I’ve always heard that there is a connection between sex and hair growth, and the thought of that is quite interesting and fascinating to me. As I started to do more research on the subject matter, I raised a brow at my hubby sitting on the computer next to me and felt even more encouraged to investigate the matter a bit more intensely.
Most people laugh at the idea of something so simple and natural being the answer or secret to their desired hair growth. It just seems a bit too enjoyable or too good to be true. It is often dismissed as an old wives’ tale.
We try all of the natural and man-made oils, products, supplements, techniques and approaches to hair growth that pop up, but the idea of simplicity is often tossed aside and not even considered.
But new scientific evidence has actually revealed a genuine connection between sex and hair growth! And the results are apt to delight men and women alike, as it appears that a healthy sex- life can also lead to a healthy head of hair! One of the primary factors behind the “sex for hair growth theory” involves hormone levels. Hormones impact virtually every organ system and process in the body. Hormones even impact hair growth and hair loss.
Research has revealed that there’s a correlation between engaging in sex on a regular basis and a rise in certain hormone levels, such as testosterone. A rise in testosterone results in decreased hair loss and increased hair growth, so the result is a fuller, healthier head of hair! Sound farfetched? Well, while it may sound like yet another excuse to get more action in the bedroom — “Hey, honey! Let’s get it on so I don’t go bald!” — there is a very legitimate, scientific and biological basis supporting this claim.
Pregnancy Hair Growth and Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss Illustrate the Link Between Hormones and Hair Growth/Loss
This link between hormones and hair growth is also clearly illustrated by the pattern of hair growth and hair loss that typically occurs during and after pregnancy and childbirth. The pattern is known by a Latin term, “telogen effluvium.”
To understand the connection between hormone levels and hair growth, one must understand how your hair goes through “resting” and “growth” cycles. At any given point in time, approximately 90 percent of your hair follicles are actively growing hair. Hair periodically falls out – this is completely normal. Following the loss of a strand of hair, the follicle goes into a dormant, “resting” period that typically lasts approximately three months. Following the resting period, the follicle emerges from its “rest” and growth resumes.
During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels rise dramatically. This causes two very important changes. Hairs fall out less frequently, so this results in more hair retention, so to speak. Simultaneously, in the follicles that are hair-free, there’s no “resting” period. The high hormone levels cause the hair follicles to skip the dormancy phase, so you’ll see an increase in the number of new hairs that begin to grow. The changes that occur during pregnancy can be rather subtle, and most women are more focused on other body processes – like growing a baby! The most noticeable events occur approximately two to three months after childbirth. That’s when many women see a dramatic increase in the amount of hair loss, which coincides with a drop-off in her hormone levels. She begins to lose more hair and the now-empty hair follicles once again enter a dormancy period. It’s estimated that up to half of all women experience hair loss following pregnancy, though research has revealed that the hair loss is less pronounced in women who breastfeed. This further strengthens the correlation between high hormone levels and hair growth, as breastfeeding causes the woman’s hormone levels to remain elevated indefinitely – typically, for as long as she continues to breastfeed her child. So the link between elevated hormones and hair growth is well-established. Now the “sex for hair growth” claim seems quite reasonable!
Stress Reduction, Sex and Hair Growth
In addition to increasing your hormone levels, a healthy sex life also has a number of other physiological impacts that can impact your hair growth.
A healthy sex life serves to reduce stress levels. The actual act of having sex is, of course, enjoyable and it’s commonly-accepted as a stress-relieving activity. And as anyone who has researched hair growth knows, stress is a significant factor that can exacerbate hair loss because:
・ The body’s blood vessels and capillaries constrict during times of stress, resulting in poor blood flow to the scalp.
・ Stress activates neurotransmitters and hormones that interfere with hair growth (among dozens of other physiological processes!)
・ Stress can impact your eating habits. Poor nutrition means your hair follicles don’t receive proper nourishment. Malnutrition is a commonplace cause of hair loss and poor hair growth.
Plus, individuals who enjoy a healthy sex life are more apt to be involved in a romantic relationship, which brings additional joy, contentment and stress relief.
Blood Flow and Sex for Hair Growth
In addition, sexual activity gets your blood flowing, especially near the skin’s surface. This is a physiological response to sexual arousal that goes back to the early days of human evolution. Increased blood flow to the skin’s surface results in visible “flushing,” including rosy cheeks and pink lips. These served as a visual indicator of a woman’s “readiness.”
Interestingly, while we no longer need these physiological indicators of sexual arousal – humans long ago developed speech and other ways to convey their willingness to have sex – these physical traits do remain engrained in modern culture. It’s actually the basis for our attraction to women with pink cheeks and red lips. Although we no longer need to display our sexual arousal with flushed cheeks and pink lips, the human body has not evolved beyond the tendency to increase the blood flow to the skin’s surface. Increased blood flow means the hair follicles receive more oxygenation and more nourishment; this promotes growth. Notably, scalp massage can also result in a similar effect, as massage improves blood flow at the skin’s surface. But most would agree that sex is a much more pleasurable method of getting the job done!
Increased Endorphins From Sex for Hair Growth
Increased endorphins are another result of regular sexual activity; this is another bit of scientific support for the “sex for hair growth” theory.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters , which carry messages from one area of the brain to another, thereby activating certain brain processes. The brain’s hypothalamus pumps out endorphins in response to physical activity, exercise and intense moods such as excitement – excitement from activities like sex! Endorphins serve a number of functions. They improve your mood and promote better sleeping habits, which result in better overall health. They increase blood flow, which, as we discussed previously, delivers more nutrients to the hair follicles. Endorphins also reduce stress and they can lessen the symptoms of conditions such as depression. These conditions can trigger hormonal and other changes in the body’s chemistry — changes that promote hair loss! In short, endorphins are a feel-good neurotransmitter that impact both body, mind and hair growth! Any activity that involves exercise and/or brings about feelings of excitement stimulates endorphin production. This makes sex an ideal endorphin-producing activity, which means that sex is also effectively promoting healthy hair growth!
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Though notably, it’s important to avoid over-doing it! Like many things in life, you want to avoid too much of a good thing! Some studies suggest that excessive sexual activity can have an adverse impact on health, particularly for men, though women can also experience similar effects. The reason? Excessive sexual activity can increase testosterone production, causing the hormone to reach unhealthy levels . Evidence suggests that too much sex can leads adrenaline over-production – similar to what occurs when you’re experiencing chronic stress. These factors can actually lead to hair loss, particularly in men, so it’s essential to avoid too much of a good thing! So it appears that sex for hair growth is, in fact, a very legitimate theory! It’s clear that a healthy sex life can improve your hair growth while simultaneously reducing the rate of hair loss. But be careful to avoid excess! Like most things in life, too much of a good thing can lead to adverse results.
INTERESTING FACT FOR PULL-QUOTE:
Did you know…
The average person has approximately 100,000 hairs on his or her head and you shed about 100 hairs per day.