Does Masturbation Cause Hair Loss?
We’re not very far removed from the days where masturbation was seen as a huge no-no. Even John Harvey Kellogg (of Kellogg cereal fame) was a pioneer for masturbation prevention, going as far to advocate circumcision to curb sexual desire in his 1888 book Plain Facts for Old and Young.
To keep hands focused on worldly endeavors like pleasing God and not using your hands for sexual fulfillment, a laundry list of mythical side effects were created about masturbation. These include but are not limited to: growth of hair on the hands, blindness, sexual deviancy, slower development of social and emotional skills, and paradoxically hair loss.
Many men are worried about losing their hair, making hair loss a great way to scare those on the fence into masturbatory submission. This article is going to tackle the inaccuracy of this claim starting with how hair loss is actually mediated by the body.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss is not a one-cause pony. Many different genetic and environmental factors affect the hair loss process and not all hair loss is due to the same cause.
The most common cause of hair loss is simply genetics and aging coming together to rid you of your fabled mane of hair, this cause is uncontrollable and there is no treatment for naturally occurring hair loss. The next common causes are protein deprivation from extreme diets, hormonal changes at certain life milestones, emotional trauma, and general illness.
The biological mechanism for this hair loss is testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels changing due genes, stress, illness, and age. When DHT levels become elevated, hair follices become tiny leading to thinness, DHT has also been proven to inhibit the growth phase in hair.
What Role Does Masturbation Play In Testosterone and DHT Levels?
We’ve covered in another article that masturbation has a negligible effect on serum testosterone levels, but what about DHT?
After ejaculation, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is known as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone, as it thought to provide a biological advantage by creating a mental attachment to our lovers and keeping us around to raise offspring. Once oxytocin enters the blood stream, a process begins in which testosterone in the prostate and testis is converted to DHT. It is then thought that this DHT circulates to the scalp where it has the negative effects on hair fullness and growth that leads to baldness.
If this theory were true, however, hair would thin all over the body and not just the head. Also, since oxytocin is practically floods the brain during sex, we would see many more bald porn stars and the like. Bottom line, if this oxytocin-testosterone relationship with sexual release actually contributed to baldness, Hugh Hefner would have resembled Mr.Clean.
To summarize: masturbation has no effect on the rate of balding in men.
The myth that masturbation causes hair loss is most likely based in puritanical efforts to curb the practice of masturbation as opposed to real science. Jerk off all you want, your pompadour isn’t going anywhere.
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