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Author Topic: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?  (Read 97808 times)

Offline Quixote

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Hello everyone-
  It is my understanding that the hormones, testosterone/androgen are responsible for the production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone,) which is is the main contributor to hair loss.  A question arose during some research on this matter, and I was hoping that someone could shed some light on my inquiries.  The question is  as follows:  Does ejaculation correlate with the production of androgen in the testis?  More specificially, will an increase of frequency of ejaculation yield a higher than normal increase of the hormonal production?

I'm looking for scientific facts, but any thoughts are appreciated.  ]

I sincerely hope that you all have a great day!
« Last Edit: 29/12/2009 21:01:54 by chris »


 

Offline george

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #1 on: 03/03/2003 10:50:44 »
I have wondered this too. They always used to say that masturbation would make you go blind and cause hair to grow on your palms, but maybe it just makes you go bald !

I always felt a bit sorry for baldies - instead maybe I should feel sorry for blokes with lots of hair ! I mean if this is true, and orgasms trigger testosterone release and make your hair fall out, why having married Catherine Zeta Jones, has Michael Douglas still got so much hair ! My head would be as smooth as a babies' backside by now if I'd married her !

Seriously though, one question I would like someone to answer is - since all men develop some degree of prostate enlargement as they get older - is the degree of enlargement proportional to the number of ejaculations that we have had over our lifetime ?

I'm not a sex fiend or anything, nor do I suffer with an enlarged prostate or baldness (yet), this is merely for academic interest (and possibly precautionary measures) !

George
 

Offline dalya

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #2 on: 04/03/2003 21:34:19 »
Hello Qixote and George and whoever else might be wondering about the same questions.

As I alluded to in my article about bald lions (see it under Science Articles -I'm the girl pictured with the dodgy haircut, talking about hair - http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/dalyacolumn3.htm [nofollow]), testosterone is converted into DHT and can cause baldness.  It also can cause prostate enlargement and lead to prostate cancer.  DHT is actually the form of the testosterone molecule that is responsible for many of the effects that we typically associate with this hormone.

DHT has a variety of effects on the development and daily functions of the prostate.  This includes helping to stimulate the production of same of the components of semen.  After ejaculation, the prostate is emptied and needs to re-fill itself with more seminal fluids.  DHT is produced and 'tells' the prostate cells to do this.  Therefore, yes, after ejaculation, DHT levels ARE elevated.  However, I haven't come across in my search of the technical literature of any formal studies looking at whether frequent ejaculation raises DHT levels in the bloodstream to an abnormal degree that might promote hair loss.  Somehow, I suspect it wouldn't, but I am not a clinician and I am really just guessing.  Just as a quick summary, hair follicles have the nasty habit of responding to DHT by re-newing hair less frequently and growing stubbier and more brittle hairs.  In any case, other factors that contribute to baldness may be as important as the levels of DHT e.g. by the number of receptors that can 'read' the message from DHT that a hair follicle has.  Thus, frequent ejaculations -if they do contribute to hair loss in any significant way -may only do so in genetically pre-disposed individuals.  Perhaps that's why Michael Douglas still has his hair.  However, if you ask me, I can detect a little thinning at the temples.  

Another effect of DHT is to 'tell' prostate cells to grow and divide.  As men age, for some reason, many produce more DHT than they did as younger men, which can lead to a prostate with more cells in it.  This prostate enlargement (BPH- or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) can lead to prostate cancer if left untreated because the more 'pressure' the cells are under to divide, the more mistakes they can make while doing so (not unlike humans who also tend to err when under pressure).  Once again, I haven't come upon any technical literature -though there may be some out there -discussing whether the frequency of ejaculation earlier in life can lead to prostate enlargement.  However, I will go out on a limb (don't kill me or  quote me if I am wrong) and speculate that POSSIBLY in pre-disposed individuals but probably not in the general public it might make a difference (though this seems to me less likely than for the case of baldness).  I think you must need to have a continuously elevated DHT level to develop prostate enlargement  at the time of onset rather than the sharp spikes of increased DHT levels that occur after ejaculation.  Are there any more medically minded/trained people (Chris?) reading this that could comment?

Interestingly for both questions, the drug Finasteride aka Propecia which has gained some fame as a hair loss preventative was initially designed and is still used to treat prostate enlargement.  It works by stopping testosterone conversion to DHT. Only 2% of users in clinical trials taking this medication for hair loss reported an effect on their sex life.  Those 2% reported a decrease in their sex drive and/or in the amount of ejaculate  produced and/or their ability to have or maintain an erection.  

