We know that the state of the hair is a barometer of your overall health. It stands to reason that exercise could benefit the entire body including the hair. Exercise can also directly benefit the hair via a couple of different mechanisms.
Let me be clear here now and say that you are not going to have to run marathons to get your hair back! What I am advising you to try is a regular amount of exercise that you should already be doing anyway, regardless of the state of your hair. Your body needs this exercise anyway or you can expect health problems and a reduced life expectancy in the long term.
What Kind Of Exercise?
There are two main types of exercise but the greatest benefit comes from cardiovascular exercise rather than strength training. Cardio is the type of exercise that requires little strength but will keep the heart rate elevated for a good 30 minutes e.g. running, cycling. The connection between the blood system and the delivery of nutrients to the hair follicle is something that we can take full advantage of. Strength training e.g. lifting weights, is still beneficial but not to the same degree that cardio is. You will soon see why.
The Science Behind Cardio And Hair Health
We can see the main benefit when we look at the blood system. Your body contains mile after mile of tiny blood vessels that carry nutrient rich blood to the areas of the body where it is needed, including the hair follicles. Remember that every follicle contains something called the dermal papilla that taps into the bloodstream (which is like the prongs on an electrical plug that tap into the electricity). First of all, regular cardio leads to widening of the blood vessels. Not just during exercise itself but also for the long term. This is why cardio is beneficial for lowering excessively high blood pressure too. The wider the blood vessels then the more nutrition that can be delivered to the hair follicles. The follicles can access a greater volume of blood and at a slower speed too. This may be one reason why Minoxidil is so effective – it was originally a drug for high blood pressure.Secondly, regular cardio leads to a lowering in rates of heart disease.
Heart disease has long been linked with the progression of male pattern baldness
Whether heart disease causes rapid progression of hair loss or is merely connected to it we do not know. But it does not take a leap of faith to consider that the two are connected via the blood system and that regular cardio could also lead to stopping hair loss. Third, increasing circulation to the scalp (whether through cardio or manual stimulation with a brush or the fingertips) is known to break down DHT and prevent the follicles becoming malnutritioned.
The other benefit of exercise is that it is a great way to cleanse the pores. Have you ever noticed that people who work out a lot have generally very clean looking skin? When you work out, the sebaceous glands work harder and eject old sebum and the clinging dirt, to be replaced by fresh, new sebum.
Additionally, studies have shown that regular cardio can keep
androgen levels naturally lower (e.g. DHT) while weight training can make hair loss worse by increasing testosterone levels.
What To Do
There is varying opinion on how much cardio you should do generally.
What I do know is that for good health you do not need to go to extremes.
? 30 minutes per workout is sufficient.
? 3 times per week is sufficient.
You need to raise the heart rate for duration of exercise for greatest benefit e.g. power walking, jogging, tennis, cycling.
Try It Now
If you are out of shape or overweight then I recommend you speak to your doctor first as he may want to first check you out. You can then start with some very light and low impact exercises such as power walking.
By the way, swimming is a great exercise. It works the entire body and is low impact. Chlorinated water will not adversely affect your hair so long as you wash it out in the shower after leaving the pool. I recommend that you shampoo your hair after exercise. But you should also only shampoo your hair once per day. So if you normally shampoo your hair in the morning then on those days where you will later exercise then you should not shampoo it in the morning but wait till after your workout. I would also wait till after this shampoo (and rinse and dry) to apply your daily scalp mixture. Alternatively, you could use your mixture in the morning and then just reapply it after your workout also. Or if you work out at the end of the day then not bother reapplying it. Basically, apply your scalp mixture after you have washed your hair and let it dry out. This is the easiest way!