Is Testosterone To Blame For Your Hair Loss?
Hair loss can effect any of us, generally considered to be a sign of ageing, but for some of us, the problem starts really early in our lives.
This can lead to reduced feelings of confidence and self esteem.
“But could your hair loss be caused by hormonal changes in your body, particular involving testosterone? “
This article looks at the relationship between male sex hormones and hair growth.
I will answer questions such as:
- What Is Male Pattern Baldness?
- Are My Testosterone Levels To Blame For My Hairloss?
- Will Using Anabolic Steroids Make Me Lose My Hair?
Table Of Contents
What Is Male Pattern Baldness
It is though that around 40 million men in the US alone suffer from male pattern baldness to some degree (aka MPB or Androgenic Alopecia). This actually works out at just over 73% of all men. The same % can be seen globally.
The rate at which a man lose his hair will vary considerable, but it all follows a typical pattern and it can take up to 20 years for complete hair loss to occur.
“Did you know that Caucasian men are more likely to develop MPB than black men?”
30% of white men have signs of hair loss by the time they each 30, this increases to 50% at the age of 50 and up to 57% at 60 years old.
It usually starts as a thinning or receding of the hair at the sides of the head, often in a wedge shaped pattern near the temples, it then progresses inwards from the top going back towards the crown.
There is actually a scale that ‘codes’ the process of MPB which is called the Norwood Scale:
Male hair loss is not usually considered to be a health problem per se, it is quite simply a sign of ageing.
There are however two main causes of male pattern baldness, hormones and good old genetics.
“If one of more of your direct male family members have lost their hair, its more than likely that you too, will follow suit”
Hair loss and Testosterone
Testosterone is the key ‘male’ hormone, and we know just how crucial it is for all our manly attributes. But for it to control and allow us to grow thick, strong hair, it has to be changed into another, potentially stronger androgen called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
This is formed when an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into DHT which is up to 5 times stronger that Testosterone.
It has been proven that men who lose their hair, have generally higher levels of DHT, plus they also have hair follicles that are oversensitive to the hormone.
DHT actually blocks the follicles from receiving growth proteins and nutrients, effectively starving the follicles so they weaken and gradually stop producing hair.
Total baldness occurs when DHT reaches a level where it inhibits all hair growth.
It is scientifically recognised that it is DHT and not Testosterone that is directly responsible for hair loss.
Hair Loss And High Levels Of Testosterone – The Myth
There has been a common misunderstanding that high levels of testosterone in the blood is the cause of hair loss.
In reality, every single clinical study looking at male hair loss has found that testosterone is not to blame.
The only difference in these men who have been studied and tested has been that they had elevated levels of DHT and (for some reason) an inherent sensitivity in the follicles.
We have all heard of the ‘old wives tale’ that bald men are more virile. Scientific evidence have proven that this is not actually the case.
Follicle sensitivity is usually a genetic factor passed on from our parents, and this sensitivity involves DHT and not testosterone. If anything, its the fact that in bald men, they have a high DHT to Testosterone ratio.
One study featured in the EXperimental And Clinical Endocrinologoy and Diabetes Journal looked 37 men with MPB. Blood tests showed that they had reduced levels of testosterone with increased DHT.
Ultimately, your hair loss is caused by genetics than your testosterone levels.
I Use Anabolic Steroids – Will They Make Me Bald?
The answer again really comes down to genetics. There is no reason why the use of anabolic steroids will cause you to lose your hair.
( They do however have some really nasty side effects)
They will dramatically increase your testosterone levels (by adding synthetic hormone in to your bloodstream).
Along with this, as your testosterone levels rise, so will your DHT levels.
You could possibly stop this by taking a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor.
But if you are genetically predisposed to baldness then your hairloss will generally be accelerated.
if you do not have a genetic predisposition to lose your hair, there is no real reason why taking anabolic steroids will cause you to go bald.
Just take a look at photos from a bodybuilding competition. There are always 1 or 2 really muscular guys with full heads of hair!.
To Sum up – The Link Between Baldness, Testosterone And Steroids
It is in fact a common sign of ageing that affects many men as they get older.
Guys that do lose their hair, particularly when young generally have a built in follicular sensitivity to DHT.
This tends to be more genetic than for any other reason.
For the same reason, the use of anabolic steroids might increase hair loss in any man with the same sensitivity.
If you do not have that genetic sensitivity, then the effects on your hair growth will be minimal at best.
So if you do want to take a T-booster to increase your hormone levels, you can do so without any risk or worry about losing your hair.
MEET THE AUTHOR: My name is Paul Gardner – I am the editor, main researcher and writer for testojunction.com.
I am 59 years old and currently live in the outskirts of London.
Sport and fitness has been a massive part of my life, as a younger man I used to swim competitively. Representing the county at events both home and abroad.
I have also been an avid squash and tennis player too, and have been a keen gym goer all through my life.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition, and have studied and have been writing about nutrition, hormones, natural ingredients and sports supplements for over 12 years and have had articles published in many popular publications.
One area that I have a particular interest in is how hormones play a massive part in our development, fitness, muscularity, strength and of course our sexual development.