Home | News | Find a Doctor | Ask a Question | Free

Connection between sperm-ejaculation and hairloss


#1

Hello,

Many years ago when I was young, I’ve seen posts on the internet on the subject of hairloss, saying that (excessive) masturbation/sex can contribute to hairloss.

I remember back then fully endorsing the opinion of those who claimed such a connection between ejaculation and hairloss has no scientific basis, is plain nonsense, and was invented by mean people trying to deprive balding guys from enjoyment.

Years have passed, and in the meantime I did a B.Sc in Biology and then M.Sc in Molecular biology (now I’m in my doctorate).

Anyway, a week ago I tried to reevaluate my position concerning this issue. To my surprise, the claim of a connection between hairloss and ejaculation suddenly seemed to have a lot of sense.

I’ve been browsing Pubmed and saw articles showing that after ejaculation, the levels of Testosterone and DHT in the blood, go up. This of course makes sense, since after ejaculation it is logical that spermatogenesis should be increased, and so testosterone is needed.

It certainly makes sense that when testosterone levels are high in the blood, the levels will also go up in the hair follicles on the head, and there, some will be transferred to DHT by 5-alpha-reductase => contributing to hairloss.

I have to admit I’m not an endocrinologist. If any of you have links to papers or scientific basis that could explain why the above theory is flawed as a contributing factor for hairloss, I’ll be happy to read it.


#2

Sorry but : WALOC


#3

It may make sense to you, but high Testosterone levels are actually good for hair. Thats already experimentally proven fact.

So I’d say as long as you take propecia or similar DHT blocker, you want T as high as possible so the androgen receptors will get satisfied, and body will stop producing DHT.

a lot of T is good. its the 5-alpha reductase that trigger conversion of T into DHT. More T you have, less 5-alpha will be produced because your body will assume there is enough androgens out there (T) and no super androgens are necessary (DHT).

If I’d be worried about something then it would be prolactin. Too much of it is proven to shrink hair follicles.

Now can I get my Msc from biology as well please?


#4

What you say regarding the connection between higher levels of testosterone which lead to lower levels of DHT, is logical if you assume a negative feedback loop of testosterone on 5-alpha-reductase. But, theoretically I wouldn’t be surprised to find a positive feedback loop of testosterone on 5-alpha-reductase. We see it a lot in molecular biology, that once a certain signaling pathway is activated, it enhances itself by positive feedback.

Anyway, if you say that high levels of testosterone were found to counter hairloss, then that’s the important thing. You have a link for such paper, btw ?

The thing that still worries me, is that after ejaculation, blood DHT levels were found to go higher as well.

» Now can I get my Msc from biology as well please?

Ha !, it just goes to show you how broad the field of biology is. My specific field of study is very different than dermatology/endocrinology, so I’ll not be surprised if many of you guys know a lot more than me about the biology of hairloss.


#5

Oh god… I’m screwed then. I try to crack one off at least twice a day… :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

»
» Anyway, if you say that high levels of testosterone were found to counter
» hairloss, then that’s the important thing. You have a link for such paper,
» btw ?
»

I’m not sure about a paper. What I’m talking here about is experience of lot of hair loss board users. If you search various forums you will find that people are even taking maca root and ZMA to intentionally increase their T levels. I’m doing the same, and my hair is twice as thick as before when I started for this reason I never even bothered to search for a paper. I know it works because I first read it from other hairloss sufferers, tried it, and I’m a living proof that they were right. It may be possible there is a paper though. I dunno.

All in all I still think that you may be right, if you dont block 5AR, I’m not sure if increased T increases DHT as well. What I’m sure though is that if you do block 5AR, and then even boost your T, your hair will get much better then with just blocking 5AR.

I also remember there was some iffy study, that was mentioning an experiment when they boosted young guys with T over the roof. They were horny, and their hair was superb. I don’t remember if DHT levels were mentioned there.


#7

BTW :slight_smile: Do you know what is the difference between receptor degradation and binding of something onto the receptor?

I always wanted to know. but I’m not able to find any description. Is it perhaps both the same?


#8

Ejaculation is ejaculation, no matter what the cause. If masturbation is bad for hair then all sexual activity is bad for hair.

The idea that sexual activity would do damage to a healthy young man is completely backwards to evolution as we know it. If ejaculation has any effect on hair then I believe it would be extrememly small.


#9

» BTW :slight_smile: Do you know what is the difference between receptor degradation and
» binding of something onto the receptor?
»
» I always wanted to know. but I’m not able to find any description. Is it
» perhaps both the same?

“Receptor degradation” means destruction of the receptor.

When something binds to a receptor, it usually doesn’t lead to degradation of the receptor. If the molecule that atteched to the receptor is an activating ligand (like testosterone to the androgen receptor), then the receptor will activate some pathway. If on the other hand it’s an inhibitory ligand, then the receptor will not be able to bind to an activator ligand, and in some cases, might even undergo degradation.


#10

» The idea that sexual activity would do damage to a healthy young man is
» completely backwards to evolution as we know it.

This is not necessarily true.

