Does Masturbation Cause Hair Loss?

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
7th January 2022

In 30 seconds…

In short, the answer is no. Masturbation does not cause hair loss.

Along with hairy palms and blindness – other common myths about masturbation – hair loss is not a consequence of pleasuring yourself.

Typically, hair loss is less about what you do and more about how you’re made. It’s generally caused by male pattern baldness, a common genetic condition that is responsible for 95% of hair loss cases in men. In the end, it’s more likely to be your hormones, rather than your private fun, that’s making your hair fall out. With so many myths about male health around, it’s a good idea to stay informed.

There are many myths about masturbation – with some of them bordering on the wacky. However, given their prevalence, it’s worth investigating them further. 

Starting simply, masturbation does not cause hair loss. Nor does it make you blind, nor shrink your penis. Rather, it is a healthy and normal activity that can only cause problems when done to excess. 

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the major myths about masturbation and hair loss. And the first thing you need to know is that they really have nothing to do with each other.

Can Masturbating Cause Hair Loss?

Of all the myths about masturbating, the belief that it can cause hair loss is one of the most widespread. You’ll perhaps be pleased to hear that, no, there is no truth behind the legend at all. This particular myth may well have arisen from ideas surrounding the relation between masturbating and your body’s levels of protein and testosterone. 

Protein, one theory goes, is necessary for your hair’s growth. Given that, when you masturbate, you ejaculate lots of protein in your semen, people reckon that there’s not enough left for your hair. Unfortunately, however, the protein lost in ejaculation is not enough to affect your overall protein levels. 

Another theory suggests that masturbating causes hair loss because it increases testosterone levels, which consequently increases your amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Because DHT is the substance known to cause male pattern baldness (MPB), this might make sense. However, testosterone levels actually decrease as a result of masturbating.

What Typically Causes Hair Loss?

Science has debunked the myth that masturbating can cause hair loss. However, there are other reasons why your hair may fall out. The most common of these is male pattern baldness, the hormonal process that develops in men as they grow older. 95% of hair loss in men is caused by MPB – and 85% of men are affected by it by the time they reach the age of fifty.

MPB is actually caused by your DHT levels, however these have no relation to masturbation. Rather, as we age, DHT is converted from testosterone in a totally normal process. In some of us, though, our hair follicles are sensitive to the substance – and they weaken and become damaged as DHT increases. It’s this that gives you your receding hairline.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Whilst MPB is by far the most common cause of hair loss in men, there are other reasons why it can happen too. None of them are related to your sexual behaviour.


Stress can cause hair loss in ways which are difficult to miss. If you are very stressed, your hair follicles can just shut down – and you will shed clumps of hair when you brush or wash it. 

You may also lose hair due to stress because you pull it out – either from your scalp, eyebrows, or beard. This is much more common than you might think. By the way, masturbating reduces your stress levels, which may actually help to prevent this type of hair loss.

Low Testosterone 

Men with hormone imbalances such as low testosterone might experience thinning of their hair, as well as hair loss on the face and body too.Whilst we said that masturbation can decrease your testosterone levels, it does not do this enough to produce any effect. 

Is it Harmful to Masturbate Too Much?

Masturbation is a perfectly healthy and normal activity – and it can even have health benefits. In very extreme circumstances, it can be harmful if you masturbate too much. However, this depends on the way that you do it as much as how often.  

Firstly, pleasuring yourself has been found to have very important health benefits. These include positives ranging from stress reduction and improved sleep to increased sperm health and improved circulatory and neural systems. Masturbation can also help you to develop a healthy awareness of your sexuality and body – and it can boost your self-esteem. These are two elements that can have a healthy effect on your sex life.

How Do I Know if I Masturbate too Much?

Despite the health benefits, it is possible to cause both physical and psychological harm to yourself by masturbating too much. 

If you’re missing work or school due to masturbating or if you are cancelling social engagements or plans in favour of it, you may be spending too much time waxing your carrot. This can cause relationship difficulties and may lead to you feeling guilty or ashamed. 

Meanwhile, it is actually possible to hurt yourself whilst masturbating – depending on how you do it. Masturbating too roughly can cause damage to your penis and reduced sensitivity. 

It is also possible, if you watch porn a lot whilst masturbating, that you become desensitised to real sex with your partner. You may develop false expectations of what sex should be or how you should look. Excessive porn use can also cause porn-induced erectile dysfunction too.

Common Myths About Masturbation

Masturbation has its own benefits and potential risks. However, it is important to separate these from the common myths about masturbation.

Not everything you hear about solo sex is true – and some things are just downright weird. Most are just warnings from a more old-fashioned time, in which masturbation was something frowned upon. It isn’t now – and there is no reason why it should be. In fact, we should be talking about masturbating more.

Here are some common myths about masturbation that you can quite happily ignore:

“Masturbating gives you hairy palms”. This isn’t true. Humans, as a rule, don’t have hair follicles on their palms. 

“Playing with yourself makes you blind”. It’s unclear where this one came from, but there is no relation between masturbation and your eyesight. 

“Masturbation gives you a smaller, or curved, penis”. Unless you have injured it, masturbating will not give you a curved penis. And there is no link between pleasuring yourself and penis size. 

“Self-pleasure makes you infertile – or impotent”. Many people have heard the myths that masturbating can lower your sperm count, reduce your sex drive, or “use up” your orgasms. These are not true, and nor is the myth that links masturbation to erectile dysfunction.

Common Myths about hair loss

Like masturbation, hair loss is another thing that we don’t talk about enough. As a result, myths can take hold. If you understand how hair loss works, you can know how to deal with it. So, let’s bust some of the common myths about hair loss. And no, masturbation won’t make you lose your hair. 

“If your mum’s dad is bald, you’ll be bald too”. Male pattern baldness has been thought to come genetically from your maternal grandfather. This isn’t entirely true, as the genetic reasons for MPB are far from certain.  

“Hair products cause baldness”. Shampooing or styling, waxing or gelling, conditioning or colouring – none of these cause MPB. Use as many products as you please. 

“High-testosterone men have higher chances of baldness”. DHT, the hormone that causes MPB, is produced from testosterone. Yet, this doesn’t mean that the more testosterone you have the balder you’ll be. MPB is produced by your hair follicles’ sensitivity to DHT, not by your amount of testosterone.

Key Takeaways…

That masturbation causes hair loss is one myth among many regarding men’s health. You won’t lose your hair if you masturbate – just as much as you won’t go blind. There are so many myths about male health because we tend not to talk about it enough. Yet, getting properly educated about your body is the first step to staying in good nick.

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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