In medical science, steroids are an important tool for physicians and surgeons to treat diseases and help patients to feel better from different conditions.
For athletes and bodybuilders, this is used to build muscle mass.
But until now, many of us are still asking if steroids can cause hair loss in men.
And if you are one of those people who are looking for answers to this question, then you are in the right place. Today, we will answer some of the most common questions regarding steroids and hair loss.
We will also share some proven and effective treatments to promote hair growth.
So if you want to learn more about steroids and hair thinning, keep reading along!
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Do Steroids Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is one of the most commonly reported side effects of taking steroids. And if you do not follow the regulated steroid usage, an increased risk of hair fall will surely follow.
But did you know that even if we don’t use artificially made steroids, our body produces them naturally? Yes, and these steroid hormones are vital for different functions to maintain a healthy body. These steroids include testosterone, cortisol, and others.
So how can steroids cause hair loss?
Steroids, by themselves, will not cause thinning hair. In fact, certain steroids, such as anabolic steroids, can treat hormone imbalances in our bodies.
However, this may also increase the number of other sex hormones, which affect the normal hair cycle and lead to hair loss problems.
And if you are genetically prone to androgenetic alopecia, chances are, you might surely suffer steroid-induced hair loss. Actually, 2/3 of men will most likely suffer hair loss caused by this condition.
This disorder is also called male pattern baldness. The root cause of this condition is too much supply of sex hormones called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in our body. High DHT levels in our body cause hair follicles to shrink, which could lead to hair fall.
Can Steroids Treat Hair Loss?
Yes, because some hair loss disorders are induced by autoimmune diseases and are treated differently than hormone-induced hair loss, such as male pattern baldness.
Often, artificially made steroid medications, such as corticosteroids, are used as treatment options for people with this autoimmune condition who want to recover their lost hair.
Corticosteroids are a prescription medication to reduce inflammation and prevent the body’s immune system from attacking healthy hair.
Steroids are available as topical solutions or injections, and all require a prescription. Your doctor will determine which type of hair loss treatment is most appropriate based on the severity of the symptoms.
How Steroids Affect Your Hair
As we said, if your hair loss is caused by underlying medical conditions, your doctor would probably prescribe steroids as part of the treatment regimen. This autoimmune disease that causes hair loss includes alopecia areata, discoid lupus erythematosus, and lichen planopilaris.
Steroids work as immune system suppressors to counteract the effects of these diseases and allow scalp hair to regrow again.
Which Steroids Cause Hair Loss
The majority of steroids today are classed as anabolic steroids. These steroids can directly affect the production of DHT in the body, which is why they are called the “worst steroids” that can provoke hair loss. And most of them today are used by athletes for muscle building.
But not all steroids are created with the same components. This means that some of them may be less likely to cause damage to your healthy hair follicles and hair.
So if you are looking for the safest steroids to reduce the chances of hair thinning, here is a list of relatively safe steroids:
- Anavar – The least androgenic steroid in the market. It also does not convert testosterone into DHT, making it the safest steroid.
- Deca-Durabolin – This type of steroid is fairly safe for your hair. It does not convert other hormones into DHT.
- Oral Turinabol – is known as one of the mildest steroids in terms of side effects and is believed to be less likely to induce hair loss.
Although taking steroids on the list above would be generally safer compared to others in the market, remember that large doses of these steroids can still exacerbate the symptoms of men who are currently experiencing hair loss.
Is Hair Loss From Steroids Permanent?
Some people may have permanent hair loss due to prolonged and excessive steroid use. Steroids can worsen the symptoms of male pattern hair loss for men. While it can also aggravate the manifestation of female pattern baldness in women.
But not everyone can experience this. There are reports that men who stop taking steroids have managed to also halt its side effects.
But, if you are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, you might consider other medications instead.
How Long Does Hair Loss Steroids Last?
Anabolic steroids can definitely aggravate hair loss as a side effect for some individuals. Symptoms of this drug can be mild or harsh. It may also last permanently or temporarily, depending on each individual.
