Does Excessive Sweating Cause Hair Loss?

When people think about the reasons for which they suffer from hair loss, they usually put the blame on genetics or bad hair care products. Male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss. In fact, it is solely responsible for a lion’s share of all the hair loss cases in the world. Poor hair care products also significantly contribute to increased hair fall. However, incompatible shampoos and unfavourable genes are not the only two things that can make bald spots appear on your head.

The Many Factors of Hair Loss

There are numerous other factors that can considerably influence the rate at which you lose your hair. Unless you are aware of these factors, you will not be able to bring your hair fall under control. Uncontrollable hair fall can lead to partial or complete baldness at a certain point in time. Among all the factors of hair loss that you should be worried about, the one that will perhaps elude your attention is sweating.

Sweating and Hair Loss: What’s the Deal?

If you go through a few hair loss blogs and forums, you will not find much information on how sweating affects the rate of hair loss. In fact, there are professional hair loss consultants out there who may not be able to explain to you the connection between excessive sweating and persistent hair loss. This makes you wonder, is there even an association between the two to begin with?

The amount of sweat that is excreted from the body can have a direct impact on the amount of hair that you lose (provided that your hair follicles are not in a good condition and are already weak).

Isn’t Sweating supposed to be a Good Thing?

This may sound really surprising to anyone who has been told that sweating is great for the body. Under certain circumstances and in certain cases, sweating can actually be a good thing. As the saying goes, “the more you sweat in the training field, the less you bleed in the battle field”. There is no denying the fact that sweating is extremely important to maintain the body’s homeostasis. It is a great mechanism for removing toxins from within our blood. However, once you start sweating at an excessive rate, you are going to end up damaging your hair to a certain extent. This damage could pave the path for hair loss eventually. The reason why sweat damages the hair is because it contains a significant amount of lactic acid.

The Logic Behind the Sweating and Hair Loss Connection

Various studies have been conducted to understand the effect of lactic acid on keratin. The studies showed that the reaction between keratin and lactic acid is detrimental for your hair. As a result of the damage sustained by this reaction, hair is lost from the scalp. The hair loss may not occur at an alarming rate. However, it is significant enough for someone to be genuinely worried about going bald. This is one of the many reasons why people feel that a strange “loss of hair” when they are sweating hard in the gym or are out in the open during a hot and humid day.

Besides the reaction between keratin and lactic acid, there is another reason why excessive sweating may lead to hair loss. When sweat is secreted from the sweat glands underneath scalp, it mixes with the bacteria that have already gathered on top of your head. How do these bacteria accumulate on the scalp? Well, most of them infiltrate your scalp when your hair is left exposed to contaminants such as dirt and dust. The sweat and bacteria mixture can lead to a horrendous case of fungal infections on your scalp. As you may already be aware, scalp infections are known to weaken hair follicles and trigger hair loss. In short, sweating excessively creates an unhygienic atmosphere in the scalp which is not conducive for hair growth and one that may lead to severe hair fall sooner or later.

What Can You Do To Solve This Problem?

Hair loss caused by excessive sweating can be taken care of quite easily. There are many factors of hair loss that are beyond your control, genetics being one of them. However, sweating is among the factors that can be managed without much trouble. It is all about preventing yourself from being in situations where the sweat creates a mess in your hair.

Soak your hands in water and wipe them over your hair frequently during the days of hot and humid weather. This will remove dirt and slow down the production of extra sebum that mixes with the sweat to trigger hair loss. You should also regularly massage your hair with natural oils. This is a great way to improve the blood circulation in the scalp and nourish your weakened hair follicles.