Exercise and eating the right foods are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. We all know that. But how does exercise affect your hair health, hair loss, or hair regrowth? The answer might surprise you.
In general, exercise can help you maintain a healthy head of hair, and even help your body regrow hair. Regular exercise increases general health and circulation in your body. Increased circulation can stimulate growth in hair follicles. Also, exercise helps reduce stress in your life, and reduced stress helps with overall scalp health, according to Livestrong.com. So, if you exercise regularly, you are doing yourself—and your hair—a favor, right?
The answer might not be so simple.
Too much exercise, or overexertion, is actually bad for your hair. Excessive exercise causes a state of chronic stress in your body, according to author and nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman. Chronic stress is a leading cause of telogen effluvium (TE), a condition that causes premature resting and shedding in hair follicles, according to the American Hair Loss Association. In addition, eHow.com explains that extreme bodybuilding and other extreme exercise activities can produce more dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes baldness in men. Conversely, mild exercise, like regular jogging or cardio, can help reduce DHT.
However, there is one form of mild exercise or cardio to think twice about if you are conscious about your hair health: swimming in pools. Most pools contain chlorine. The chlorine is there to keep the pools clean, but it can cause your hair to become dry and eventually break or shed. If swimming is your favorite form of exercise, you can avoid chlorine damage by wetting your hair with non-chlorinated water before getting in the pool (i.e., a locker room shower), so your hair absorbs the normal water, rather than the chlorinated water. Also, get out every 30 minutes or so and rinse the chlorinated water out of your hair. Wear a swim cap, and wash your hair after swimming with proper hair care products.
Another thing to keep in mind about exercise is that it causes you to sweat. Salty, heavy sweat build up on your head can cause faster shedding or other damage to your hair. The Harvard School of Public Health advises that you can combat this damage by using mild, pH-balanced shampoo and moisturizing protein conditioner at least once a week. Avacor offers both Thickening Shampoo and Volumizing Conditioner to help combat hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth. Avoid using hot hair tools as well, such as blow driers and curling irons.
The bottom line: exercise regularly, but avoid over-exercising or extreme exercise activities, and take good care of your hair with the proper hair care products. If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly, but still experiencing hair loss, consider using Avacor Physician's Formulation, an FDA-Approved hair re-growth product clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles and help you grow back hair.
Photo courtesy of Menscosmo.com