Does creatine cause hair loss?

Another year is coming to its conclusion, which means that it’s almost time for another New Year’s resolution. It’s common for people to have resolutions to try to exercise more after new year rolls around, and creatine supplements will once again become a hot commodity.

Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscle cells and it helps your muscles produce energy. However, it is also available as a nutrition and sports supplement to give you extra creatine in your muscle cells, which could improve the results of going to the gym and exercising. Studies show that a regular intake of a creatine supplement can increase muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance.

This is all well and good, but is creatine actually safe to use? The answer is yes. Creatine is one of the world’s most tested supplements and has an outstanding safety record. This goes against common belief, as many people consider the use of creatine supplements to be unsafe. However, scientific evidence does not support this view.

It is also thought that creatine plays a role in hair loss when consumed. Most of this is based on people’s personal experiences of taking creatine and subsequently losing hair. While creatine has been found to not directly lead to hair loss, it may affect the levels of a  hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Creatine consumption and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

DHT is a hormone that is derived from testosterone. Testosterone is important for the development of male characteristics such as facial hair and the maintenance of other common issues, such as male pattern baldness. When levels of DHT go above the normal range, it can bind to specific hormone receptors in hair follicles. This can lead to shorter hair growth cycles as well as thinner and shorter hair. This is why the intake of creatine is linked to hair loss, as it significantly increases the levels of DHT in the body.

A 2009 study showed a “statistically significant” increase in DHT when a group of South African college-aged rugby players took creatine supplements every day for three weeks. In fact, the DHT levels increased by over 50 percent after the first seven days of creatine consumption and stayed 40 percent above the threshold after 14 days of maintenance.

While it was not technically measured, it did not result in any noticeable hair loss amongst the rugby players. However, if you are susceptible to hair loss due to your genes, it is likely that the high levels of DHT in your system could accelerate the loss of hair.

How fast does creatine cause hair loss?

If creatine is the instigator, the shedding of hair would usually start two months from your first consumption of the supplement.

However, it could be the case that other factors are aiding and accelerating the hair loss, such as genetics, medical conditions, medications, stress, or hair products. In this case, it is important to establish the exact cause of your hair loss before you seek a resolution.

Is creatine hair loss reversible?

If your hair loss is due to creatine consumption, your hair has a good chance of growing back once you stop consuming it. However, your hair might not grow back if creatine intake acted as a catalyst for a genetic condition.

There are a number of treatments that you can have here at the Crown Clinic to solve cases of hair loss, whether or not it was caused by creatine usage.

One of our treatment options is hair transplantation (Follicular Unit Extraction and Follicular Unit Transplantation). These are surgical procedures for severe cases of hair loss. The aim of these procedures is to successfully restore your hair.

Scalp micropigmentation is an alternative option that does not require surgery. It is a detailed tattooing procedure done on the scalp to create the illusion of a fuller, denser head of hair.

Book a hair transplant consultation today with Crown Clinic

Here at Crown Clinic, we are heavily focused on providing the best quality service to diagnose your hair loss dilemmas and help you get the best possible treatment. From consultation to aftercare, you always have the opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with the experts at Crown Clinic. 

Book a consultation with Dr. Shahmalak to learn more about all types of hair transplants and your other available options.

You can also read some of our case studies from some of our past patients to help you find out more about the hair transplant journey with Crown Clinic.