Could your workout be making you BALD?
THINNING on top has been linked to low self-esteem, anxiety and in more extreme cases even isolation and depression.
From products to procedures, men are willing to go to extreme lengths to maintain their locks.
A recent study found over half of British men would rather have a full head of hair than a promotion or supermodel wife.
And it seems what you do at the gym can also accelerate thinning on top.
According to Dr Hair Transplant Surgeon at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, there has been a surge in men experiencing accelerated hair loss due to the use of powdered protein and the activity they participate in at the gym.
Reportedly, certain ingredients in protein shakes increase testosterone and a chemical called DHT, which has been linked to hair loss.
Dr said: “Protein shakes will very often contain growth hormones such as Creatine and DHEA, which not only increase muscle mass, but also increase testosterone levels in the bloodstream.
“Testosterone produces a chemical known as DHT, which actually contributes to baldness when the hair follicles become exposed to too much. Sadly, this is something that most men are unaware of, until they notice that their hair loss has already become more apparent.”
Dr said 70 per cent of male patients who come into her clinic are avid users of protein shakes.
However the expert explained protein shakes are not the root of hair loss.
She said: “It is important to distinguish between cause and effect here. Protein shakes do not cause hair loss.
“They do, however, accelerate hair loss for those men who suffer with androgenetic hair loss or alternatively, those who are predisposed to balding, as many men are.”
And as for the choice of exercise? Lifting the heaviest weights may not always be best, according to the expert.
“Interestingly, the activity that men do in the gym can also potentially impact hair loss. While cardio will reduce the levels of DHT in the blood stream, excess weight lifting can increase testosterone levels and therefore accelerate hair loss.
“I would therefore also advise those men who focus on lifting weights in the gym, to be mindful of just how much lifting they do and, where possible, to do more aerobic exercises.”
While the effects of protein on hair follicles cannot be reversed, the acceleration will be slowed down.
Dr said: “I would advise men who are pre-disposed to balding to stop using protein shakes that contain growth factors and hormones. Instead, they should try and incorporate natural sources of protein into their diet such as chicken, fish and eggs.
“Men should also ensure they are eating a healthy and balanced diet, which contains essential vitamins and minerals.”