Does masturbation cause hair loss?

Myth has it that hair loss is a masturbation side effect, but there is no scientific proof of this claim

Hair loss is just one of many things mistakenly blamed on masturbation 

The myth that masturbation causes hair loss dates back to the 19th century when masturbation was blamed for everything from schizophrenia to blindness in order to make sure boys and men kept their hands still at night.

All of these claims were debunked over time, including the hair loss claim, which completely lacks scientific evidence. However, in some distant corners of the web, these claims have survived until this day and often are based on pseudo-scientific facts. Let’s look at each of them.

 

Does masturbation increase testosterone?

This old claim goes like this: masturbation raises the body’s testosterone production, which in turn fuels the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Excessive DHT production is the primary driver of male pattern baldness (which afflicts ~80 percent of Caucasian men) because it damages hair follicles. 

Most of the above statement is true. Testosterone conversion into DHT is a driver of male pattern baldness. However, several studies have shown that masturbation doesn’t increase the body’s testosterone levels in any way. Comparing men with a normal sex life to voluntarily abstinent men or men with sexual dysfunction, there was no measurable difference in testosterone levels observed. 

There’s some inconclusive research indicating that the release of a hormone called oxytocin may increase the testosterone-to-DHT conversion process. Oxytocin, aka the “love hormone” is released not just during sex but in response to any sort of romantic stimuli, like talking to or looking at a woman you like. So, if oxytocin causes DHT production, it can’t be only blamed on masturbation. But, again, there is not yet enough evidence available that oxytocin significantly raises DHT levels and speeds up pattern hair loss. 

 

Does chronic masturbation cause the body to lose protein?

This claim argues that excessive masturbation takes precious protein away from your body through the semen discharge. The more you masturbate, the more protein is lost, and there won’t be enough protein available to maintain the health of your hair follicles.

To put thing is perspective: the average hamburger gives your body about 12g of protein. Each semen discharge contains about 0.18g of protein. So, you’d need to come some improbable 65 times to work off that hamburger. On average we eat some 80-90g of protein every day. Even vegans have been found to get almost 70g of protein. 

The hamburger example should make it very clear that it’s impossible for masturbation to cause a protein deficiency.

 

Excessive masturbation doesn’t cause hair loss but there are other things to consider

In summary, we can say that masturbation, whether practiced occasionally or multiple times a day, does not cause or accelerate existing hair loss. In fact, it appears to have no effect on your hair at all. 

That said, excessive masturbation can have adverse effects, especially in combination with high-speed internet, causing overstimulation, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and even depression. This has become increasingly evident over the past two decades with the advent of hardcore 24/7 internet porn. Young men in particular often suffer from such neural overstimulation. If you are concerned about the frequency of your masturbation habit or find it increasingly difficult to get aroused, talk to a doctor or psychiatrist about it.

 

References

  1. Schwartz, M F, et al. “Plasma Testosterone Levels of Sexually Functional and Dysfunctional Men.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 9, no. 5, 1980, pp. 355–66, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7192541, https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02115938. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.
  2. Pirke, K M, et al. “Pituitary Gonadal System Function in Patients with Erectile Impotence and Premature Ejaculation.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 8, no. 1, 1979, pp. 41–8, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/570382 Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.
  3. Thackare, Hemlata, et al. “Oxytocin--Its Role in Male Reproduction and New Potential Therapeutic Uses.” Human Reproduction Update, vol. 12, no. 4, 2006, pp. 437–48, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16436468, 10.1093/humupd/dmk002. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

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