Do Steroids Cause Hair Loss? The Untold Truth

do steroids cause hair loss

Although dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is considered the primary cause of androgenetic alopecia (=male pattern baldness), there are certain types of steroids that accelerate hair loss due to high levels of DHT, especially if you are genetically prone to male pattern baldness.

But how do steroids cause hair loss?

In this article, I am going to explain how steroid-related hair loss occurs and what can be done to counteract this problem.

What Are Steroids?

what are steroids

Steroids, also known as corticosteroids, occur naturally in the body and reduce inflammation. They can even be prescribed due to medical conditions such as asthma, inflammation, multiple sclerosis or Chron’s disease, which is why they are also available in tablet forms, as lotions, inhalers or injections.

Apart from using steroids for treating medical conditions, there are certain steroids (e.g. anabolic steroids) that are often used illegally by people who want to stimulate muscle growth since those steroids are similar to testosterone.

Taking anabolic steroids can stimulate muscle growth on the one hand but trigger hair loss as a possible side effect on the other hand.

How Do Steroids Cause Hair Loss?

how do steroids cause hair loss

First things first: There is a misconception about steroids that has to be removed. Steroids do NOT cause hair loss themselves, they can just accelerate potential hair loss if your follicles are genetically prone to male pattern baldness due to the increasing levels of DHT in your body.

Though not all steroids cause hair loss, there are certain steroids that will raise the levels of DHT in your body, which in fact will lead to significant hair loss.

This means that if your hair follicles are genetically programmed to withstand higher levels of DHT, using steroids won’t affect your hair at all.

Which Steroids Cause Hair Loss?

anabolic steroids

As mentioned above, certain steroids are notorious for causing hair loss while other steroids don’t carry this risk at all. Here is a list of steroids that are most likely to cause hair loss:

  • Anadrol (Oxymetholone)
  • Anavar (Oxandrolone)
  • Dianabol (Methandrostenolone)
  • Masteron
  • Primobolan (Methenolone)
  • Proviron (Mesterolone)
  • Trenbolone
  • Winstrol (Stanozolol)

Steroids that might cause hair loss as well:

  • Boldenone (Equipoise)
  • Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate)
  • Nandrolone Phenylpropionate (NPP)
  • Testosterone
  • Turinabol

Steroids that contain high levels of DHT are more likely to cause hair loss than non DHT steroids.

Although non DHT steroids have a lower probability of causing hair loss (e.g. Dianabol or Trenbolone), some of them have shown to induce hair loss among some users.

How To Prevent Steroid Related Hair Loss

hair loss due to steroids

If you believe that your hair loss is steroid related, it is advised that you come off steroids as a prolonged use may lead to a permanent baldness in the worst case.

To prevent steroid related hair loss or at least to lower the probability of losing hair due to steroids, you will first have to lower your DHT levels and block them from attaching to hair follicles that are particularly prone to male pattern baldness.

Here are some possible treatment methods for those who have steroid related hair loss:

  • Azelex (Anti-DHT cream)
  • Dutasteride
  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil
  • N2Shampoo
  • Proscar

It is further recommended to talk to your doctor before you decide to use any of the products mentioned above in order to prevent side effects.

Conclusion

steroids and hair loss

To all the athletes and muscle maniacs out there: The competitive drive to succeed or win can be fierce, but it is vital and necessary to know about possible side effects of steroids before you actually decide to take them.

Do some research on what side effects your steroids can have before causing your body any harm. If you are concerned about hair loss, you should be particularly careful when opting to use steroids, especially if any of them happens to be in the above list.

Performance-enhancing drugs aka doping carry many risks.

Therefore, you should not only take enough time to learn more about their potential benefits but also about their health risks. And last but not least, you should ask yourself: Is taking steroids worth the risk?


I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section down below and I will be more than happy to help you out!

Cheers,

Ruya

Founder of The Hairy Solution


 

 

 

11 Replies to “Do Steroids Cause Hair Loss? The Untold Truth”

  1. Over the years many of my friends have gone down the route of anabolic steroids, but it’s never appealed to me in the slightest. I’m over six foot three, and slim, and I like it that way (muscle eventually turns to fat anyway!). 

