Does masturbation cause hair loss?

26th Aug, 06:34

Here at Pilot HQ, we're encountered a number of ridiculous mistruths since we started to lift the veil on all things men's health.

And whether it's dodgy "natural" home remedies or equally dodgy old wives tales that we uncover, the amount of, for lack of a better term, utter bullshit, that gets spread online about men's health never ceases to amaze.

But of all the zany, whacky, and downright ridiculous men's health myths we've read and heard, the silliest is arguably the notion that masturbating can lead to hair loss.

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Where did this myth even come from?

Masturbation has been linked to a number of weird medical conditions over the years, from blindness (a real condition that is not caused by masturbation) to growing hair on the palms of your hands (not a real condition); impotence and genital damage. But it's not entirely clear where the myth that it makes your hair fall out originated.

The most common theory is that, because masturbation tends to lead to ejaculation, and semen is made of protein, that you "waste" protein that could otherwise assist in the production of healthy hair follicles every time you masturbate.

That is a ludicrous theory—semen does contain a fair bit of protein by volume, but most men won't ejaculate more than 4mL of semen when they, ahem, arrive—a miniscule amount.

Another ludicrous theory is that masturbation increases testosterone levels, and hence increases the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness.

But that not only sounds unscientific, science has already debunked it: a 2001 study proved that men's testosterone levels actually increased after three weeks of abstaining form masturbation.

What causes hair loss, then?

Hair loss ultimately occurs when our hair follicles decide to stop regrowing.

A lot of this is down to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male sex hormone that can bind to receptors in your hair follicles and cause them to shrink, weaken, and die. When that happens, your hair follicles will no longer produce new hair.

In actual fact, most cases of hair loss can be linked to heredity (the genetic history of your parents). This typically shows up in the form of male-pattern baldness that you might’ve already seen on your dad.

And while it's the obvious and most likely culprit, hair loss can also be caused by a few other factors:

  • Side effects from medication
  • Stress
  • A medical condition that triggers hormone changes
  • Your hairdresser (bleaching your hair, cornrows, hot oil treatments, and perms—all of these can cause inflammation and scarring).

These are just a few examples, but the main reason you will start losing your hair is that it's in your genes: plain and simple.

And it's not uncommon. According to Andrology Australia, 20 per cent of men will notice their hair thinning by the time they're 20, 30 per cent by their 30s, and so on and so forth.

When men reach 50, male pattern baldness will have affected around 85 per cent of men, according to the The American Hair Loss Organisation.

The good news is, hair loss is treatable. Modern pharmaceuticals, like those in Pilot's hair loss plans, are easily available, affordable, and effective in helping men keep and regrow their hair. Plus, you still get to jerk off.

So does masturbation cause hair loss?

Although majority of us masturbate (80% of us according to this study), and most men will lose our hair, there's literally no link between the two. In short, no. Masturbation does not cause hair loss.

Next question.

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Read next:
How much does a hair transplant cost in Australia?
5 Hair loss causes that a lot of people don't know about
What age should I be losing my hair?