The link between creatine and hair loss is an issue of concern to those involved in the world of fitness and nutritional supplements. Today's lifestyle has motivated men and women to be more conscious of their health, appearance, and well-being. Going to the gym, working out and having a healthy, balanced diet has become a trend, however, carrying those habits to the extreme can bring consequences.
It seems that showing off a fitness body is opposed to having abundant and healthy hair. You may have noticed that most bodybuilders are prone to baldness or you've seen more than a couple of hairless heads at the gym you attend. This has led those who consume it to believe that creatine can cause hair loss.
Creatine is an amino acid derivative found in the muscles of the body and the brain. Foods rich in creatine are mainly red meat, fish, and lean meat, although it is possible to replicate this supplement synthetically.
Nowadays, creatine has become commonly used as a nutritional and sports supplement, as it is considered the main responsible for increasing strength during physical activity. In other words, it boosts your athletic performance, which naturally results in the increase of muscle mass.
This could seem like a war between what people say and what science has confirmed. In fact, no scientific evidence has ever found that creatine does cause hair loss. Despite this, a theory suggests that excessive consumption of supplements, in this case creatine, is likely responsible for baldness.
If you do your research, most of the results are comments on online forums swearing that creatine has caused hair loss in them. All this is based purely on experiences and testimonials of people who have taken creatine or know someone who did and went bald. But what does science say about it? So far not much.
As mentioned before, there is not enough scientific input to either confirm or deny this belief 100%. Still, the study “Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players”, conducted in 2009 and published by the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, presented a hypothesis on the possible connection between creatine ingestion and the increase of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). That's right, that feared hormone in charge of killing off every single one of your hair follicles.
The study was focused on a group of 20 college-aged rugby players who used creatine supplements for 3 weeks to discover if its intake favored the activation of an enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase. According to the results, there was an increase in the concentration of DHT hormone; however, testosterone levels did not change during supplementation. It is important to note there were no signs of hair loss in the study volunteers, so it is unlikely that creatine intake is causing alopecia.
5-alpha-reductase is an enzyme naturally present in the body's tissues, mainly in the sexual organs and scalp, and is responsible for the metabolism of testosterone into DHT.
On the other hand, DHT is an androgenic hormone, responsible for the embryonic development of the male reproductive organs and sexual maturity. It is product of the synthesis of testosterone in organs such as the prostate, testicles, and adrenal glands, as well as in the hair follicles where it has a negative effect on people with certain genetic predispositions.
In men, DHT plays an important role in the appearance of androgenic alopecia: Produces thinning and hair loss by progressively annulling the growth cycle and eventually killing the hair follicles. Hair loss occurs at first from the forehead and crown until reaching (after years) the sides of the head.
At Hair Center Mexico we offer an array of alternatives to solve the problem of hair loss and alopecia, such as hair transplants with the FUE technique and the FUT technique, or platelet-rich plasma injection therapy (PRP), which could be an alternative to help you strengthen existing follicles and give them a longer life.