barely visible on your scalp could be a result of DHT affecting your hair growth.

Is There Actual Regrowth or Is the Existing Hair Just Growing Faster?

Many people have noticed their hair growing like crazy when they have incorporated a consistent cardio routine into their daily habits. There are hair care forums dedicated to this topic, where people proclaim it makes a huge difference. However, if you have lost quite a bit of hair, don’t expect miracles. It will help your existing hair grow faster and fuller but do not count on it reviving dead follicles where no hair exists anymore. If there has been no hair growing out of that follicle for years, all the cardio in the world won’t bring it back.

Can Exercise Also Have a Negative Effect on Hair Growth?

Every positive in life always seems to have a negative, no matter what topic we are talking about. We already mentioned how exercising with weights can lead to higher testosterone which then changes to DHT and can shrink hair follicles, but there are other ways that exercise can negatively affect hair growth.

Most people sweat while they work out, especially when they are doing cardio. The sweat can build up on the scalp and negatively affect hair growth by clogging the follicles. In addition, as the hair soaks in the sweat, it can make the hair dull and lead to breakage. If your hair is pulled back into a tight ponytail, it can make it even worse. Try to wash your hair not long after your workout to combat the sweat problem.

If swimming is your thing, the chlorinated pool water could be considered your mortal enemy. If you swim a few times a week, the chlorine will damage your hair over time. You can always combat it though with a swim cap if you want to protect your follicles from harm.

Lastly, when you exercise consistently and push yourself to your limit, you could be depleting your body of needed nutrients. If you are not putting these vitamins and minerals back into your body quickly, it could result in not-so-fabulous hair growth. Perhaps you could take your daily vitamin at night, right before you go to bed, to help the situation. Also, increase your protein intake as protein is good for hair as well. 

Combine Exercise with Low-Level Laser Therapy for Better Results

If you are truly interested in increasing your hair growth through exercise, you might want to stick to only cardio. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to attack hair loss in a completely different way, on top of exercise. 

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can reverse the hair loss process and stop it dead in its tracks. In fact, it is FDA-approved as it has been shown through clinical testing that LLLT could be a very effective way to stop hair loss and regrow some of your lost hair at the same time. It is 100 percent safe and can be done while you are resting, watching television, or just hanging around the house. 

Is Exercise Going to Be the Miracle You Need?

Cardio can help your hair grow faster, as it causes the blood to circulate in your scalp quicker than it normally would. With better circulation, blood carries more of the nutrients your hair needs to grow healthier and stronger. However, with this said, don’t expect any miracles. If this were the case, all the runners you see out on the road every day would have long flowing locks. 

If the hair follicles on your scalp have not produced any hair for a long period of time, cardio is not going to resurrect the dead. It may make the rest of your hair grow faster, but that is about it. But if it will give your hair a fuller look and make you healthier at the same time. It really is a win-win situation. After all, a healthy body should be even more important to you than a full head of hair.

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