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Does creatine cause hair loss?

01 August 2023
2-minute read

Hair loss can be caused by lots of different things, from your genetic disposition to your lifestyle and stress levels. But does creatine cause hair loss? Here, we look at the science and explain what research currently says about the relationship between the two. But first - what exactly is creatine? Let’s find out. 

What is creatine? 

Creatine is a nutritional supplement that is particularly popular with athletes and bodybuilders. It naturally occurs in the human body, and it has been shown to boost exercise performance and increase muscle mass. Therefore, it’s commonly used by people to enhance their gym workouts. Other studies have shown that creatine can help lower blood sugar and may even improve cognitive function, but further research is required. As for its drawbacks, does creatine cause hair loss?

Creatine and hair loss 

You might have heard that creatine causes hair loss, as it’s a commonly held assumption. But the reality is that most of the evidence for the link between creatine and hair loss is anecdotal, meaning it comes from people’s own perceptions or experiences rather than a foundation of science. 

However, scientists posit that there is a correlation between creatine use and a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is one of the primary causes of male pattern hair loss. For instance, a small study from 2009 discovered that rugby players saw an increase in DHT levels after using creatine for three weeks.

DHT and hair loss 

DHT is problematic when it comes to the hair on your scalp, as it can influence the growth cycles of your hair. As you might be aware, your hair grows in cycles, beginning with a growth phase that is followed by a rest phase. When present, DHT can bind to the hair follicles on your scalp, which can lead to shorter hair growth periods. As a result, it can thin out your hair and might cause more hairs to fall out than those that you grow. This can often lead to long-term hair loss. 

So, while clinical evidence is presently limited, the fact that creatine might increase DHT levels in men indicates that it could, at least indirectly, influence hair loss. But as a 2021 study into the matter concluded, more research is certainly required to better understand the relationship between creatine and hair loss, and the current evidence base isn’t broad enough to draw any definitive conclusions.

How to treat hair loss 

If you’re experiencing hair loss and are worried that it might have been caused by your use of creatine, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor to raise your concerns. However, you should also be mindful that hair loss is caused by a broad range of factors, from genetics to stress. Finasteride is a clinically-backed medication that prevents DHT from binding to your hair follicles, thus reducing the impact it has on your hair. When combined with Minoxidil, this treatment can be an incredibly effective way of treating male pattern hair loss. 

So, if you’re experiencing hair loss, check out our range of clinically proven treatments that can help to improve the growth of your hair. If you have any questions about the best course of treatment for you, get in touch with us today.