Once upon a time, masturbation used to be taboo. Not so anymore. Research has found that masturbation has several benefits and could be considered a part of your wellness routine. It makes for healthy sexual development and increases libido and intimacy among couples. Of course, too much masturbation at the cost of a normal and healthy social life could spell danger too. But does masturbation cause hair loss?
What Causes Hair Loss?
Genetic hair loss or alopecia is caused by the interaction between your genes, your testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, age, and stress. DHT is a male sex hormone or androgen which is detrimental to hair on the head. It is thought to miniaturize the hair follicle, thus leading to reduced hair growth. DHT is also known to reduce the growth phase of hair.
Masturbation Does Not Cause Hair Loss
There are several theories abound on the link between masturbation and hair loss. One suggests increased levels of the androgen DHT after ejaculation leads to hair loss. There seems to be a scientific basis to this theory.
Ejaculation increases the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which can affect the hair follicles and their roots.
Normally, after ejaculation, the body releases oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, into the bloodstream. Oxytocin then triggers a testosterone-to-DHT conversion in the prostate and testicles with the help of another hormone known as 5-alpha reductase. When DHT circulates and reaches the scalp, excess DHT buildup can affect the hair follicles and their roots, especially in the areas like the front and top of the scalp that are sensitive to DHT.
However, if it is ejaculation that raises DHT levels substantially, masturbation and sexual intercourse are both likely to cause hair loss. This theory also does not say anything about female masturbation. Moreover, no scientific study has mapped the rate of ejaculation with baldness yet, and it is unlikely that only masturbation can cause hair loss. The theory linking hair loss to masturbation was probably invented to keep the practice taboo.
[Also Read: Effective Hair Loss Treatments]
Other important factors include stress and steroid-related toxins that increase the activity of 5-alpha reductase, leading to increased conversion of testosterone to DHT.
Another theory suggests that there is a loss of protein through seminal fluid, and that could in turn affect hair health, since hair is mostly made up of proteins. But this theory does not hold since to lose a substantial amount of protein through seminal fluid, you’d have to masturbate an awful lot.
Don’t Stop Masturbating Within Healthy Limits
Ancient Ayurvedic texts detail semen (shukra) as the purest form of the 7 bodily tissues (or dhatus). It is considered a source of the life energy (ojas) that directly reflects on our immunity and aura. Many spiritually inclined people who undertake celibacy consider loss of this energy via sex or masturbation as a waste of vital life energy.
Masturbation is considered to assist in the healthy rejuvenation process of semen and if done without guilt, misconceptions, and excess, it should help relieve stress, provide pleasure and recharge the sexual organs.
Considering all aspects, excess of any activity will create unhealthy imbalances in the mind, body, and soul. No activity or habit should overrule our senses, causing a serious lack of mind control. Guilt and misinformation can lead to stress that can adversely impact hair fall. Like we mentioned at the beginning, masturbation has health benefits, and you should not stop this practice.
Hair fall is due to a combination of multiple factors including genetics, the effect of medications, and DHT sensitivity. And masturbation, within natural limits and for recreation, is NOT its root cause.