Does masturbation cause hair loss?

28th Sep, 02:34

Medically reviewed by Dr Russell Knudsen, MB BS FACCSM — Written by Joe Cutcliffe

There are many myths surrounding masturbation, one of the strangest being the idea that masturbation causes hair loss. But is there any truth to this theory?

We’ve heard masturbation can send you blind. We’ve heard it can bring on erectile dysfunction.

But of all the myths and misconceptions we’ve come across since we started to lift the veil on all things men's health, the idea that masturbation causes hair loss is one of the strangest.

If it sounds silly, that’s because it is. Masturbation does not cause hair loss in men and there is literally no link between hair fall and masturbation.

Which makes us wonder: why are there so many myths surrounding self-pleasure, and where did these ludicrous theories even come from? Below, we unpack the most common masturbation myths doing the rounds online.

Does masturbation cause hair loss?

Answer: No. Masturbation does not cause hair loss.

Masturbation is a normal part of self-pleasure and hair loss is a common experience for men of all ages, but the two are in no way related.

Most cases of hair loss can be linked to heredity, that is, the genetic history of your parents. Hair loss experienced by men most typically shows up in the form of male-pattern baldness that you might’ve already seen on your dad. How often you jerk off really has nothing to do with your receding hairline. So where did the theory come from?

It was once hypothesised that, because masturbation usually leads 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.

It’s true that semen does contain a fair bit of protein by volume, but most men won't ejaculate more than 4mL of semen, which is a miniscule amount and definitely not enough to impact hair growth.

Another 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 male testosterone levels actually increased after three weeks of abstaining from masturbation.

Does masturbation cause blindness?

Answer: No. Masturbation does not cause blindness and scientific studies have disproved this over and over.

Blindness can be caused by a number of conditions including glaucoma, cataracts, optic neuritis, or in the case of severe injury.

Masturbation? Not one of the reasons someone would turn blind or experience vision impairment.

Does masturbation reduce sperm count?

Answer: No. Masturbating, even daily, has little to no effect on male sperm count.

While there is some scientific evidence to show that optimum semen quality could be reached after 2-3 days of no ejaculation, a 2015 study shows that masturbating daily has no bearing on sperm quality.

Is masturbation good or bad for you?

The mistruths above would indicate masturbation is somehow a bad thing, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. Masturbation is a healthy part of one’s sexuality, and in fact, 80 percent of us admit to getting ourselves off on a regular basis.

Not only is masturbation normal, but it’s good for your body and mind, too. Regular masturbation has been found to boost your mood, alleviate stress, improve sleep, and even lower your risk of cancer.

A 2003 study from Harvard that showed masturbating 21 times a month could reduce your risk of prostate cancer, and a separate Australian study found seven times a week to be the sweet spot for your health.

That said, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Men who find themselves addicted to masturbation can see their lives impacted by their own compulsive sexual urges.

Frequent masturbation doesn’t mean you have a problem, but if you find your masturbation habits are impacting your relationships or day-to-day life (for example, leaving a social situation or work early to masturbate), then you may wish to speak to a therapist.

Treating hair loss

If it's not your masturbation habits, then why are you losing your hair?

Male pattern hair loss almost always comes down to our genetics, though thinning hair could also be related to stress, side effects from medication, medical conditions that trigger hormone changes, or your hairstyle (bleaching and cornrows can be damaging to the scalp).

Hair loss is super common in Australia, with 20 per cent of men noticing hair thinning by the time they're 20, 30 per cent by their 30s, and so on and so forth.

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.

Start an online consult

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?