Int J Sports Med 2010; 31(11): 779-783
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1262802
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Head Hair Reduces Sweat Rate During Exercise Under the Sun

L. G. M. Coelho1 , J. B. Ferreira-Junior1 , A. R. P. Martini1 , D. A. Borba1 , D. B. Coelho1 , R. L. F. Passos1 , M. A. da. Fonseca1 , F. A. S. Moura-Lima1 , L. S. Prado1 , L. O. C. Rodrigues1
  • 1Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 2Federal Center for Technological Education of Minas Gerais, Timoteo, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 3Federal Institute of Triangulo Mineiro, Paracatu, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision June 29, 2010

Publication Date:
03 August 2010 (online)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of human head hair on thermoregulation during exercise carried out under solar radiation. 10 healthy male subjects (mean±SD: 25.1±2.5 yr; height: 176.2±4.0 cm; weight: 73.7±6.7 kg; V˙O2max 56.2±5.3 mLO2·kg−1·min−1) took part in 2 1 h-long trials of continuous exercise on a treadmill at 50% V˙O2max under solar radiation that were separated by at least 2 days. Whereas for the first trial they retained their natural head hair (HAIR), in the second trial their hair was totally shaved (NOHAIR). Several properties were measured, including environmental heat stress (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature index – WBGT, °C), heart rate, rectal temperature, skin temperature, head temperature, and global sweat rate. The main findings were that whereas there was a lower sweat rate in the HAIR condition (HAIR: 7.08±0.79 vs. NOHAIR: 7.67±0.79 g·m−2·min−1; p=0.03), there were no significant differences in any of the other variables between the HAIR and NOHAIR trials. In conclusion, the presence of head hair resulted in a lower sweat rate.



Dr. Luiz Oswaldo Carneiro Rodrigues

Federal University of Minas


Laboratory of Exercise


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31270-901 Belo Horizonte


Phone: 55/31/3409 2328

Fax: 55/31/3409 2350