Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss? We Revisited The Evidence

Medically reviewedby Dr. Mariyam Fatima M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Creatine is a well-known supplement in the fitness and athletic world, celebrated for its benefits in enhancing performance, increasing muscle mass, and improving strength.

However, amidst its popularity, concerns about its potential link to hair loss have surfaced, leaving many to wonder about the validity of these claims - does creatine cause hair loss?

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound synthesized from three amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine. It's produced by the liver, pancreas, and kidneys and found in dietary sources like red meat and fish.

Creatine's primary role is to facilitate the recycling of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell, particularly in muscle and brain tissues.

This process enhances physical performance, particularly in high-intensity activities, by providing immediate energy to working muscles.

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How Does Creatine Work?

Creatine increases the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles, which in turn helps produce more ATP during high-intensity, short-duration exercises. This leads to improved strength, endurance, and muscle mass.

Additionally, creatine has been shown to have potential benefits beyond muscle energy, including neurological protection and possibly aiding in the management of certain diseases like Parkinson's.

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

No, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that directly links creatine supplementation to hair loss. While a 2009 study observed an increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, which is associated with hair loss, in individuals taking creatine, it did not directly measure hair loss itself.

The 2009 study that observed an increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in rugby players who supplemented with creatine.

DHT is a more potent derivative of testosterone, known to bind to receptors in hair follicles, potentially leading to hair thinning and loss in genetically predisposed individuals.

Examining the Evidence

While the 2009 study did find an increase in DHT levels, it's crucial to note that the research did not directly link creatine supplementation to actual hair loss. The study's focus was on hormonal changes rather than hair loss measurement, leaving a gap in the evidence.

Subsequent research has not conclusively replicated these findings, and no study to date has directly correlated creatine use with increased baldness or hair thinning in humans.

Creatine: Side Effects and Safety

Creatine is considered safe for most adults when used in moderation. The potential side effects include water retention, muscle cramps, and gastrointestinal issues, but these are generally mild and manageable.

Concerns about kidney damage, liver dysfunction, and other serious health risks have not been supported by scientific evidence in individuals with no pre-existing conditions.

What Actually Causes Hair Loss?

For those worried about hair loss, it's essential to consider genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness) and other factors like diet, stress, and overall health.

If you're experiencing unexplained hair loss, consulting with a healthcare provider or a dermatologist is advisable to explore the underlying causes and appropriate treatments.

Best Practices for Creatine Supplementation

  1. Consult a Healthcare Provider: Before starting any supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns about hair loss.
  2. Follow Recommended Dosages: Typically, a loading phase of 20 grams per day for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 2-5 grams daily.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Creatine can cause water retention, making adequate hydration essential.
  4. Monitor Your Health: Be attentive to any changes in your body or health and consult a professional if concerns arise.


The link between creatine supplementation and hair loss remains a topic of debate, with limited and inconclusive evidence supporting this claim.

Creatine remains a popular and extensively researched supplement, known for its benefits in enhancing athletic performance and muscle growth.

As with any supplement, individuals should use creatine judiciously, considering their health status, genetic predispositions, and consulting healthcare professionals as needed.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.