Hair loss impacts millions of people worldwide. If you take a creatine supplement to help you keep up with your daily exercise routine, you might ask the question: Do you lose hair with creatine? With so much information available at your fingertips, it can take time to sift through opinions and evidence to determine the correct answer. Like many scientific studies, the relationship between creatine and hair loss needs more research to reach a definitive conclusion. Let’s explore the current discussions in more detail.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid produced by your pancreas, liver, and kidneys. It is also found in foods like red meat and seafood. Your muscles store creatine as phosphocreatine, which can later break down for energy during exercise.
Because of its role in energy generation, some people take creatine supplements to increase muscle mass, strength, and overall athletic performance. These supplements can come in the form of powders, liquids and tablets.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
There is insufficient evidence in the current body of research to prove that creatine causes baldness.
The Role of DHT
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone derived from testosterone known to impact hair growth. Your hair goes through a growth cycle that includes the following stages:
- Anagen: The growing phase that can last up to six years.
- Catagen: A transitional phase where the hair follicle shrinks and hair growth slows, lasting two to three weeks.
- Telogen: The resting stage with no hair growth, lasting three months.
- Exogen: The final shedding stage of the cycle where hair strands fall out of their follicles and begin the growing process again.
High levels of DHT can bind to hormone receptors in your hair follicles and shorten this cycle, leading to thinner and shorter hair. Additionally, due to this quicker process, hair falls out faster than it takes for your follicles to grow new strands.
Debunking the 2009 Study
You may have heard about the 2009 study on rugby players that leads the discussion around creatine and hair loss. In this experiment, the athletes were given a creatine supplement for three weeks to discover how this would impact DHT to testosterone ratios. The results showed that DHT increased by over 50%.
So, this study became the face of the theory that linked creatine to losing hair. However, what got lost in translation was that this research did not measure hair loss, nor has any other study established a direct correlation.
Therefore, the evidence for creatine’s potential hair loss side effects is insufficient and needs more research to establish a stronger argument. Creatine, in general, is considered safe as a sports performance supplement with minimal potential side effects.
Preventing Hair Loss
While creatine does not appear to make you lose hair, there are steps you can take to prevent any type of hair loss, including the following:
- Eat more protein-rich foods, like eggs, nuts, beans, fish, and chicken, for the keratin in your hair follicles.
- Ensure you get your daily vitamin intake, especially if you have deficiencies.
- Maintain regular scalp care routines to keep your hair strong and full.
How Concept Medical Can Help
At Concept Medical, we understand that although hair loss is common for many people, it can be a complicated reality to accept — and you’re not alone. For those wanting to explore treatments, we offer non-surgical procedures for hair thinning, including Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). For more information about our services, contact us. We’re happy to book you in for a consultation.