We cannot accurately predict how long steroid-induced hair loss could last. This all depends on the stage of hair loss and underlying genetics.
But one thing is for sure, if you are experiencing hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia, you must immediately stop taking steroids to avoid further hair loss.
Does Steroid Hair Loss Grow Back?
If the exact cause of thinning hair on your head is because of anabolic steroids, there is still a big chance to grow your hair back and stop hair fall.
Just like losing your hair, regrowing it would be a slow and gradual process. Luckily, several hair loss treatments are available to encourage and boost hair regrowth. And along with these treatments, you can get optimal results if you stop using steroids today.
Treatments For Hair Loss From Steroids
If you want to put an end to your thinning hair problems, here are some of the most reliable treatment options you could choose from:
Hair transplantation is a hair treatment that uses a surgical technique to remove an individual hair follicle from the donor site and relocate it to the balding part of the body. The effects of this treatment are believed to be permanent.
To be a good candidate for this treatment, you must still have thicker areas of hair in your head.
A hair transplant can also be done with other facial hair like your beard.
Finasteride is originally used to treat men with an enlarged prostate. But today, it is also used to treat hair loss as an effective DHT blocker.
According to research, 66% of men saw an increase in hair growth in their entire scalp after taking Finasteride for two years. This drug is FDA approved and proven to treat male pattern baldness.
But if your hair loss is caused by alopecia areata, you might choose another hair treatment method.
DHT Blocker Supplements
Today, there are plenty of DHT blocker supplements that you can choose from. These supplements are proven and tested to be an effective alternative if you want a non-invasive and more natural treatment to encourage hair regeneration.
Some of the known DHT blockers, such as the Kiierr Hair Growth Vitamins, can also increase blood flow in the scalp, which helps the hair follicles receive enough oxygen and vitamins to stimulate hair growth.
How To Protect Your Hair From Steroid Induced Hair Loss
If you think that balding in your head is caused by using steroids, the first thing you need to do is communicate with your dermatologist.
They will examine and know the symptoms you may be experiencing for them to recommend the best treatment plan for your condition.
Your dermatologist would probably prescribe medications to control the effects of thinning hair alongside other hair supplements that promote hair regeneration.
You might also need to consider taking a break from using anabolic steroids to prevent excessive hair fall from happening again.
Steroid Hair Loss Facts
And to further understand steroids and their effects on our hair, here are some facts you may need to know:
How many men lose their hair from steroids?
According to medlineplus.gov, 50 million men and 30 million women in the US would probably lose hair because of androgenetic alopecia.
Male pattern baldness is a disorder caused by natural steroid hormones such as DHT. This hormone interferes with the hair growth cycle of the hair, causing them to fall out in a much quicker phase.
Taking artificial compounds such as anabolic steroids would further aggravate its symptoms, which may eventually provoke permanent hair loss.
How long does it take to lose hair from steroids?
According to Dr. Megan of prednisonepharmacist.com, hair loss will occur immediately right after taking steroids such as prednisone. And hair fall would most likely continue as long as you take steroids.
But sometimes, the effects of hair fall might still vary from person to person. Again, if you are not genetically predisposed to androgenetic alopecia, there might be side effects that may not affect you.
How long does it take to regrow hair lost from using steroids?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, if you use prescription drugs such as finasteride, noticeable hair growth may take effect in about 4 months.
Of course, for much better results from this treatment, you must stop taking anabolic steroids while using this drug.
Finasteride is an FDA-approved drug that is used to treat men and women with androgenetic alopecia. It can slow down hair loss while stimulating hair follicles to encourage hair regeneration.
And that is it! We hope that this guide can help you fully understand the effects of steroids on our precious hair.
And now that we know that steroids not only improves our muscle mass but also affects our hair, now is the time to learn more about DHT blockers and how to prevent further hair loss.
Feel free to check our article about facts on what a DHT blocker does. Click on the link below and enjoy!
Fact Checked by our Director of Dermatology – We know that understanding how your skin and hair work can seem scary, so my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.
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