Masturbation May Cause Hair Loss: Truth Vs Theory

18 Apr 2020

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Masturbation is still taboo in some societies. Even in more progressive societies like ours, where masturbation is recognized as normal, it is still not the subject of polite conversation! Unfortunately, as is often the case with subjects that are shrouded in secrecy, the myths just never seem to end. When it comes to masturbation there are plenty of myths that most people still believe. While some of them are downright absurd and have no basis in facts, others are almost plausible, making them easy to believe. The idea that masturbation can cause blindness falls into the former category, while the notion that it can increase acne fits into the latter. Of course, just because something is plausible and the theories to explain it sound ‘scientific’ that doesn’t make it true. That is in fact the hallmark of pseudoscience. 

So, where does the risk of hair loss as result of masturbation belong? Is excessive masturbation really a cause or a risk factor from premature balding or is it just another myth propagated to deny people some self-pleasure because of puritanical religious leaders who regard it as sinful?

What Is Masturbation And How Common Is It?

Masturbation is a safe and natural way of exploring your body and pleasuring yourself. It helps release any built-up of sexual tension. There are no physically harmful side effects of masturbation, even though numerous myths suggest otherwise.

Does Masturbation Cause Hair Loss?

The rational answer to this is – no. There is no scientific evidence to back this claim. Presumably, this myth is based on the fact that protein is important for hair growth and semen is largely made up of protein. For this reason, the creators of this myth may have concluded that the body loses protein with each ejaculation, depriving the hair of nourishment, and increasing the risk of hair loss.

Busting The “Masturbation Leads To Hair Loss” Myth

While it’s true that semen is made up primarily of protein, the amount of protein lost through ejaculation is insignificant. On average, an ejaculation is around 3.4ml and contains only 0.171 g of protein. On the other hand, the daily intake of protein for an adult male, on average, is roughly 56 g. This means that the intake of protein on a daily basis is 330 times more than what’s lost in an ejaculation! So, it’s a no brainer that the amount of protein lost in ejaculation is too low to have a significant impact and cause hair loss.

Another theory suggests that masturbation increases the amount of testosterone in men, which in turn increases the amount of Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which is linked to hair loss. Although DHT is formed in the testicles and prostate, it circulates through the entire body and also reaches the scalp. The increase in scalp DHT, however, is not a reason to worry, because this effect is temporary, and has not been proven to cause any damage to hair.

Reasons Why Men Lose Hair

The actual reasons behind men losing hair could be genetic or hormonal. If you have scalp infections and skin disorders, among other conditions, these could contribute towards hair loss. Nutritional deficiencies are another common cause for hair loss and these are perhaps the easiest to remedy. Additionally, the use of certain medications, exposure to radiation therapy, use of excessive hair products (like hair gel, hair wax), and high stress levels, could also contribute to hair loss.

If you’re still worried about hair loss or thinning, but can’t identify the underlying, consult your doctor. Assuming that he’s a qualified doctor and not a quack, we can bet that he won’t be identifying masturbation as the cause for balding!

Reference: 

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321153
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/does-masturbation-cause-hair-loss#damage-to-genitals

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