In the field of aging (which is my field), we can see a contrast between body-maintanance, and fertility.

We have many examples from eukaryotic animals, that when we enhance their body-maintanace (which extends their lifespan) we see a reduction in fertility, and when we hurt their fertility (like take out the gonads), we see an increase in body-maintanace (and an increased lifespan).

It seems that one thing comes at the expense of the other.

There is an evolutionary theory that tries to explain the reason for this, and if anyone is interested, I will describe it.


#11

» It may make sense to you, but high Testosterone levels are actually good
» for hair. Thats already experimentally proven fact. NO ITS NOT PROVEN OR EVEN ALLEGED. IN EX VIVO EXPERIEMTS, TESTOEREONE AS WELL AS DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE CAN MAKE MPB FOLLICLES SLOW GROWTH. IN FACT, JUST HIGH AMOUNTS OF TESTOSTERONE IN EXPERIMENTS CAN MAKE EVEN OCCIPTAL SCALP HAIRS RESPOND NEGATIVELY. »
» So I’d say as long as you take propecia or similar DHT blocker, you want T
» as high as possible so the androgen receptors will get satisfied, and body
» will stop producing DHT. WHERE ON EARTH DID YOU HEAR THAT?
»
» a lot of T is good. its the 5-alpha reductase that trigger conversion of T
» into DHT. More T you have, less 5-alpha will be produced because your body
» will assume there is enough androgens out there (T) and no super androgens
» are necessary (DHT). WHERE IN THE HELL DID YOU HEAR THIS NUTCASE IDEA???
»
» If I’d be worried about something then it would be prolactin. Too much of
» it is proven to shrink hair follicles.
»
» Now can I get my Msc from biology as well please? YOU REALLY OUGHT NOT POST YOUR DRIVE-BY THOUGHTS ON ENDROCRINOLOGY HERE, THEY ARE MISLEADING


#12
benji: if you go to regrowth.com there are a lot of guys doing it. I tried that and it does work. as long as you stop T->DHT, a lot of T will help your hair. In fact most of the guys there do not take propecia. They just boost their T levels and use natural supplements to reduce inflamation. I dunno if some of the supplements they take reduces 5AR. I never stopped taking fin and do not plan to.

And because I’ve been on similar T boosting regimen for several months already I can confirm they are true. It does work.


#13

Btw, I’ve not found the iffy study itself but I’ve found a guy mentioning it here:
http://www.totalityofbeing.com/FramelessPages/Articles/real_reason_men_lose_hair.htm

The University of Iowa did a study some years back where they injected a group of 18 to 20 year olds with 600 times more testosterone than they already had! (1). (It’s a wonder these guys didn’t impregnate every gal in Iowa and both the Dakotas)! During the entire duration of the fairly long study, a control group of men aged 50+ was monitored for the same things the young men were being monitored for: Total and Free Testosterone level, Estrogen level, DHT levels and other pertinent things. The control group received no hormones or medications during the study period.

During the time of having super high T levels the young men had low DHT levels! Their DHT levels remained consistent and did not elevate. AND their estrogen levels remained low as well. This came as a surprise, because the prevailing thought among MD endocrinologists (who really don’t know much about hormones) was that as T levels rose so would DHT levels and that T would convert to E and increase estrogen levels. That flatly did not happen. What also did not happen were any increases in prostate size, testicular or prostate cancer or the onset of any other malignant disease.

Anyway, it does look like a BS article so you are free to dismis it. Try searching for more ppl who experimented with increased T levels and their effect on hair growth. That may convince you.


#14

btw found this as well which suggests that if you have abnormally low T and increase it to normal levels, your dht will increase as well.

http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/91/6/1995/T6

so I really do not advice anyone trying it without fin or similar dht blocker or without studying more in depth what the guys on regrowth do with the other supplements they take.


#15

Dihydrotestosterone and testosterone throughout the life span of Czech men

OBJECTIVE:
The dihydrotestosterone:testosterone ratio seems to be an important factor in the expression of androgenic activity, especially in the prostate and pilosebaceous unit. Whereas the decline of testosterone (T) in aging men is well known, controversial data can be found in literature concerning the age dependence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. Data from the database of the Institute of Endocrinology served as the basis for the definition of the life span curve for the ratio dihydrotestosterone : testosterone.

METHODS:
The results of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone obtained immunoassays from 10 251 male patients were used in the construction of the curve.

RESULTS:
The data show that after a peak of DHT:T in infancy and a subsequent decrease in puberty, the ratio of both androgens remains practically without change from approx. 20 years of age till old age.

CONCLUSION:
High DHT:T ratio in infancy decreases at puberty and throughout the entire reproductive period of life this ration remains practically constant.


#16

Effect of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone and testosterone on apoptosis in human dermal papilla cells.

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2006;19(6):311-21

Pathogenetic mechanisms in androgenetic alopecia are not yet fully understood; however, it is commonly accepted that androgens like testosterone (T) and 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5alpha-DHT) inhibit hair follicle activity with early induction of the catagen.

