November 19th, 2010
08:43 AM ET

Can heavy weight exercise cause hair loss?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a Physician Nutrition Specialist.

Question asked by Maddy of Boston, Massachusetts:

Can exercising with heavy weights make one lose hair?

Expert answer:

Hi Maddy. According to the American Hair Loss Association, by the age of 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss and by 50, some 85 percent suffer from significant hair thinning.

In 25 percent of men, hair loss may begin as early as 21. Ninety-five percent of male pattern baldness, the most common form, is genetic and can be passed down by either parent. Other less common causes or contributors to hair loss include medication, severe and prolonged stress or illness and malnutrition causing severe nutrient deficiencies including protein, zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. In women, hair loss is common after childbirth, I'm discovering.

To answer your specific question, I turned to Dr. Jeffrey Rawnsley, clinical associate professor of facial and plastic surgery at UCLA and director of the Rawnsley Hair Restoration Clinic.

He explained that testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can shrink hair follicles in genetically susceptible individuals.

However, because of the extended duration of hair growth cycles (three to five years), it is unlikely that this effect would be seen soon after starting a weight lifting program. In addition, weight lifting causes a transient increase in testosterone after each weight lifting session, which is not likely to have a long term effect on hair loss.

On the other hand, weight lifters taking anabolic steroids or supplements designed to increase testosterone levels could see an acceleration of normal male pattern hair loss if they are genetically predisposed. In addition, supplements containing too much vitamin A could contribute to hair loss.

So it is very unlikely that your weight lifting program is contributing to hair loss. More likely, your hair has been thinning over time and you are beginning to notice as a critical level has been reached, usually about 50 percent, according to Rawnsley.

If you are very concerned, you may want to consider Propecia, a popular treatment for hair loss, which blocks the formation of DHT and can slow or even reverse hair loss in some cases.

soundoff (556 Responses)
  1. Internet Marketing Company

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 10, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Social Media Marketing Quotes


    May 10, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Internet Marketing Clinic

    You've made some good points there. I looked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 11, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Google Marketing Specialists


    May 11, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Internet Marketing Videos

    I was able to find good advice from your articles.


    May 11, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Social Media Marketing Company Near Me

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to find somebody who actually knows what they are talking about on the internet. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular because you definitely have the gift.


    May 11, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Local Marketing Association

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Many thanks!


    May 11, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Seo Marketing Orange County

    May I simply just say what a relief to uncover someone that genuinely knows what they are talking about on the internet. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people ought to check this out and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you're not more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.


    May 11, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Google Marketing Programs

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 11, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    You have made some good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 11, 2021 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Social Media Marketing Services

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    May 11, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. man u vs bayern

    The swing is an accessory process. Go with multiple sets of low to medium reps. You shouldn't be afraid to employ a Martin Odegaard some real weight and go with sets of four years old. These do best following much movement like deadlifts.Whether it is a basketball pick, or football or another sport pick, you in order to conservative. Functions as your own game of Football is really a national hobby. Football betting is heavily consistent with various indicators.{But, let's clear typical up.protein is just food in liquid sort of.


    May 11, 2021 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Video Marketing Service

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 11, 2021 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Local Marketing Service


    May 11, 2021 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Blinds California

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written!


    May 11, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. solar system repair near me

    I love it when folks get together and share views. Great website, keep it up!


    May 11, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv vinyl wraps

    After looking over a few of the blog articles on your web site, I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and let me know what you think.


    May 11, 2021 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Mercedes Benz Dealer Service Sprinter Near Me 91605

    I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.


    May 12, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. fiberglass repair shops

    Good site you have got here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    May 12, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. painting horse trailers

    I used to be able to find good information from your blog posts.


    May 12, 2021 at 03:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. repair rv floor


    May 12, 2021 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. truck shop of orange

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!


    May 12, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rv slide out repair

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 12, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. horse trailer paint jobs


    May 12, 2021 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. motorhome repair shop

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!


    May 12, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Authorized Sprinter Repair Facility

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now 😉


    May 12, 2021 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV AC Near Me


    May 12, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. orange truck shop

    I'm pretty pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new information in your web site.


    May 12, 2021 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Los Angeles Sprinter Repair

    I truly love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal blog and want to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Many thanks!


    May 12, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. repair rv toilet


    May 13, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Shower Orange County


    May 13, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 2011 Mercedes Sprinter Rv Repair

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 13, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. bay door repair

    Can I just say what a relief to find somebody who truly understands what they're talking about online. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people have to look at this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you're not more popular since you surely possess the gift.


    May 13, 2021 at 06:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. oc windshield


    May 13, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. tv repair orange county ca


    May 13, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. truck modification shop near me


    May 13, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. windshield repair orange county ca

    It’s hard to find educated people about this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 13, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. geico near me

    This excellent website certainly has all the info I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 13, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Tires Riverside

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new things you post…


    May 13, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. manchester united vs liverpool 2016

    Watch the film and diagram every different play the c's runs including repeats. That i BXH La Liga use material. Write down the play number along with the down and distance towards the best of the knowledge together with caption every play since i.e. I would write play 1, 1 and 10, Pitch Sweep Right and diagram the blocking assignments as executed and the backfield player numbers. To buy playoff game I would take further time to write down every player's number.


    May 13, 2021 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. shower parts near me


    May 13, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Plumbing Riverside


    May 13, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. truck repair around me

    Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 13, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. tv repair in temecula

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is also very good.


    May 13, 2021 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. nearest rv repair shop


    May 14, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Fiberglass Orange County


    May 14, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Van Rust Repair


    May 14, 2021 at 02:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. oc repair


    May 14, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rv repair near here

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and never manage to get anything done.


    May 14, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. storno brzinol

    Really enjoyed this blog post, is there any way I can receive an email sent to me when you make a fresh post?


    May 14, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.