Can Steroids Cause Hair Loss?
September 14, 2021
You have probably heard that steroids can cause a number of unpleasant effects if you don’t use them properly. This is why it’s important to make sure that you follow the proper procedures and make sure you use the steroids according to your doctor’s instructions.
One of the main reasons that steroids are known for having so many problems is because they’re really easy to acquire without the proper prescription. You can get cheap steroids online, but the quality is not always the best. The instructions provided are not usually written by a medical professional, and on top of that many ingredients that are used in steroids purchased online are not good for the body.
One of the most commonly reported side effects of steroids is premature hair loss. This can happen due to improper use of steroids or if bad ingredients are used. Steroids can easily ruin the balance of testosterone and other hormones in your body.
Hormonal imbalance can cause a whole host of unpleasant side effects. These symptoms are all a result of a discrepancy in your body’s natural order that can be caused by unhealthy use of steroids.
Let’s take a look at exactly why steroids can cause hair loss.
Corticosteroids are commonly known as steroids, and they naturally occur in our body in the form of hormones like testosterone. Man-made steroids – the type that workout enthusiasts use to boost their performance – mimic the activity of our own endogenous (self-produced) steroids.
These steroids are usually known as anabolic steroids and they’re used to boost our body’s production of muscle mass. Since you’re introducing a substance into your body that mimics your body’s own hormones, you can throw your entire hormone system out of whack. This can result in some pretty bad side effects – one of which is, indeed, hair loss.
So how can steroids cause hair loss?
The reason that steroids can cause hair loss is due to the mechanism that causes natural male pattern baldness. This condition is caused when the body produces an excess of dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT attaches itself to the hair follicles on your head and, after being exposed for long enough, the hair follicles begin to degrade.
Your hair follicles need to be in good condition to produce new hair, and if they degrade, you won’t be able to grow any new ones. Our hair actually falls out quite frequently, but it doesn’t seem like we’re losing any hair because it is replaced quickly by new, healthy hair.
Over time, the follicles exposed to DHT will degrade and the hair they produce will be weaker, thinner, and die sooner. Eventually, the follicle will just cease to produce new hair, which is when baldness starts to be an issue.
Steroids can both accelerate male pattern baldness and cause it in people who aren’t genetically predisposed to the condition. If you are predisposed, your body already has higher levels of DHT than it needs – taking steroids is known to produce more DHT, so you will experience baldness much quicker.
If you aren’t genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, taking steroids might actually influence you to develop the condition by filling your body with too much DHT.
It’s not only anabolic steroids, either
A lot of steroids are prescribed by people’s doctors to improve a number of symptoms. Unfortunately, if these steroids affect your levels of DHT, they are just as likely to cause an acceleration of male pattern baldness.
There are many steroids that can influence your body’s production of DHT, and not all of them are anabolic steroids that are used for enhancing muscle mass. Common steroids that are often prescribed by doctors that can induce hair loss include:
Dianabol and Trenbolone are not exclusively DHT-based and are thus less likely to cause hair loss, but they can still accelerate the process in people who are susceptible to male pattern baldness.
Can I reduce the hair loss from taking steroids?
Unfortunately, not really. The only real way to prevent hair loss from steroids is to stop taking them. Fortunately, if you’ve just noticed your hair loss and you believe it’s a result of taking steroids, the hair loss might not be permanent. If you continue taking steroids, it will eventually lead to permanent baldness, but if you stop right away you can probably reverse the condition, given time.
Some people are lucky in that their hair follicles are capable of withstanding a higher concentration of DHT. These people aren’t as susceptible to developing male pattern baldness from taking steroids, but they may still be at risk of the other side effects that can come from taking steroids. These can include:
- shrinking of the testes
- the growth of breasts
- decreased or increased libido
- infertility and lower sperm count
- aggression or irritability
- mood instability, mood swings
- liver damage
- increased chance of cardiac problems like stroke and heart attack
- high blood pressure
There are some techniques that you can employ in an attempt to counteract the hair loss caused by steroids, but they are not always effective. If you have used steroids for long enough to permanently induce baldness, these will not help. However, if you managed to stop using them shortly after noticing hair loss, these techniques are worth looking into.
- lateral slit technique
- stick-and-place technique
- follicular unit extraction (FUE)
- follicular unit preparation
Steroids are not safe to use if you don’t have the recommendation of a doctor. Even some doctor-sanctioned steroids can cause problems in people who are genetically susceptible to developing male pattern baldness or other conditions that steroids can cause.
The best thing that you can do if you suspect that you are experiencing hair loss as a result of your steroid usage is to stop using steroids. In fact, there are a wide number of side effects that steroids can cause, and you should stop using them if you think you are experiencing any of these side effects.
While steroids can be used responsibly and have helped a lot of people overcome their problems, it’s simply not safe to use them without your doctor’s advice. Don’t order steroids online, because it can be difficult to know their purity, and don’t use your doctor-prescribed steroids without attentively following the instructions.
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