No one is a stranger to hair loss. With the many factors that can contribute to it like genetics, age, external pollutants, and poor lifestyle choices, no one is exempt from it. And, sometimes, even some efforts in getting healthy (like taking specific or multiple supplements) can come with adverse side effects if not careful enough.
Take creatine, for example. It is one of the most popular and widely researched fitness supplements in the market. Bodybuilders and professional athletes alike commonly use it. This is taken to help increase lean muscle mass, improve strength, and aid muscle recovery during exercise. But does hair loss come as a trade-off? Read on to find out.
What is Creatine Exactly?
Creatine is an organic compound that is naturally found in the body. It is made from amino acids (protein building blocks – glycine and arginine) with help from the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. The body produces creatine to provide energy to the body’s cells and is stored in the brain and muscle tissues. The muscles can then utilize it as an energy and strength booster during physically strenuous activities like exercise.
Many people can get more creatine by eating natural food sources like meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables (although vegans and vegetarians may have lower creatine levels). The body then eventually turns creatine into creatinine and is passed out of the system through urine. For one to keep their normal levels of natural creatine, the body would have to keep making them.
Supplements are created to help the body increase the creatine levels in the muscles. The more creatine we have, the better the muscle recovery between workout sets. And thanks to the improved exercise performance, one should see gains in muscle size and strength much faster.
While relatively safe to use for adults, it is still advised to consult with a healthcare professional before taking them. And like most supplements, consuming artificial creatine comes with its share of possible side effects when used long-term. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- weight gain
- muscle cramps
- liver and kidney complications (especially when taken in high doses or combined with other supplements)
Is Hair Loss One of the Side Effects?
There has not been much research done on creatine supplements’ link to hair loss. However, one notable study was published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in 2009, which makes this connection.
In the study, they observed 20 male, college-aged rugby players who consumed 25 grams of creatine supplements in a day for three weeks. While the study participants did not experience hair loss during the trial, it was reported that the supplement “may” have surged the conversion of the athletes’ testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These levels increased to over 50% in the first week, then came to over 40% in the two weeks that followed.
DHT and Its Relation to Hair Loss
Dihydrotestosterone is a potent androgen and a by-product of testosterone found in the body tissues (including the hair follicles). This sex hormone is a significant contributor to developing male biological characteristics, such as a deep voice, body muscles, and facial hair.
As men age, DHT becomes more beneficial as it helps maintain your overall muscle mass and promoting sexual health and fertility. But high levels of DHT are also responsible for prostate cancer, coronary heart disease, and male pattern hair loss.
The hair naturally follows a growth cycle consisting of 4 phases: anagen (growth), catagen (transition), telogen (rest), and exogen (shedding). DHT can bind to specific hormone receptors on hair follicles of the scalp. This causes them to shrink and eventually cease hair production. This leads to briefer hair cycles with thinner, shorter hairs as a result. And because there is less hair growth, there are more hairs lost than are grown.
One’s proclivity to hair loss is also largely dependent on one’s genetics. If male pattern balding is common in the family, the follicle-shrinking effect of DHT will be more pronounced.
Hair Loss Control and Prevention
While creatine supplements do not directly result in hair loss, it is recommended to see a doctor if one experiences hair loss, especially if it is sudden or coming out in patches or excessive amounts. Fortunately, many causes of hair loss can be reversed or treated. A doctor can present several options once the underlying cause of hair loss has been diagnosed.
Medical treatments include:
There are other natural methods of preventing or controlling hair loss as well. These include eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, managing stress, and quitting or lessening unhealthy habits (like smoking, drinking alcohol, heat and chemical hair treatments, and tight hairstyles). Using the right hair products also helps stop hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
The All-Natural Solutions to Hair Loss
The hair products one uses are important. These function as the hair’s vitamins, which affect the look and health of one’s strands. It is best to opt for ones that are natural, vegan, and loaded with potent nutrients.
Such products are often hard to find. But our dedicated team of scientists has worked vigorously in our laboratory in Denmark to develop a simple 3-step solution to hair loss. The regime is composed of the Hair Strength Shampoo, the Hair Recovery Conditioner, and the Hair Growth Serum. Created for both men and women, the hair care sets are specifically designed to effectively facilitate natural hair regrowth by increasing activity in the follicles.
All three products are safe and suitable to use for all hair types, treated or colored hair, and even for those with the most sensitive scalps. They contain active and all-natural ingredients like Curcuma Longa Callus Conditioned Media, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, and Biotin, among others. They are also free from sulfate, silicones, or parabens.
When all three products are used in tandem and applied continuously, one can reap their effects on hair growth, density, and strength within 150 days. Maintaining healthy, strong hair has never been easier.