And now, after this whole long response, indulge me in a question of my own.  I had originally started researching this article not in order to talk about lions, but to find out the answer to this -admittedly -bizarre question:  Why is it that when many men start balding many also simultaneously GROW hair -on their ears?  

Any takers?

Thanks and hope this has helped,
Dalya Rosner
 

Offline george

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #3 on: 05/03/2003 12:43:20 »
Thanks for the helpful and detailed reply.

So, do eunuchs get prostate enlargement (BPH) then, or owing to their deficit of testosterone stay hairy and without urinary symptoms ?!

George
 

Offline mstrauss

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #4 on: 23/06/2003 15:33:02 »
I have noticed hair loss and I hate it. I've been thinking that maybe the hair isn't getting the nurishment required. If it's not getting enough blood, maybe I can stand on my head for a few minutes each day
 
I have been sexually active since high school, having fun. I've also smoked for 16 years. But I was thinking that maybe that life style was causing it. If increased sexual activity increases testosterone, which increases DHT, then that may be a prime cause. Do we know the percentages of sexual activity for both bald & non-bald males? It could be a factor. What did the bible say? Sex leads to death. It says is somewhere in there.
 
If DHT is a poison for hair, what can we wash our hair with that will reduce the amount of DHT?
 
Does smoking also elevate DHT?

If I decide to stop smoking and reduce my sexual activity to only 1-2 a week, then I think my DHT levels will go down. I have found some shampoo with DHT inhibitors I'm going to try. With all this, will my hair grow back? If so, how long will it take? I'm not bald yet. I still have plenty of hair, but if you look straight down on my head, you can definitely see the scalp with even distributions of hair. I noticed this fairly recently.

Mike
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #5 on: 23/06/2003 23:54:49 »
All I know is that one allele for it is found on the Y chromosome the other on the X so if a woman with one allele marries a man who has an allele too their male children would have a 50% chance of going bald (if the woman has an allele on only one of her X chromosomes) or 100% chance if the woman has it on both. That's just what I've heard it might not be true, but it explains why only men go bald anyway.

I wonder if there is a test to see if a woman has it on her X chromosomes so you can see if your children will go bald?

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #6 on: 24/06/2003 00:09:01 »
Interesting. I've always wondered why my Dad and both grandfathers were totaly bald and yet I've got all my hair. I like Quantum's theory much better than the one where my Dad and Grandfather are more "active" than I. Hehehe :p
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #7 on: 24/06/2003 04:09:39 »
Sometimes people (men and women) will lose more hair if they don't rinse all the shampoo/creme rinse out properly.  Bending over and massaging your scalp while your head is upside down will stimulate the blood supply and help you keep your hair too.  People generally shed 50 to 100 hairs per day so relax when you see hair in your brush.

How does that old joke go?  It's not a bald head, it's a solar panel for a sex machine.
 

Offline cuso4

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #8 on: 24/06/2003 07:59:53 »
Yeah Donnah, my mum is a hairdresser and she said the same thing about normal people lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day.

Angel
 

Offline nilmot

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #9 on: 25/06/2003 11:14:51 »
If you think about it, we have a lot of hair thousands probably, losing 50 per day is not very much is it.

Hair loss I think is very much due to environmental factor like Donnah've said. Lifestyle might affect hair loss as well, because I've graduated from high school I've been quite slack and going to bed late..ish....very late. When I woke up in the morning I found considerable amount of hair on my bed and pillow!

Hairs are cells as well and not taking care of them will kill them.

Tom
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #10 on: 25/06/2003 12:02:58 »
Hey Tom, have you chosen a title yet?

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Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #11 on: 25/06/2003 15:36:39 »
quote:
Originally posted by nilmot

If you think about it, we have a lot of hair thousands probably, losing 50 per day is not very much is it.

Hair loss I think is very much due to environmental factor like Donnah've said. Lifestyle might affect hair loss as well, because I've graduated from high school I've been quite slack and going to bed late..ish....very late. When I woke up in the morning I found considerable amount of hair on my bed and pillow!

Hairs are cells as well and not taking care of them will kill them.

Tom



Going to have to pick you up on that one Tom...hair is protein, similar to the stuff that forms finger and toe nails. Perhaps you are thinking about 'hair follicles' which are the structures that produce hair and are composed of cells.