Thus, we investigated the influence of T and 5alpha-DHT on proliferation, cell death and bcl-2/bax expression in cultured dermal papilla cells (DPC) from nonbalding scalp regions of healthy volunteers.

T and 5alpha-DHT induced apoptosis in DPC in a dose-dependent and time-related manner; in addition a necrotic effect due to T at 10(-5) M was found. Interestingly, bcl-2 protein expression was decreased in T- and 5alpha-DHT-treated cells, leading to an increase in the bax/bcl-2 ratio.

In addition, T and 5alpha-DHT induced proteolytic cleavage of caspase 8 and inhibited proliferation of DPC at 10(-5) M. High concentrations of T and 5alpha-DHT were needed to induce apoptotic effects in DPC.

These data suggest that DPC from nonbalding scalp regions do have the capacity to undergo apoptosis, but need a high androgen stimulus.

The present study provides an interesting new pathogenetic approach in androgenetic alopecia.


#17

Personian,

I don’t disagree that there can be a shortening of lifespan linked to improvement in fertility.

But it’s a big leap to think that having normal amounts of sexual activity would help cause visible amounts of hair damage within any reasonably relevant timeframe. That’s what I disagree with.

If there was a link between sexual activity and hair loss, I really think we would have seen it by now. There is plenty of variation in the amounts of sex had by varying males, and the issue makes perfect sense to pay attention to in general (witness how often it gets brought up). It has been looked at in the past.

It’s like hypothesizing that maybe physical fitness is relevant to slowing or speeding up hair loss - There’s TONS of anecdotal talk about it, the theory makes a certain amount of sense . . . and yet it never really bears out. We never really find the data that a better lifestyle has a significant effect. We never really find out any factor that changes things enough to make a worthwhile difference. (Yes there can be some minor effect, but we can’t go the gym 4 times a week and get our hair loss halted.)


#18

» If there was a link between sexual activity and hair loss, I really think
» we would have seen it by now. There is plenty of variation in the amounts
» of sex had by varying males, and the issue makes perfect sense to pay
» attention to in general (witness how often it gets brought up). It has
» been looked at in the past.

What I would have liked to see is the following experiment:

  • Take 200 balding guys, divide them to two 100 groups.
  • One group should ejaculate every day, the other group should not ejaculate at all.
  • Every day each test subject should comb his hair and count the hairs that remained on the comb.
  • Every week blood samples should be taken, to measure T and DHT blood concentrations.
  • The test should run 3 months.
  • After 3 months, the groups should change parts, the one that ejaculated every day should stop, and vice versa. This new test should run 3 months too.

At the end of such test there will be appropriate information to really evaluate if ejaculation does or doesn’t contribute to hairloss. Will the non-ejaculators show much lower T and DHT levels ?, will they have less hair on the comb ?


#19

You should also include prolactin.

http://ajp.amjpathol.org/cgi/content/abstract/168/3/748

Human Scalp Hair Follicles Are Both a Target and a Source of Prolactin, which Serves as an Autocrine and/or Paracrine Promoter of Apoptosis-Driven Hair Follicle Regression
Kerstin Foitzik*, Karoline Krause*, Franziska Conrad*, Motonobu Nakamura*, Wolfang Funk and Ralf Paus*
From the Department of Dermatology,* University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany; Klinik Doctor Kozlowski, München, Germany; and Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

The prototypic pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL) exerts a wide variety of bioregulatory effects in mammals and is also found in extrapituitary sites, including murine skin. Here, we show by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistology that, contrary to a previous report, human skin and normal human scalp hair follicles (HFs), in particular, express both PRL and PRL receptors (PRL-R) at the mRNA and protein level. PRL and PRL-R immunoreactivity can be detected in the epithelium of human anagen VI HFs, while the HF mesenchyme is negative. During the HF transformation from growth (anagen) to apoptosis-driven regression (catagen), PRL and PRL-R immunoreactivity appear up-regulated. Treatment of organ-cultured human scalp HFs with high-dose PRL (400 ng/ml) results in a significant inhibition of hair shaft elongation and premature catagen development, along with reduced proliferation and increased apoptosis of hair bulb keratinocytes (Ki-67/terminal dUTP nick-end labeling immunohistomorphometry). This shows that PRL receptors, expressed in HFs, are functional and that human skin and human scalp HFs are both direct targets and sources of PRL. Our data suggest that PRL acts as an autocrine hair growth modulator with catagen-promoting functions and that the hair growth-inhibitory effects of PRL demonstrated here may underlie the as yet ill-understood hair loss in patients with hyper-prolactinemia.


#20

Hairsite: that study says dht:t ratio stays constant. But that surely was done only on patients that do not try to alternate any of their hormone levels. So its a study that says if you are a normal guy who does not give a sht about hair, does not take any steroids and does not mess with his hormone levels, your dht:t will be pretty much constant.

What we know though is that if you block 5ar, t will go up dht down. hairwise this translates to more hair. of course this does not prove anything as well. legit opinion is that it is only the dht that goes down that actually helps the hair growth and I’m not going to argue with that because it surely is true that low dht is better for mpb. what I’m convinced though is that low dht + reasonably increased T is better for hair then just low dht.