Does Testosterone Cause hair Loss? Here's The Truth
- Men with male pattern baldness had higher levels of DHT in their scalps than men without hair loss (1).
- DHT levels of men with hair loss were not significantly different from those without hair loss (2).
A common worry for many people, particularly men, is hair loss, which is frequently linked to testosterone levels. The hormone testosterone is essential for the growth and upkeep of male characteristics like muscle mass, bone density, and facial hair. There is a widespread misconception, though, that men who have high testosterone levels may experience hair loss. So, what is the reality? Does testosterone cause hair loss? We'll examine the connection between testosterone and hair loss in this article, bust some myths along the way, and give you the information you need to know. So, if you're concerned about balding and want to learn the truth about testosterone's connection to hair loss, keep reading!
Understanding Testosterone and Hair Growth
A hormone called testosterone is primarily produced in the testicles of males, though it is also present in small amounts in females. It is in charge of the growth and upkeep of male sexual characteristics like muscle mass, bone density, and facial hair. Red blood cell synthesis, mood regulation, and cognitive function are additional processes that are influenced by testosterone.
Genetics, aging, and hormones are just a few of the many variables that can affect the complex process of hair growth. Anagen, catagen, and telogen are the three stages of hair growth. Hair actively grows during the anagen phase, and it slowly grows during the catagen phase. In the telogen phase, hair finally falls out and the cycle restarts.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Genetics, aging, stress, and hormonal imbalances are just a few of the many causes of hair loss. Over 50% of men over 50 experience male pattern baldness, the most prevalent type of hair loss in men. Male pattern baldness is a condition that usually develops gradually over time and is brought on by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors.
Stress, poor nutrition, autoimmune diseases, and medications like chemotherapy can all result in other types of hair loss. Hair loss may occasionally be a side effect of drugs like beta-blockers or antidepressants.
The Role of DHT in Hair Loss
The hormone 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone. The development of male sexual characteristics, such as facial hair and a deep voice, depends heavily on DHT, a stronger form of testosterone. DHT, however, can also be a factor in hair loss because it binds to hair follicles and makes them contract.
Genetic sensitivity to DHT causes hair follicles on the scalp of people with male pattern baldness to shrink and eventually stop producing hair. Miniaturization is the name given to this process, which usually takes place gradually over time.
Testosterone and DHT
While testosterone is frequently held responsible for hair loss in people with male pattern baldness, DHT is actually the culprit. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase can convert testosterone to DHT, and DHT levels that are too high can result in hair loss.
It's crucial to remember that not everyone with high levels of testosterone will lose their hair, though. It's possible that some men with high testosterone levels have thicker hair than those with lower testosterone levels. This suggests that in addition to genetics and lifestyle, other factors, such as hair loss, may also be present.
Research on Testosterone and Hair Loss
The connection between testosterone and hair loss has been the subject of numerous studies. Male pattern baldness was found to be associated with higher levels of DHT in the scalp than was hair loss, according to a study that was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (1). The study did discover, however, that men with hair loss and men without hair loss had comparable blood testosterone levels.
DHT levels in the scalp of men with and without hair loss were comparable, according to a study that appeared in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2). This implies that more factors than just testosterone levels may contribute to the onset of male pattern baldness, including genetics.
Male Pattern Baldness
The most typical type of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness, which is brought on by both genetic and hormonal factors. Starting with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown of the head, it typically happens gradually over time. The top of the scalp's hair may eventually get so thin that it is no longer noticeable, giving the appearance of being completely bald.
Although genetics play a large role in the development of male pattern baldness, certain lifestyle choices can exacerbate the condition. Men with male pattern baldness are more likely to experience hair loss if they smoke, drink too much alcohol, or experience stress.
Other Factors that Contribute to Hair Loss
Although the hormone DHT is the main cause of male pattern baldness, other factors can also cause hair loss. Hair loss can be brought on by a variety of factors, including stress, poor nutrition, autoimmune diseases, and medical procedures like chemotherapy.
Additionally, some drugs may also be a factor in hair loss. Some people may experience hair loss after taking beta-blockers, which are frequently prescribed to treat high blood pressure. The same is true for anticoagulants, antidepressants, and cholesterol-lowering medications.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Hair Loss
For men with low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a treatment option. In men with low testosterone levels, TRT can help with energy, mood, and sexual function. TRT may actually make men more prone to losing their hair, according to some worries.
But does TRT cause hair loss? While some studies have suggested that TRT may increase the likelihood that men will experience hair loss, other studies have found no appreciable difference in hair loss between men who received TRT and those who did not. The advantages and disadvantages of TRT should be carefully considered, and it should only be used under the guidance of a licensed healthcare professional.
1. Does low testosterone cause hair loss?
A risk factor for hair loss may be low testosterone levels, but this is not always the case. DHT production is typically one of several environmental and genetic factors that contribute to hair loss.
2. Can high testosterone cause hair loss?
The link between high testosterone levels and hair loss is not conclusively established. Although there may be a link between testosterone levels and hair loss, it's likely that genetics and DHT production have a bigger impact on male pattern baldness.
3. Does testosterone therapy cause hair loss?
Although it's not a frequent side effect, testosterone therapy can make some men lose their hair. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns about hair loss while receiving testosterone therapy.
4. Will my hair grow back after stopping testosterone pellets?
When you stop the testosterone pellet treatment, it's possible that your hair will regrow if the testosterone pellets were the cause of your hair loss. It's unlikely that ceasing testosterone pellet use will reverse hair loss, though, if it was brought on by other elements, such as genetics or DHT production.
5. Do testosterone boosters cause hair loss?
The link between testosterone boosters and hair loss is not conclusively established. However, some testosterone boosters might contain substances that raise the production of DHT, which could cause hair loss in men with balding genetic predispositions.
6. Do bald men have more testosterone?
There is a widespread misconception that men with full heads of hair have higher testosterone levels than bald men. However, studies have found no discernible difference between bald and non-bald men's testosterone levels. In fact, some studies have suggested that men who experience hair loss may have lower testosterone levels than those who do not.
7. Does hair grow back after stopping testosterone?
Stopping TRT may result in hair growth if it is the cause of hair loss. However, if genetics or other medical conditions are to blame for hair loss, it might not be possible to regrow hair without treatment.
So, does testosterone cause hair loss? Despite the fact that testosterone is frequently cited as the culprit behind hair loss in men with male pattern baldness, the real culprit is DHT. Even though high levels of DHT can exacerbate hair loss, not everyone with high levels of testosterone will suffer from it. Hair loss is also influenced by other variables, including genetics and lifestyle.
Consult with a healthcare provider to identify the underlying cause of your hair loss if you're worried about it. Medication, lifestyle modifications, or hair restoration surgery are all possible treatments for hair loss. Whatever the reason for your hair loss, there are solutions that can help you manage the condition while preserving your self-esteem and confidence.
- Cranwell, W., & Sinclair, R. (2016, February 29). Male Androgenetic Alopecia. Nih.gov; MDText.com, Inc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278957/
- Urysiak-Czubatka, I., Kmieć, M. L., & Broniarczyk-Dyła, G. (2014). Assessment of the usefulness of dihydrotestosterone in the diagnostics of patients with androgenetic alopecia. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, 4, 207–215. https://doi.org/10.5114/pdia.2014.40925 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171668/
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