TNS
 

Offline nilmot

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #12 on: 26/06/2003 11:12:29 »
Sorry, you're right I was think of the hair follicles. Our school have studied the skin structure but only briefly so I didn't remeber it very well.

Tom
 

Offline dalya

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #13 on: 30/06/2003 08:56:00 »
What I want to know is why do men really care about going bald?  It's just hair after all and just part of life.  It seems as if there is a massive genetic component to hair loss -so if you are destined to lose your hair, shouldn't you think about those years with hair on your head as the anomaly rather than the hair loss being the mistake?  I personally have no problem with baldness -just like some men wear their hair and hairstyle better than others, some men look better bald than others.  And of course shaving your head bald even when you have a full head of luxuriant hair has become a hairstyle itself.  Do bald men feel like punching people who shave their heads?

In any case, certainly there are environmental effects on hair and if you need to tell yourself that the smoking is causing the baldness in order to quit, then do that -if for no other reason than women will probably prefer a bald man who doesn't reek of smoke and have a death sentence on his head (hahaha -no pun intended) to a man that is just plain ol' bald.  Perhaps it has been looked into -tobacco is toxic to cells of all sorts and gets into your bloodstream from your lungs -obviously it is concentrated in your lungs which is why smokers have so many lung problems.  

I don't think that reducing sex is meant to significantly change your DHT levels -you are either genetically pre-disposed to have higher levels or be more sensitive to lower levels on a daily basis-and sex only supplies the body with a brief extra spurt of it.  

Of course there must be other environmental factors that affect your hair like the way you wash it as Donnah suggested, and probably you can get better info from a reputable hair loss website.  But just a somewhat anecdotal aside -shortly after I moved to a high altitude, my hair changed colors.  It used to get streak of red in it during the summers when I was younger, but then the whole bloody thing changed to some silly mousy brown whereas it used to be quite a nice color before (not that mousy brown is bad, I just hate it on myself).  I figured that all the extra UV rays I was getting from living in the mountains probably zapped my hair follicles and made them turn on a different genetic program which has persisted since moving back to sea level.  I'm not suggesting that you are getting too much sun, but I mean, maybe things along those line like that are also affecting you.

Dalya
 

Offline chris

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #14 on: 30/06/2003 10:25:19 »
Interesting comment about hair colour Dalya - I've seen patients who have undergone radiotherapy and their hair in the region exposed to the radiowaves has changed colour. In some instances a white-haired individual develops a black patch !

Chris

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #15 on: 15/07/2003 22:09:40 »
There must be some merit to the blood supply theory.  Otherwise, why would Rogaine (minoxidil) work.  I think there just may be multiple causes, that combines genetics and environment.  And what about those men that actually go bald all over?  What's up with their hormones?  And the hair transplants -- they harvest the grafts from the lower part of the scalp (assuming you're one of the men who didn't go bald all over), and once transplanted, the grafts do just fine even in the same hormonal environment.  And what about the rare women who go bald?  Do they have too much testosterone?  Has anyone tested them?

Bezoar
 

Offline dalya

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #16 on: 17/07/2003 15:34:54 »
Ya Chris, my aunt had stick straight blond hair before chemo and curly black hair after.  She was quite ticked off -she was always proud of being a natural blond.  It took her mind off of the fact that she was going to die.

Oh, that last bit was a bit macabre -but true.
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #17 on: 17/07/2003 23:31:03 »
The centre of a hair shaft is called the medulla (if I remember correctly) and becomes hollow when hair turns grey.  They taught us (back in the early 80's) that straight hair would always remain straight, curly always curly, but I did not believe it even back then.  Dalya has given us an example that disproves their theory (or maybe there's a more updated version now) and I've noticed that although my hair is straight and blonde, the grey ones coming in (yay, free streaks) are quite curly.
 

Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #18 on: 18/07/2003 01:04:57 »
Hair is a fascinating thing. My secretary had breast cancer and had the chemo. She lost all of her straight blonde hair and it came back strawberry blonde and kinky-curly.

Why does some hair seem to have a memory? Why does your hair up top grow and grow, yet your eyebrows and arm hair, etc. stop at a certain point. I have brown hair, but my beard grows in a mix of red, brown, gray, black and blonde. Why do people with straight hair not have straight, umm, err, "other hair"? Straight up top, curly down below. Why wouldn't armpit hair grow to the floor? Why also, does hair start coming in at other places with age, ie... Old men's ears and neck and back when they were virtually hairless in there youth? "Cow licks" are odd too. Any explanations out there?
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #19 on: 18/07/2003 15:17:27 »
My daughter, the hairdresser, tells me that all hair has a life span.  It will continue to grow for all it's life, then fall out.  She says that eyebrows and down below have a shorter life span, therefore they don't grow as long.  I'm a little skeptical of that, because it seems that you would be continuously shedding eyebrows.  I think hair grows about a quarter to a half an inch a month, and I have not noticed my eyebrows shedding that much, although maybe I don't notice because they're so short.  

