Bodybuilding and Hair Loss – Can Steroids Cause Hair Loss?
Genetics play an important role in the sports world. In body building genetics plays an even more important part. For many, their genetic predisposition to gain lean muscle easily will give them an obvious advantage of the more thinly framed. For others, it’s their ability to loss body fat without losing muscle that will help them gain the edge. With this focus on genetics, it’s to be reminded of other genetic factors that come into play. Hair loss is one of them. Not everyone is affected by hair loss. Some men will start showing signs of baldness in their late twenties; others will keep their well into their twilight years.
If members of your family are prone to male pattern baldness, it is more than likely that you also have the genetic markers. Anabolic steroids will only serve to speed up this process. An understanding of what is in anabolic steroids and how your body processes will help you to understand why it is that you should avoid using steroids.
DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is a substance in your body that binds to receptors in hair follicles causing a thinning of the hairline. DHT is made when testosterone is converted by an enzyme called 5AR (5 Alpha reductase). If you have a genetic disposition for male pattern baldness then you already have the necessary substances flowing through your body. Testosterone and 5AR. Whats worse is that some steroids don't even have to be converted. Anadrol and Winstrol are derived from DHT. This means that they don't have to be converted to affect your hairline. They are able to bind directly to the hair follicles. There are several other steroids on the market that interact differently with your body, almost all of them having a negative effect on your hairline.
DHT can also have cause another change in your body chemistry. DHT can actually signal the body's immune system to attack hair follicles. So now, not only is your body chemistry creating a hostile growth environment for hair, but it is also telling your body to attack hair follicles.
Will it grow back?
Most likely some of you are reading this because you noticed a few too many hairs were lining the sink this morning. The important thing is that you realize this. If you are cycling steroids and your hair starts falling out, it means your hair follicles are sensitive to androgens. Unless you've decided to embrace baldness, you need to stop immediately. If you have a family history of male pattern baldness, you have probably activated it prematurely. At this point your only hope is to slow its onset. You're next step is to visit an endocrinologist. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose and treat your condition.
In the interest of full disclosure, it is difficult if not impossible to grow hair back that was lost due to high levels of DHT. Your goal at this point is to dramatically slow down the process.
Think about why most people start body building in the first place. Chances are it is to fix some body image issues. What were your reasons? Whatever they may be, at the root of it is a desire to be respected. It takes a lot of motivation and determination to reach your goals. Is the risk of steroids unwanted side effects worth it? For some the answer is yes.
Do steroids cause hair loss? No but if you have any genetic disposition to losing your hair early or if anyone in your family suffers from male pattern baldness, your choice to use steroids could very well speed it up. Compounding this danger is the fact that some people realize they could lose their hair. So in an effort to protect their hairline, they use solutions like Finasteride, Nizoral, Minoxidil thinking that these alone will protect their hair. The truth is they are only going to help slow things down. Once your the genes that cause baldness have been turned on, their damage is permanent. Baldness is not simply a symptom of a hormone imbalance. Male pattern baldness is a result. Results like baldness can be permanent. The best way to avoid hair loss from steroid use is to avoid steroids from the beginning.
Choosing a natural approach to body building may be hard. If you people want to get the results from steroids only then it seems impossible. You have to change your mind set. The benefits of a long term change in lifestyle will far outweigh any short term gains from steroids.