Creatine remains the top performance enhancement supplement used by athletes. It has no real competition threatening to take the top spot from it, but it’s not for a lack of perceived controversy. Among those is the creatine hair loss myth.
There have been rumored and studied side effects including kidney and liver damage, dehydration, and issues with digestion. While it does appear that taking more creatine than is recommended could lead to some digestion issues, studies have failed to conclude that many of the other side effects are common with creatine users. In fact, some of the purported side effects have ended up being the opposite of what was assumed (such as dehydration).
Another one of the commonly purported side effects is hair loss. So, does creatine cause hair loss?
Does Creatine Increase DHT?
This is a more difficult question to answer than some may realize. While yes, there has been a study that has shown a link to creatine and an increase in DHT – but it was only one study.
There have been multiple studies since then that have all failed to replicate the results of that one study which had been done so far. That has led to more questions about creatine and creatine-related hair loss myths.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
When the idea of creatine causing hair loss comes up, it’s related to the purported evidence through a study that it increases DHT levels which was discussed above. DHT (also known as Dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone that plays a major role in developing male sex characteristics including body hair and – unfortunately – male pattern baldness.
The way DHT contributes to that is how it interacts with your body through the bloodstream. When DHT reaches your scalp through the many capillaries there, it can attach itself to your hair follicles. After DHT has attached itself to a hair follicle, it causes it to shrink which makes it less likely for hair to grow through that follicle.
Beyond your hair, excessively high levels of DHT have been linked to prostate cancer and heart disease. Keeping in mind that there is not overwhelming evidence that creatine can increase levels of DHT like that, if testing does show your levels are found to be excessively high then it is something you should address to avoid more serious side effects.
Does Creatine Cause Beard Loss?
If your worry is beard hair loss, have no fear! DHT is linked to a healthy, fuller beard. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are the two hormones linked to beard hair growth.
Lower levels of testosterone do not mean a weaker, patchy beard, but usually that it will grow in slower. There is some level of irony in that higher levels of DHT in your body may lead to a thicker, fuller beard as male pattern baldness is accelerated.
RHRLI Can Restore Your Hair and Confidence
For many athletes and physically active people, creatine is a part of their healthy routine alongside a proper diet and getting a good night’s sleep. Even if creatine doesn’t increase your DHT levels, many men will eventually experience unavoidable male pattern baldness.
While hair loss for many is inevitable, staying bald doesn’t have to be. At RHRLI we utilize the minimally invasive ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System, a procedure that produces exceptional results and will get you back to your day-to-day life in just a few days. Contact us today for a free consultation.