Health, Men's Health

Does Masturbation Cause Hair Loss?

masturbation affects hair

There is no scientific evidence that masturbation leads to definite hair fall. The reason behind this myth is that semen consists of protein, and hence there is a certain loss of some protein at the end of every masturbation.

Several other ideas were being considered, but there was no definite conclusion that concluded masturbation results in indiscriminate hair loss. Let us get deeper into the story and understand the phenomenon in detail. 

Masturbation Causes Loss of Protein Which Affects Hair?

The predominant reason why some people think that masturbation might lead to hair loss is the fact that semen or the fluid that comes out of your penis when you ‘cum’ or ‘ejaculate’, is high in protein. So each time one ejaculates, his body is losing protein which is also responsible for hair growth. Each ejaculation deprives the body of the proteins that could be used for hair growth. 

Now, it is true that semen is high in protein, and it contains about 5.04 grams of protein per 100 milliliters of semen. But the amount of semen one tends to lose when he ejaculates is actually quite a meager amount.

Each ejaculation contains just 3.4 milliliters to 3.7 milliliters of semen, which is a very insignificant amount compared to how much protein the normal person ingests in a single day. This means that in order to lose just five milligrams of protein, you’d need to masturbate or have sex almost 30 times. 

So, in the simplest terms, one needs to ejaculate near about 4 ounces of semen (which is approximately half a cup) which is equivalent to the protein of one egg white. One consumes approximately six grams of protein every time one eats an egg, and 30 to 60 grams every time one eats a chicken breast. 

Hence the protein lost can be easily regained in no time. Although one tends to lose some protein when he reaches orgasm and ejaculates, the amount is totally insignificant compared to the average person’s dietary protein intake.

Our guide to how much masturbation is too much explains more about the effects. 

Can Masturbation Cause Hair Loss by Increasing DHT Levels?

Another theory behind the so-called relationship between masturbation and hair fall, is that masturbation increases the levels of the sex hormone called testosterone, which in turn raises the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone which is responsible for hair loss.

DHT binds itself to the receptors in the scalp and causes the hair follicle to shrink around the hairline and crown area, leading to hair loss in men who are genetically sensitive to DHT.  

Having said that, sexual activity has no measurable effect on testosterone. In fact, a 2001 study found that adult males who abstained from masturbation for three weeks actually had elevated levels of testosterone. DHT is a metabolite of testosterone. Whether it is masturbation or sexual intercourse, it doesn’t have any positive or negative effects on DHT Levels.

So technically, DHT is responsible for hair loss among both men and women. But, masturbation does not lead to hair loss because masturbation does not increase testosterone levels among women which could potentially convert to DHT.

However, there are other hormones that are affected due to masturbation or sex, but their levels in the body have nothing to do with hair loss. For example, one such hormone is oxytocin; which affects the pleasure centers of the brain. There is surely some evidence that advocates that oxytocin could affect the conversion of testosterone to DHT, but the studies do not specifically point out whether it is masturbation that is having an impact on DHT and not other situations that produce oxytocin. 

A lot of men are genetically predisposed to hair loss. It is a common hair loss condition caused by heredity passed down from either side of the family where the person’s hair follicles are more sensitive to the adverse effects of DHT than others. It is the genetic sensitivity of hair follicles, which causes the thinning of hair, and not the person’s high or low libido.

DHT is one of the major reasons behind male pattern baldness. DHT is made post-converting testosterone via the enzyme called 5α-reductase. There is no definite role of masturbation or sex in the process where the hair follicles shrink and stop growing. 

Hence, in case anyone is observing a receding hairline or if the hair is getting thinner, a lot of factors may be responsible for it. Some of the probable factors of hair fall are:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Skin disorders
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Excessive use of hair treatments or hairstyling
  • Radiation therapy
  • Certain medications and drugs

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