Creatine supplementation has many benefits on your body and gives you the energy that your muscle need during exercises.
But, there is one thing that people are concerned about;
Will creatine cause you to lose your hair?
Unfortunately, there might be some level of truth to it.
And, it boils down to one key hormone: Dihydrogentestosterone, aka DHT.
DHT can act on local receptors causing a shrinking effect of your scalp follicles, eventually closing out said follicles from producing any more hair.
One study back in 2009 found markedly high increases of DHT with creatine supplementation.
Rugby players given 25 grams of creatine monohydrate per day for 7 days as a loading phase had a 56% increased level of DHT.
At maintenance of 5 grams of creatine per day for 14 days, DHT levels remained elevated by 40%.
Interestingly, it also increased DHT to T ratio, T for testosterone, even though testosterone levels did not change.
This suggests an accelerating effect of DHT production since DHT is metabolized from testosterone and the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (DHT= testosterone + 5-alpha reductase).
Outside of this study, though, not much else in research exists.
And, even if creatine does affect DHT levels, it remains to be seen if this has any direct effect to actual hair loss, considering that DHT levels do rise naturally.
Exercise itself can increase DHT levels by as much as 30 percent.
But when DHT may lead to hair loss?
There’s one caveat bearing the most importance: The only time that DHT might lead to hair loss is if you’re already susceptible to hair loss or Male Pattern Baldness, which has a strong genetic factor.
If you have a family history of hair loss, then sure, you might want to think twice about taking creatine if you want to avoid accelerating your hair loss.
Otherwise, chances are, creatine will not affect your hair at all.
For those of you that are concerned but want to continue taking creatine, you might want to consider looking up DHT-blocking interventions like Finasteride, which inhibits the enzyme5-alpha reductase mentioned earlier.
Of course, make sure you check with your doctor before anything else.
Again, there still needs to be more research on this and more importantly showing a direct effect on hair loss when taking Creatine.
For now, after knowing the potential risk, whether you should continue taking creatine…is completely up to you.
If you have a creatine hair loss story or think the research is right and you should skip your next creatine purchase, share your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thank you for reading and get your protein!