Growing hair in different places, I think, is all hormonal.  I knew a guy who started taking testorone shots for impotence.  It didn't help the impotence, but he started growing hair on his back and in his ears.

Another curious thing.  She says you cannot make a light natural blonde into a redhead.  That the medulla of the blonde hair is so thin and the molecules of red hair dye are large, therefore they can't penetrate the medulla of the blonde hair shaft.  Says the best you can get is a strawberry blonde.

No explanation yet on why down below can be curly when the rest of the hair is straight.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #20 on: 18/07/2003 18:41:25 »
Great topic.

Your daughter is quite correct in her assertion that hair has a lifespan thus accounting for its length.

Hair follicles follow a 3 phase growth cycle comprising the anagen phase, when the follicle actively makes hairs, the catagen phase, when the follicle sheds the hair and finally the thelogan phase, when the follicle rests before returning to the anagen phase again.

The lengths of these phases can vary over the body surface. Head and beard hairs have a very long anagen phase, lasing years, meaning that the hairs they produce can become very long before they drop out.

Conversely, eyebrows and eyelashes have a very short anagen phase lasting a few weeks only which means that the hairs never become very long before they are shed. You can understand the relative importance of eyelashes not exceeding a certain length otherwise they'd prevent us from seeing properly !

Hair is protein synthesised by the hair follicle and the shape and texture of hair is determined by the protein composition. Hair colour is contributed by melanocytes (melanin producing cells) within the follicles. Grey or white hairs appear when the pigment cells switch off. Presumably some cells become quiescent (enter a phase of prolonged rest) but can be genetically 'reawakened' by radiotherapy, thus accouting for some of the cases of hair mysteriously changing colour post radiotherapy.

Chris



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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #21 on: 19/07/2003 06:28:23 »
Beautiful explanations. Thanks!

What now with the "curly / straight issue"?

Cheers!
 

Offline dalya

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #22 on: 20/07/2003 13:12:04 »
As we all know I'm sure there is variation in the exact sequence of the proteins different people's cells make -most normal proteins do basically the same job but there is some flexibility in the exact code required to do it.  People with curly hair have proteins that 'di-sulphide bond' people with straight hair do not disulfide bond and those with wavy hair have an intermediate level.  Proteins are made up of different flavours of amino acids linked together linearly through peptide bonds.  However, the atoms in certain types of amino acids (sulfur to be exact) can also form bonds with amino acids that aren't sitting directly next to them.  To do this the protein must fold up and curve rather than staying completely straight.  Hence the curviness of curly and wavy hair.  Pubic hair is completely different in texture as well its curly kinky (pun abashedly intended) factor and so I think it is safe to assume that it is encoded by completely different genes than the hair on our heads.  I guess those genes encode proteins with different disulphide bonds.

Incidentally, it is inaccurate to say that any protein is completely straight because they aren't -the way in which they fold up and form a 3 dimensional structure as well as the chemical properties is what makes each protein unique and confers its functional abilities to it.  But the amount of disulphide bonding and the placement of those bonds within the hair (keratin) is what makes it curly.
 

Offline dalya

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #23 on: 20/07/2003 13:15:35 »
Oh also I am sure many of you have heard about the study publshed this week stating that masturbating in your 20s reduces the risk of prostate cancer when older presumably because it clears the prostate of toxins.  no comment though in this study about how it affects baldness.  just thought this followed on well-ish from some past comments on this forum topic.
 

Offline Seek_Knowledge

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #24 on: 17/10/2008 00:41:33 »
What I want to know is, is it sexual stimulation/arousal itself that triggers testosterone-DHT conversion or just ejaculation?

Is it true that PC muscle exercises can induce oxytocin and trigger testosterone-DHT conversion (something like that)?

If a man masturbates or has sex frequently but limits his ejaculation frequency to 2-3 times a week, will he have elevated DHT levels?
 

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Re: Is frequency of ejaculation linked to hair loss in males?
« Reply #24 on: 17/10/2008 00:41:33 »

 

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