Does Sweat make your hair grow? Research says that there’s definitely a connection between hair growth and sweat. Let’s find out in my article below if sweat promotes hair growth or does it contribute to excessive hair loss.
Hair loss and sweating are two things that are directly visible to the other person. In the case of hair loss, it is usually a sign of poor hygiene and health, hormonal imbalance, environmental pollution or extreme stress. It can be worrying and anxiety inducing, especially if you’re losing a lot of hair at once.
And sweat, on the other hand, has dual affects. Of course, sweat is not usually perceived as a positive thing. Being the sweaty kid at school or the sweaty relative at a wedding, or arriving at the workplace in a pool of your own sweat is embarrassing.
But here’s the thing. Both hair loss and sweat are common and prevalent among everyone across the globe. While hair loss is an issue that can be tackled by following a few steps regularly and by taking good care of your overall health; sweat is something that is produced by our body which has more benefits than harm.
One among the many benefits of sweat happens to be stimulating hair growth. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of sweat, how much sweat is good before it starts negatively affecting your hair hygiene, and the little steps you could take that might help with excessive sweating.
What is sweat?
Let’s go back to the basics for a bit. Sweat is nothing but water with tiny amounts of salt, urea, ammonia and sugar. When the temperature of our body rises, sweat glands release water to the surface of the skin, which cools down the body. We tend to sweat when we are anxious, or have a fever, and most commonly, when we exercise.
Does sweat make your hair grow?
Yes, sweat makes your hair grow by unclogging the hair follicles but excessive sweat can disrupt the pH balance of the hair, damage hair texture and cause hair fall.
When you sweat, toxins and waste particles in the pores of your skin are flushed out, making you feel refreshed, radiant, and clean (despite the sweat).
Similarly, when you sweat from your scalp, the hair follicles on your scalp get unclogged. Sweating from your scalp also opens up pores, releasing any build-ups that could be stunting the growth of your hair. Both these effects on the scalp create room for new hair to grow.
So yes, experts do believe that as a result of this unclogging, sweat helps your hair grow.
Further, when you are stressed, the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone which can have negative impacts on the entire body including your hair follicles. Stress hinders the growth of hair follicles, which often leads to hair thinning or hair loss.
On the other hand, endorphin – a hormone released as a result of working out and sweating – increases feelings of pleasure and well-being, and reduces pain and discomfort. This encourages hair follicles to grow naturally and freely.
Hence, regular exercise promotes hair growth, and has positive effects on your entire well being.
How Does Sweat Affect Your Hair?
It is the salt build-up as a result of sweat that is harmful for your hair. This salt build-up, which contains lactic acid, can cause damage when it gets mixed with the keratin in your hair. This can lead to hair loss and breakage.
Further, the sweat glands mix easily with bacteria as well, which often results in fungal infections.
These negative impacts only occur when there is excessive sweat sitting on your scalp for a considerable amount of time. Such an unhygienic condition can also cause dehydration of hair strands and the scalp.
A quick summary would be- sweat definitely helps your hair grow, but excessive sweat is harmful for your hair.
Thus, it is extremely true that exercising not only helps elevate your long-term health, but it also optimizes your hair growth rate. Not only does it remove toxins from the body, it opens up your hair follicles, unclogs pores, and ultimately provides room for hair growth.
In fact, working out by itself boosts blood flow to the scalp. Increased blood flow brings in more nutrients and oxygen to the scalp, which provide nourishment to the roots of your hair. sweaty hair after workout might disrupt the pH balance as well.
To avoid any negative impact that might occur as a result of working out regularly, it is advised to wash your hair especially after a particularly tiring and sweaty routine.
Other Benefits of Sweat For Hair
Here are a few other positive effects that sweat has on the rest of our body.
- Perspiring releases feel good hormones called endorphins in the brain that can improve your mood. It is believed that it has the ability to reduce symptoms of depression. Endorphins also act as natural painkillers.
- Sweat also regulates our body temperature during times of stress. Working out helps deal with mood swings, as it leaves us in a more relaxed state than before.
- Regular physical exertion in the form of exercise or yoga ensures a good night’s sleep. In this way, sweat promotes a healthier sleep cycle.
- It fights germs, unclogs dirty pores and cleanses your skin cells. Sweat helps release toxins in the form of salt, cholesterol, and alcohol. Hence, a quick sweat inducing workout is often recommended as a cure for hangovers.
- Sweat releases the unhealthy bacteria on your face and prevents zits, pimples, blemishes, and spots. By helping reduce and prevent rashes and irritated skin, and by hydrating and cleansing the pores, sweat guarantees smoother and healthier skin.
What Exercises are Most Beneficial for Healthy Hair?
You can very well stick to your personally curated work out routine, but if you are looking to make some additions that might specifically benefit the health of your hair, here are a few suggestions that you may find useful.
- Cardio in any of its forms, be it running, elevated walking, cycling, dance, zumba or any playing sport is good for your hair. You can consider buying a treadmill or a cross trainer if you are not someone who hits the gym often.
Cardio involves intense physical activity for a fixed amount of time, which leads to exertion and induces sweat. This sweat helps your hair follicles and pores open up.
- Breathing exercises like pranayama and yoga are considered to be extremely beneficial for healthy hair. Inversion yoga in particular, which involves inverted poses, helps increase blood flow to the scalp and the rest of the body. Blood supply is a significant component of good hair growth.
- Inverted postures also correct hormone imbalances which are another cause for hair loss as they often tend to have stress and anxiety-inducing side effects. Additionally, inverted poses increases vitality, and improves concentration.
How to Stop Sweating In Your Hair?
Apart from leading to hair care woes, a sweaty scalp is a social indicator of poor hygiene as it not only makes the person uncomfortable but it also makes your hair smell stale. Here are a few ways to tackle excessive sweat and grease, which happens to the best of us, especially during the summers.
Wash your hair after an exhausting routine
Always wash your hair after an especially sweaty work out. Pick up a clarifying and purifying shampoo that primarily focuses on cleansing, and getting the dirt out of your hair and scalp. Deeply condition your hair twice a week to avoid stinking.
Maybe add a few drops of peppermint oil or lemon juice to your shampoo, which act as natural cleansing and refreshing agents.
If the sweat build up is not a lot, you need not worry. This will only have a positive effect on your hair growth. Just make sure that the sweat does not settle by leaving your hair out for a while and letting it air dry on its own.
While it is not ideal to wash your hair everyday, if you indulge in an intense physical activity daily, we would recommend that you wash your hair at least 3 to 4 times a week. In such a situation, it is also better to use natural shampoos which are mild and can be used daily without causing much harm.
Be stress and anxiety-free
Both sweat and hair loss can be a consequence of prolonged and intense stress or anxiety. Get a good night’s sleep and practice calming techniques to feel more in control of your life and the situation at hand.
Positive mental health directly correlates to your biological and physical well-being, and vice-versa.
If you are a particularly sweaty person, going for a shorter crop during the summers might help ward off a lot of hair care and skin care issues. This is a hassle-free and straightforward solution.
Skip heating irons, blow dryers, and styling tools on extremely hot days. These devices use hot air to style your hair, which will heat up your scalp even more. This will not only make you sweat excessively on the scalp, but your styling efforts will bear no fruit as it will all come undone.
Hair masks and Hair spa
Spend some time taking care of your hair on a fortnightly or monthly basis. Homemade hair masks or professional hair spas will hydrate, condition, and deeply cleanse your hair and scalp.
FAQs about Sweat and Hair Growth
I hope you got the answer to your question- Does sweat make your hair grow? Cheers!
Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?
The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.