Does Masturbation Cause Hair Loss? Myths and Facts
As the great comedian Larry David once said, Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – that is your diamond in the rough. Hair loss is a problem for millions of people worldwide, and despite the huge advances in modern medicine, hair loss prevention just doesn’t seem to be of the highest priority. Research has been, rightfully if I may add, focused in disease prevention.
This gap in medical information has given a lot of room for speculation and unanswered questions. One of the more popular questions circling around is Does masturbation cause Hair Loss? In order to get to the answer of this question we must first examine it from a couple of different directions.
Masturbation, ejaculation, protein loss and baldness
The first notion that sits at the base of this claim is that through ejaculation a loss of protein occurs. It is widely known that sperm is rich in protein. Bearing this in mind, you can conclude that when you are ejaculating you are, in a most obvious way, losing protein.
Protein, in turn, is the building block of most of the cells in our body, hair included. So by ejaculating this otherwise essential nutrient, you are depriving your body of the basic materials to even create hair, let alone keep it. Does this make sense to you?
While some might say yes, let’s delve a bit deeper into this. Semen ejaculate is actually quite nutritious. It contains fructose, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, fructose, Vitamin B12, calcium, nitrogen and zinc. On top of all of this it is very rich in protein.
The semen ejaculate contains as much protein as an egg white. We’re talking chicken eggs here, the ones that are the richest in protein. If we take this information at face value, then we can surely conclude that masturbation and the ejaculation that follows leads to massive protein losses and thus hair loss.
What people often overlook is the amounts. Around 1/3 of the weight of the egg is the yolk and the remaining 2/3 compose the egg white. Of the egg white, half is protein and the other half is other nutrients. An average egg weighs between 1.5 oz and 2 oz.
If we go just by this fact, then we can conclude that you need to ejaculate at least 1.5 oz in order to deprive yourself of the protein contained in just one egg. You might say “Hey but give me the numbers here man, I wanna know my limits”.
Sure. The semen ejaculate resulting from an orgasm is, on average between 3-4 ml. That is about half a teaspoon or when converted to ounces, is around 0.15 oz. That means that you would need to masturbate at least 10 times to lose protein contained in just one egg that is on the lower side of average.
Imagine eating a large egg, or god forbid two eggs. You’ve got your hands full if you’re trying to lose all that.
To further cement this argument, I just want to add that 16% of your full body weight is protein. A lifetime of masturbation cannot deplete that. Period. If it’s not protein loss, then it must be hormonal, right?
Masturbation, DHT sensitivity and baldness
Both masturbation and sex cause increase in Testosterone. A byproduct of testosterone is DHT, short for Dihydrotestosterone. DHT has been known to have a negative effect on hair follicles.
Cue another theory about masturbation and hair loss. Now most people that suffer from hair loss actually suffer from male pattern baldness, or alopecia and yes, DHT is to blame. But this is not due the negative effects of the DHT but rather our sensitivity to it.
Some people carry genes that predispose them to sensitivity of this male hormone byproduct. It is as simple as that. No matter how much you abstain from masturbation, people that carry a DHT sensitivity gene will experience hair loss and male pattern baldness. This means if your grandfather is bald, and your father is bald, it is highly likely that you will be too.
Furthermore, even if you somehow managed to stop ejaculating completely, your body will still produce testosterone and once that testosterone is used, DHT. It is possible to lower your levels only by directly affecting your hormonal levels, but that would be immensely counterproductive. Testosterone is partially the reason for our drive and creativity.
Popular hair loss products actually promote this false theory so they can sell more of their “DHT blockers”. In reality, their marketing campaigns could not be further from the truth. They emphasize on the urgency and novelty of this discovery in order to bait you to purchase their pills, products and services.
Even if you manage to block out the effects, even the smallest amounts of the hormone byproduct will still continue to be active and cause further hair loss. Currently, there is no effective cure for male pattern baldness.
The connection between masturbation and hair loss
Throughout history masturbation, just as any other sexual activity, has been in the realm of taboo. Even today, this fact remains unchanged, although this is more the case of female rather than male masturbation. I mean, take any era in medicine or even philosophy and psychology and you will find texts expressing deep concerns about the side effects of masturbation.
Some of the trends throughout the history of masturbation include: insanity, mania, lower back pain, epilepsy, gout, all types of rheumatism, blindness, hairy palms and recently hair loss. Literally death by one’s own hand.
A lot of cures have been proposed though the years, but what is interesting is that there were always people to try to use this taboo to make money from this misinformation.
The first one to do so was Dr. Kellog (the inventor of the corn flakes) who promoted an idea that in order to get young men to stop masturbating, and thus escape the dire consequences, one must be fed a bland diet. Cue the corn flakes commercial. In recent years it is much more evident, with every other bogus product claiming to regrow your hair by increasing protein uptake, blocking DHT and so on and so forth.
Ejaculation, masturbation, sex, stress and hair loss
You might ask yourself, so why all of these myths about masturbation and not sex? Doesn’t ejaculation happen when you orgasm from sex as well? The thing is, you cannot achieve nearly as much orgasms from sex as from masturbation. Young men especially find it harder to control this impulse.
So now that we’ve deconstructed the myths surrounding this, let’s take a step in the other direction. Stress has been shown to increase hair loss by pushing the hair follicle into a dormant state. Passive follicle equals no hair growth and hair loss. The more prolonged the stress and state of alertness, the more severe the hair loss. In other words, 5 minutes of meditation a day can actually help you more than all of the ‘miracle cures’ combined.
Now that might not sound as a novelty to you, but couple that with the fact that masturbation decreases stress levels and you have yourself a way to slow down balding.
To sum up this article:
Masturbation does not cause hair loss. You do not lose enough protein to make a significant impact. Your hair loss is due to increased DHT (dihydrotestosterone) sensitivity, which is purely genetic. Abstaining from ejaculation (not just masturbation) might slow it down, but it will not stop it. On the other hand, masturbation decreases stress levels, and stress has been shown to promote hair loss.