London is preparing for the Olympics in August this year and so are the athletes who will represent their respective nations at the Games. Whilst most will be concentrating hard on attaining maximum physical fitness, how many will be considering the long-term effects their training regimes have on their bodies, particularly their hairlines?
Exercise is essential for health and wellbeing – even more so if a medal is at stake – but the hormonal changes created by certain physical activities can have unintended consequences for the hair. Men and women who are genetically predisposed to pattern balding may find that over time their hair loss is accelerated by exercise.
Pattern balding, testosterone and exercise
For many of the 2012 athletes, particularly the younger squad members, the signs of hair loss may not yet have revealed themselves. Older athletes may well have noticed receding hairlines or a thinning around the crown which could increase the more time they spend preparing for their event.
For men and women who are genetically predisposed to hair loss, the problem arises through the way that the hormone testosterone interacts with their hair follicles. Testosterone is converted into the androgen DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which goes on to inhibit the growth of new hair cells. Over time the hair follicles shrink until they cease to function correctly, resulting in thinning hair and bald patches known as Androgenic Alopecia.
This process happens naturally in men and women who experience pattern balding, but when exercising in a way that raises the natural levels of testosterone, the action of DHT is increased, causing more follicles to be attacked by the androgen. Sports which require short, intense bursts of energy are most likely to raise testosterone, and therefore androgen levels. This means that weightlifters, sprinters and long jumpers are all at particular risk of increased hair loss through Androgenic Alopecia.
Sportsmen and women involved in sports which are more aerobic in nature are less likely to increase hair loss through Androgenic Alopecia because this form of exercise actually lowers the levels of DHT in the bloodstream.
Triumphant hair regrowth
Fortunately, hair loss treatments exist which can combat the effects of pattern balding in men and women by slowing hair loss and promoting regrowth. Using bespoke combination treatment plans that can include licensed treatments such as Minoxidil and Propecia, hair growth boosters and LaserCombs, the effects of Androgenic Alopecia can often be successfully reversed.
The Belgravia Centre is keen to offer support to any athlete attending the London 2012 Olympic Games and reassure them that regardless of the demands of their training regimes, much can be done about any hair loss that is caused as a direct result.
The Belgravia Centre has a proven track record of helping men and women with all manner of hair loss conditions. Please have a look at our archive of patient success stories (the world’s largest of its kind – testimony to the levels of regrowth achieved for the majority of treatment users) for full details of the positive changes our treatment plans have achieved for our clients.
Please call us today on 0800 077 6666 or message us online to book a free appointment with one of our hair loss experts. If you are not local to our London hair loss clinic, you are invited instead to fill out our online diagnostic form for a home-use treatment programme that we can post to you anywhere in the world.