How to Prevent Hair Loss While Taking Testosterone FTM? Managing Side Effects

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Testosterone therapy is an important part of transitioning for many trans men. However, testosterone can trigger male pattern baldness for those genetically prone to it. If you're an FTM starting hormones, there are things you can do to help minimize associated hair loss.

How to Prevent Hair Loss While Taking Testosterone (FTM)

To reduce hair shedding and thinning on testosterone, use a DHT-blocking shampoo, take supplements like biotin and saw palmetto, apply minoxidil, maintain protein intake, and discuss loss prevention medication like finasteride with your doctor.

Use DHT-Blocking Shampoo

Washing with shampoos containing saw palmetto or ketoconazole helps block DHT damage.

Take Supportive Supplements

Biotin, vitamin D, iron and zinc optimize hair growth.

Apply Minoxidil

Using over-the-counter 5% minoxidil solution can help regrow hair.

Eat Adequate Protein

Consuming around 50 grams of protein daily provides building blocks for hair.

Discuss Finasteride

Talk to your doctor about finasteride to block DHT conversion.

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Why Testosterone Causes Hair Thinning

Here's why testosterone can trigger hair loss:

Converts to DHT

The enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone into DHT, which shrinks follicles.

Speeds Male Pattern Baldness

Those with a genetic predisposition will experience accelerated hair loss.

Shortens Growth Phase

DHT weakens follicles and shortens the anagen hair growth phase.

Triggers Inflammation

The raised androgens create inflammation around the follicle.

Tips to Reduce Hair Loss on Testosterone

Here are tips to minimize thinning on testosterone therapy:

Lower Dosage Gradually

Slowly taper up testosterone dose to allow your body to adjust.

Rinse Hair Thoroughly

Prevent product buildup that can clog follicles.

Avoid Tight Hairstyles

No tight braids, buns or pigtails which cause traction alopecia.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress worsens testosterone-related shedding.

Scalp Massage

Increase circulation to follicles with weekly scalp massages.

When to Seek Professional Help

See your doctor if you experience:

Rapid Hair Loss

Shedding and thinning starts right away or accelerates quickly.

No Improvement from At-Home Treatments

Over-the-counter options aren't reducing shedding after 3-4 months.

Patchy Areas of Loss

Noticeable bald patches appear on your scalp.

Hairline Receding

Temples or frontal hairline begins retreating.

The Bottom Line

Utilizing DHT blockers, taking hair growth supplements, and applying minoxidil can help mitigate testosterone-related hair loss. But work closely with your doctor and mention any excessive shedding so additional treatments can be explored.

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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.