The Final Verdict: Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mariyam Fatima M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Creatine intake is prevalent among individuals keen to enhance stamina, develop strength, and increase muscle mass. Creatine naturally exists in our bodies as an organic acid.

Still, some people, such as athletes, also take supplements orally to increase their concentration, strength, and performance. It has been speculated that there is a relationship between hair loss and creatine.

But the evidence to support this theory is insufficient. Hair shedding and hair growth are processes that happen simultaneously in our bodies. But the equilibrium between both processes is disturbed when there is more hair shedding compared to growth.

This condition is known as “alopecia,” and some believe exogenous creatine intake can also lead to it.

So, let’s examine whether the speculations hold any truth in this piece.

Summary

Creatine doesn't have a direct role in causing hair fall, and no strong scientific evidence is there to prove this. But you can consult your dermatologist if you are on creatine supplements and experiencing hair loss.

There can also be other causes of hair fall, so discuss with your doctor to diagnose the right cause.

Why did "creatine cause hair loss" get popular?

The rumor's origin goes back to 2009 when scientific research was conducted. The research subjects were 20 rugby players who got creatine every day for three weeks. The researchers found that creatine might cause an increase in the level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) indirectly.

It leads to two questions;

What is creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid that is present in our muscles and brain. It is naturally produced in the body by our liver, kidney, and pancreas. Some food items have abundant creatine, such as seafood and red meat. It is also synthetically made, and athletes use creatine supplements to get instant energy.

Creatine is stored in muscles and is readily available for energy. It maintains a continuous supply of energy during any physical activity.

The relationship between creatine and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

People who took supplements for a few months observed a significant change in their hair patterns. Hair thinning and loss became visible. The main reason for this is the increased levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Creatine is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the presence of enzyme 5 Alpha reductase. Regular creatine intake will up-regulate the activity of 5 Alpha reductase; the level of DHT will increase. DHT is more potent than creatine. 

How is DHT related to hair loss? 

Interaction of DHT with hair follicles can induce hair loss. DHT binds to the receptors on the hair follicle, which causes them to shrink and stops hair production with time. 

Moreover, there are genetic causes for hair loss. Although medical research suggests that creatine causes hair loss, there is no scientific evidence to prove it. The results of one study were not replicated in the other one.  The studies don’t indicate that creatine enhances the testosterone level in the body. Take a look at the latest survey on hair loss.

What are the benefits of taking creatine?

Now that it is clear that there is no link between creatine and hair fall, there are some benefits to taking it orally. Let’s look at them.

  • Increase energy in the muscle cells
  • Improvement in muscle mass
  • Great for high physical activity
  • Improvement in Parkinson's disease
  • Fights diabetes and low sugar levels

What are the side effects of taking creatine?

There are many reported side effects of creatine other than increased levels of DHT.

  • Muscle cramping and diarrhoea
  • Imbalance of electrolyte
  • Weight gain
  • Allergic reactions

    Is creatine safe to use?

    Creatine is perfectly safe to use in the appropriate doses. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine is safe, effective, and ethical to consume under proper guidelines. However, several studies are being conducted to understand the long-term effects of creatine.

    Can hair loss due to creatine regrow?

    As we have already discussed, creatine causes an increase in testosterone levels that enhances the DHT level. DHT provokes hair loss by shrinking the hair follicles. If your hair loss is due to creatine, the hair will grow back when you stop taking creatine. However, if it played any role in enhancing your genetic disposition of hair, then it may not grow back. 

    Treatment for creatine hair loss

    If you don't want to stop creatine, but also wants hair growth - this is for you.

    To treat hair loss, we need to balance the DHT in our bodies. As the 5 Alpha reductase enzyme causes the conversion of testosterone to DHT, so we can inhibit the enzyme by giving 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.

    Such drugs will increase blood circulation on the scalp and decrease the DHT level. However, self-medication can be harmful. So it is always advisable to consult your dermatologist.

    I am rounding off some treatments that are available in the market for you. However, the choice of treatment depends on your scalp condition and history of medication.

    Scandinavian Biolab Hair Growth Routine

    The Scandinavian Biolab Hair Growth Routine has shown significant positive results in treating hair loss. The hair growth routine package includes shampoo, conditioner, and a serum.

    It will address all the problems caused by creatine, such as shrinking hair follicles and thinning. It will promote the growth of new hair, and with continuous use of hair, fall will become minimal.

    All the Scandinavian Biolabs products are naturally derived and free from chemicals. Survey has shown that customers have improved greatly after using this hair routine, and hair growth has increased.

    So if you are looking for a beneficial, safe, and effective treatment to address your hair loss problem, the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine is the best solution!

    You can order it anywhere, and it will be delivered to your doorstep!

    Hair Growth Routine | For Men
    Hair Growth Routine | For Men
    Helps cleansing, hydrating and supports reduced hair loss in 3 easy steps.
    Hair Growth Routine | For Women
    Hair Growth Routine | For Women
    Helps cleansing, hydrating and supports reduced hair loss in 3 easy steps.

    Biotin supplements

    Biotin is also known as Vitamin H. It is also the blocker of DHT and stimulates hair growth. It also plays a role in healthy skin, hair and nails. Besides this, antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids can promote hair growth. However, I suggest consulting a dermatologist before taking any supplement.

    Hair Nutrient Tablets
    Hair Nutrient Tablets
    Contains zinc for the maintenance of normal hair, as well as niacin and riboflavin for the maintenance of normal skin.

    Minoxidil

    It can increase the anagen phase and blood supply to the hair follicles. It only shows results after a period of time. A topical solution must be applied for at least four months to see the Minoxidil results. It is highly effective in treating hair thinning and decreasing hair fall. The FDA has approved minoxidil as a hair loss treatment.

    Finasteride

    It is an inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase which helps convert testosterone to DHT (the same DHT that causes hair loss). It is primarily effective in hair loss treatment of men, and research has proved that it stimulates the regrowth of fallen hair. Finasteride is taken orally and should be taken continuously.

     

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    Mariyam Fatima M.B.B.S. is working as PGR (Post Graduate Resident/Registrar) of Internal Medicine in Nishtar Hospital Multan - one of the most prestigious institutions in Pakistan. She belongs to the rare progeny of healthcare professionals registered with the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) as Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs). In her free time, she’s a reader and an aspiring author.