Testosterone and hair loss
There has been a lot of information floating around on the internet lately involving testosterone and hair loss. Some people seem to think that low testosterone can cause the problem, while others believe that it is actually too much T that causes it.
If you’re thinking about taking a testosterone booster, then you might be particularly concerned about this very specific, yet troubling side effect.
But do you really have anything to worry about?
Here’s what you need to know.
The basics of hair loss
First of all, it’s important to understand that a decrease in body hair can be expected with lower testosterone levels – but not necessarily a decrease in hair on the head.
Secondly, it is very important to understand that hair loss is mostly dictated by genes. But then again, some steroids are said to cause hair loss. Hair loss is also listed as an official side effect of an elevated testosterone level.
So if hair loss has more to do with genes than testosterone, why does it seem like hair loss is always mentioned in conjunction with elevated T levels?
The answer: DHT
DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is created either from testosterone or from DHEA (more common in women) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. DHT is actually 5 times more potent than testosterone itself, and is mostly used by the body in the hair follicles, skin, and prostate.
It is the combination of the sensitivity of the hair follicles and the effects of DHT levels on them that determine whether or not hair loss or baldness may occur.
But the primary thing that determines whether or not you will eventually go bald is actually the sensitivity of the hair follicles – and this is genetic. If the follicles are sensitive, then DHT (in any amount) will shrink them – which will impact the growth cycle of the hair. New hairs, as a result, become thinner and thinner – until the follicles become dormant and stop creating hair altogether.
So, having higher levels of DHT in your system can accelerate this process, because sensitive follicles will be even more affected by higher levels of DHT in your system – but if you don’t have genetically sensitive follicles to begin with, then you will most likely never experience baldness due to this cause, no matter how high your DHT levels get!
There are also other factors at work when it comes to hair loss and baldness. Sometimes age, stress, or even other genes can play a role in making you more likely to go bald – but at the end of the day, your genes are going to end up playing a very significant role in how likely you are to experience symptoms of hair loss.
Also, just because you have high DHT levels doesn’t necessarily mean that you have high testosterone. Sometimes, this just means that you have higher levels of the enzyme that creates the DHT in your system. In fact, some people’s follicles are so sensitive that even normal levels of DHT can affect them. Some people might experience a thinning of the hair even though they actually have lower-than-average levels of circulating testosterone.
Is it possible to treat hair loss?
There are actually several different options for treating hair loss that have been proven to be quite effective. If you believe that you might be experiencing a problem with your hair, then a trip to your doctor’s office might prove extremely beneficial. There are a number of different treatment options that you can use to help strengthen your follicles and grow hair that’s thicker and stronger – but some of these treatments also have side effects, so it’s important to speak to a health care provider about them if you have any questions.
Will testosterone supplements contribute to hair loss?
As it turns out, taking a testosterone supplement will likely not cause any sort of increase in your likelihood for hair loss. T boosting supplements are not steroids, and they will not boost your DHT levels beyond anything that’s considered average.