    I do know that the side effects of anabolic steroids are very troublesome, and adding hair loss to the equation makes the whole subject even worse!

    One question that is bugging me though – if you are a male that is not experiencing early signs of androgenetic alopecia – will you still experience hair loss through steroids (even though it’s not in your genetic makeup)?

    Very interesting article. 

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for chiming in. I’m sorry to hear that.. Unfortunately many people, mostly young men, aren’t aware of the fact how dangerous taking steroids can be. They are so focused on building more and more muscles either to boost their own ego or to win a competition and become addicted to steroids as a result. I’m happy to hear that you don’t fall into this category. To answer your question: If you are NOT genetically prone to male pattern baldness, taking steroids won’t accelerate hair loss and vice versa. So if it’s in your genetic makeup to withstand higher levels of DHT, using steroids won’t affect your hair. Cheers, Ruya

  2. Wow, I’ve never heard about this before. I was actually searching for a topic about hair loss when I came across your article. I never use steroids but it’s good to know that I probably shouldn’t start using it haha – I never even want to risk it. I’m not a big muscle guy anyways, so it shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. To be frank, I think steroids should be avoided completely. I understand the competitive side of people and how that might help them look a little better. But I’ve always found that the long term effects are definitely not good if you use steroids. 

    1. Hi Parmi, I’m glad that you found what you’ve been looking for. That’s good to hear! We must not take any risks and instead try to maintain a healthy body. The healthiest and most efficient way to build muscles in the long run is to work out regularly and to eat a balanced diet. Anything else is unnatural and unhealthy. Yes, steroids should indeed be avoided in the first place. I hope I can dissuade many young people from using steroids and show them that there are healthy ways to build muscles. All the best, Ruya

  3. Hi Ruya,

    This was a very interesting article! I didn’t know that steroids can cause hair loss. Luckily, I didn’t have to take any yet. I would like to know – in case you have experience with this as well – if someone, especially babies, have an allergic reaction to steroids because some doctors prescribe steroid creams to apply it on their red skin. Should I also check what kind of steroid it is? How long do you think can they be used without causing any harm? Thank God my children do not react sensitively and hopefully won’t either, but I want to be aware of possible effects.

    Thank you very much for sharing it!

    1. Hi Kisumu. Some babies can indeed react allergic to some steroids. Corticosteroids are the type of steroids that a pediatrician may prescribe for children with asthma or hay fever. Some possible side effects include acne, a thrush (yeast infection in the baby’s mouth) or an increased appetite for instance, but it is advised to talk to a pediatrician first before using any type of steroid creams for baby eczema or other medical conditions. All the best, Ruya

  4. Thank you for demystifying the effects of hair loss and steroid use, because I as most likely many others was of the belief that steroids were actually the cause of hair loss in males.

    It is good to know that in the unlikely event that I may need steroids to develop my muscles into a sight for sore eyes then the use of steroids in my case won’t cause hair loss. No-one in my family for the last 4 generations has shown a tendency for prone to male pattern baldness.

    I also find it a relief that you have mentioned cures or preventative measures for those who really want to use steroids and whose family has a history of male pattern baldness.

    Informative article, valuable for many men in the weight lifting world, and potentially for many others who may need to use steroids for any particular purpose.

    1. Hi Steve, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m happy if I can open many people’s eyes because a lot of people don’t realize what they do to their body until they experience some serious side effects. My goal with this article is to make sure that people know which side effects steroids can have before they decide to take them anyway. Knowing which harm they can cause to your body can dissuade many people, escpecially young men, from taking steroids. That way, many people won’t be putting their health at risk. All the best, Ruya

  5. Dear Ruya,

    Thanks for this helpful and informative post.

    Thanks for shedding light on Steroids and its effect on hair loss. The list of steroids that cause hair loss is really helpful.

    You not only addressed the problem and explained it in detail but you have also provided the solution (Treatment methods) which are very helpful. I am also losing my hair and am worried about it. Your post provided me with new insights.

    You should not only take enough time to learn more about their potential benefits but also about their health risks – Great and sound advice.

    Thanks again.

    Wishing you all the very best!

    Paul

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