Does Exercise Help Hair Growth? The Surprising Answer!

It’s no secret that getting regular exercise is good for your health. While the health benefits of exercise on the body have long been studied, how exercise affects hair growth is an area gaining attention more recently. So, does exercise help hair growth? Let’s find out!

Regular exercise does help promote hair growth. Cardiovascular exercise, in particular, is better suited for hair growth than weight lifting or mass building exercises. Also, increased blood circulation to the head and scalp area has been shown to counter the underlying causes of hair loss.

For years, fitness fanatics and athletes have reported better hair growth associated with their exercise, and now studies are starting to back this theory up. This article explains how exercise affects hair growth, including both the positive and negative impacts.

We’ll discuss which types of exercise are best suited for hair growth, as well as those that aren’t, providing straightforward answers to some of the most common questions about hair growth and exercise.

How Exercise Can Help With Hair Growth

Exercise has both direct and indirect ways that it impacts our hair.

Here are some direct benefits to hair growth due to exercise:

  • Exercise increases the circulation of blood to the head and scalp. When this occurs, more nutrients and oxygen are available to the hair follicles, providing an abundant supply of everything they need to function correctly.
  • Cardiovascular activity reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that has been shown to throw off the body’s other hormone levels. This hormone imbalance can negatively impact hair growth, and even speed up hair loss. A 2015 study in PLOS One found that, compared to unfit men, older men with a high cardiorespiratory fitness level released 42% less cortisol throughout the day.

In addition to this, exercise provides other benefits that have secondary effects on hair growth, namely:

  • Exercise Reduces Stress
    Exercise increases production and triggers a release of endorphins, which have long been shown to positively impact mood and reduce stress. Otherwise known as “the happy hormones,” endorphins can boost your mood for up to 24 hours. Stress is one of the main factors that contribute to hair loss, and being in a better mood after a workout helps to reduce it.
  • Exercise Promotes Healthier Sleep
    The link between increased levels of exercise and better, longer sleep has long been studied for decades. Not getting enough sleep is another huge contributing factor when it comes to premature hair loss. By hitting the gym regularly or taking a jog around the block, you can increase your chances of deep, restful sleep that can help improve hair growth.
Exercises That Promote Hair Growth - Cardiovascular Exercise
Exercises That Promote Hair Growth – Cardiovascular Exercise

Exercises That Promote Hair Growth

Here are some common exercises that help to encourage hair growth:

Cardiovascular Exercise Promotes Hair Growth

Cardio is by far the best kind of exercise for promoting hair growth. Increasing cardiovascular activity is the best way to increase blood flow throughout the body. Getting regular amounts of cardio exercise supplies the hair follicles with plenty of oxygen and nutrients, giving them everything they need for optimal health.

Yoga Helps With Hair Growth

Yoga is a fantastic way to increase blood flow all around the body. Many yoga poses focus specifically on the head and can increase blood flow and stimulation to the area.

There are also many calming benefits associated with the practice of yoga, and reduced stress equals reduced hair loss in many cases. The breathing control practices used in yoga are also very beneficial for blood and oxygen flow in the head area.

Scalp Massages Stimulate Hair Growth

A scalp massage is also a great way to stimulate hair follicles by gently applying pressure to the scalp in a light rubbing motion. With a scalp massage, just be sure not to use too much pressure, as this can put stress on the follicles and damage them.

Exercise Increases the Circulation of Blood to the Head and Scalp
Exercise Increases the Circulation of Blood to the Head and Scalp

How Exercise Can Harm Hair Growth

While certain types of exercise can help promote hair growth, others can have a negative impact. A weight lifting routine that is primarily focused on bulking up and muscle growth is a primary example of the type of regiment that is bad for hair growth.

A mass-building exercise routine can cause increased levels of testosterone. This hormone imbalance harms hair growth, as we highlighted earlier.

It’s also important not to overdo it when it comes to exercise. There is a fine line between pushing yourself for health benefits and pushing your body to the point of stress and exhaustion.

As it turns out, too much exercise can increase stress in the body and have the opposite result on hair growth than intended.

Tight hair bands and elastic, as well as overly tight hairstyles, should also be avoided. These put added stress on the hair follicle and can cause strands of hair to fall out. This is a common mistake for many gym-goers who are conscious of hair growth.

How Exercise Can Harm Hair Growth - Weight Lifting
How Exercise Can Harm Hair Growth – Weight Lifting

Questions and Answers

Still curious about exercise and hair growth? Here are some commonly asked questions: 

Will Regular Exercise Guarantee Hair Growth?

Regular exercise can’t guarantee hair growth for everyone, although many gym membership salespeople may try to convince you otherwise. Nonetheless, exercise is a natural way to give your hair follicles all the oxygen and nutrients needed to function correctly, and thereby stimulate growth.

What Type of Exercise Is Best for Hair Growth?

Cardiovascular activity is the best type of exercise for hair growth. Cardio increases overall blood flow throughout the body, and more blood to the head and scalp areas increases the odds of hair follicles working correctly.

What Type of Exercise Is Bad for Hair Growth?

The type of exercise that’s bad for hair growth is a weight-lifting routine focused on building mass. A balanced hormone system is key to long-term hair growth, and a heavy weight lifting regimen can boost testosterone. While this is good for muscle growth, hormone imbalance can increase hair loss.


Many people wonder what they can do to combat hair loss and even promote hair growth. While there are many different hair growth products on the market today, simple exercise can do the trick just as well.

Getting regular cardiovascular exercise multiple times a week causes increased blood circulation, which helps the scalp area and follicles.

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this article about “Does Exercise Help Hair Growth”, you may want to read about Is Hair Loss Normal? Discover the 8 Causes and Treatment. You may also want to learn about The Perfect Triceps and Chest Workout Revealed, and The Best Biceps and Back Workout (Scientifically Proven).


M.D Mark D. - Healthline Gate Health and Medical Articles Author

About The Author

M.D Mark D. is a Health and Wellness professional writer. Mark has authored many health articles around the following topics: Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Pets Health, Mental Health, Medicine, and Supplements.

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