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Can Steroids Cause Hair Loss? (According to a Doctor)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

In my practice as a fitness professional, I’ve witnessed that men who use steroids for rapid muscle building usually develop male-pattern hair loss.

Since one of my clients who was prescribed anabolics for a medical condition came to me concerned about hair loss, I spent a few days researching the subject and talking to an endocrinologist to determine if all steroid users go bald over time.

Read this article in full to learn what causes hair loss and what you can do to manage it.

Quick Summary

  • Steroids can increase hair loss in people who are genetically predisposed to thinning hair because they speed up the shedding process.
  • Taking steroids at the prescribed dose or discontinuing the medication and treatment may help prevent hair loss.
  • If you want to gain muscle and lose weight without adverse effects, taking supplements that can raise your testosterone levels naturally may help.

Do Steroids Make Your Hair Fall Out?

Top view of man with hair loss

Steroids can make your hair fall out because their intake can disrupt the normal production of hormones, which means your body will undergo certain hormonal changes.

According to research, hormonal changes are the primary reason for hair loss on the scalp in men, known as male pattern baldness (MPB) [1].

Changes in hormonal levels are inevitable in aging men, and they are one of the main reasons why they show thinning hair.

While this is true, most men who take steroids for medical or sports use have also been shown to thin out their hair.

Here's a more detailed explanation.

How They Can Affect Your Hair

Close up shot of a doctor taking care of a balding head

Steroids can affect your hair by increasing the levels of androgenic hormones, particularly testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Testosterone levels increase with steroid usage, which is the main reason men take them, as they can help increase muscle strength and size.

However, as T levels increase in the body, DHT levels may also increase due to the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Thus, hair loss may become a problem.

Research shows that androgenic alopecia, a condition where men lose hair in a well-defined pattern, is one of the most notable effects of increased DHT in the body [2].

Excess of this sex hormone causes healthy hair follicles to shrink, resulting in easier and faster hair loss. Furthermore, it can interfere with new hair growth, making it more difficult for the hair to regrow [3].

“Pattern hair loss is caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes a change in the hair follicles called ‘miniaturization’, where the follicle becomes progressively smaller and eventually stops producing hair.”

- Nely Aldrich, MD, FAAD

What Types of Steroids Cause Hair Thinning?

A DHT-based type of anabolic steroid may be more likely to cause alopecia in users compared to other derivatives like testosterone.

The reason is that DHT has more androgenic properties than testosterone.

As a result, it can bind to the androgen receptors in a hair follicle, negatively affecting the hair growth cycle [4].

Avoiding the worst steroids for hair loss may help you prevent further baldness. These are:

The good news is that there are natural and legal steroids that you can take as an alternative to anabolic steroids.

Compared to illegal anabolics, these natural alternatives won't interfere with your body's biological processes or worsen your genetic predisposition to losing hair.

How Do You Stop Hair Fall From Anabolics?

A doctor checking up on a patient with hair loss

You can stop hair fall by discontinuing your steroid regimen.

Also, taking them as prescribed by your doctor may reduce the adverse effects of anabolic steroids on your appearance.

In case you have suffered hair loss, you have treatment options like hormone therapy or hair transplants.

By doing this, you may be able to achieve hormonal balance and regrow your hair.

Other hair loss treatments may include improving blood flow to the hair follicles, which helps in stimulating hair growth.

Knowing that steroids can harm your hair, it makes sense to boost your testosterone levels naturally with supplements containing safe and effective ingredients. That means you can build muscle mass faster without suffering adverse side effects.

FAQs

Can Steroids Lead To Permanent Hair Loss?

Steroids can lead to permanent hair loss in rare cases. Careless use of anabolic steroids can aggravate a genetic predisposition to alopecia and result in a permanent condition. Most users experience temporary hair loss, and more hair grows once they stop taking steroids [5].

Which Steroids Will Not Cause Hair Loss?

All steroids may cause hair loss because they disrupt the way the body produces hormones. This is why they may cause skin thinning, mood swings, and weight gain. If you're not genetically prone to hair loss, you may reduce their side effects on hair by using them at a low dose.

Can You Have Hair Growth After Steroids?

You can grow hair after steroids and choose between non-surgical and surgical treatments.

Hair regrowth can take several weeks to months after effective treatment. This, of course, is dependent on your ability as a patient to respond to the hair loss treatment being considered by your doctor to address the condition.

What You Can Do to Prevent Male Pattern Baldness

Maintaining healthy hormone levels is essential for preventing hair loss.

This includes eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking vitamins, minerals, and dedicated natural supplements.

However, so many supplements claim to provide more than they actually do.

Since this is the case, I always advise my clients to choose supplements that have helped me further improve my own body composition without compromising my health.

Legal steroids containing natural testosterone-boosting ingredients are both safe and effective. They've helped me and many of my clients reach fitness goals without affecting our health or causing hair loss.


References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68077
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432488/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/dht-blocking-treatments-to-know-about
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557634/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8018303/
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