Do you want to learn if testosterone replacement therapy causes hair loo or is it a myth? Read further to find out!
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has become a common solution for millions of men across the globe who are facing low levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone in their bodies. In the USA, the majority of men are gaining the benefits of TRT as it not only improves abnormal T levels but also delays aging and treats most health disorders.
The men who decide to take testosterone replacement therapy have hundreds of questions in their minds which they want to clear before undergoing it. We have seen that starting the treatment is a tough decision for most of the men who come to our clinic and asked our medical professionals “Do testosterone injections cause hair loss or baldness? We have prepared an article after being informed by our medical experts and we will guide you through the issue that sounds like ‘Will TRT cause hair loss in men? What is the relation between TRT and hair loss?’
Will testosterone replacement therapy cause hair loss?
Several decades ago people thought baldness in males was due to an excessive level of testosterone. They had a lack of information on why the hormone imbalance occurs. If you have the same question in your mind, and you want the solution to the problem of ‘how to avoid hair loss on TRT?’ You should know that there is no interconnection between high testosterone and baldness. But there is a ‘link’ between baldness and excessive T level.
Testosterone and Hair Loss
This is a natural fact that “hairline got higher and higher in most of the men after age 30”. And after their 50s, 85% of men experience male pattern baldness (MPB) and hair thinning. So this is just a myth that baldness is caused by high testosterone because this is the age that is one of its key reasons.
There are many other factors behind baldness or hair loss and there are no researches that confirm that baldness and testosterone are somehow interconnected. We have tried our best to solve your problem and we are sure that all your fears will disappear after reading this article.
Causes of Hair Loss
The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that there are approximately 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States who are affected by ‘androgenic alopecia’.
Androgenic alopecia is male pattern baldness. In this condition, hair follicles start to shrink primarily from the vertex and temporal zone of the scalp and finally become dormant and cause thinning of hair, hair loss, or baldness. Pattern baldness doesn’t occur just due to high testosterone, there are other reasons for it, some of these reasons are as follows:
Does your grandfather or father have hair loss? If the answer is yes, then there is a need to falsify the statement about testosterone hair loss which sounds like “high testosterone causes baldness” because this is not true, the issue is your genetics. If you have a genetic problem, it might be not your fault. If someone inherits hair loss, their hair follicles become sensitive.
AR genes or androgenic receptor genes are present on the hair follicles and react with testosterone depending on the sensitivity. If your hair follicles are more sensitive, they will react more readily with testosterone and cause male pattern baldness.
Although there are many other genes responsible for baldness, AR genes are the real ‘culprits’. Hair loss is a polygenic trait, like hair color or skin color, so we cannot say that only one gene is wholly responsible for this issue. Many genes together can result in hair loss, and if these genes are dominant in your family or close relatives then you would be at a high risk of hair loss. So, keep in mind that ‘high testosterone hair loss’ is not an affirmative statement because this hormone does not cause baldness.
Other than genes, a host of other factors play a significant role in hair loss or baldness, and they are such as stress (telogen effluvium), age, or hormonal imbalance, etc.
Does DHT cause baldness?
There are three major forms of testosterone present in the body. One is a “free” form of testosterone that is not bound to any protein and the other one is bounded to the albumin protein in the blood or sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
DHT or dihydrotestosterone is the third form of testosterone and it is the derivative of a male sex hormone. It is formed when the 5-α (alpha)-reductase enzyme acts upon the testosterone. DHT is another major form of testosterone in the blood.
Some studies reported that it is more potent androgens than testosterone itself cause the thinning and miniaturization of hair follicles which are present on the vertex of the scalp. The hair follicles present on the side of the scalp are found to be resistant to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
So, men who resolve to take testosterone replacement therapy are more more likely to suffer from hair loss if they are genetically predisposed to baldness. As some hair follicles are resistant to testosterone or DHT, they don’t experience hair loss or baldness during treatment.
Testosterone Therapy and Hair Loss Treatment/How to avoid hair loss during TRT:
If you are experiencing MPB or TRT hair loss while on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), try some of the following drugs that interact with DHT or Testosterone and block their actions:
- Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar);
- Minoxidil (Rogaine);
- surgical hair follicle transplant.
Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
Finasteride is an FDA-approved drug that acts as an inhibitor of 5-Alpha-reductase thereby preventing the conversion of Testosterone to DHT, and protecting from TRT hair loss and baldness in men who take the therapy. This drug is also effective for men who are genetically predisposed to androgenic alopecia.
Proscar and Propecia are derived from Finasteride having the same benefits as the active ingredient (Finasteride) with different dosages. Propecia contains 1mg active ingredient Finasteride approved for the treatment of MPB.
Proscar is approved for the treatment of enlarged prostate and contains 5mg of an active ingredient Finasteride. Some patients report that overdose of Finasteride may cause lower sexual urges.
Many people would prefer minoxidil (Rogaine) as it is widely available in the market. This counter medication is an antihypertensive vasodilator used for the correction of pattern baldness in both men and women.
The actual mechanism of action of Minoxidil is still unknown but some theories report that this drug breaks blocked blood vessels and reaches dormant follicles.
The dormant follicles become active and start to grow new and thicker. As this is a vasodilator, it may cause swelling or dizziness, so always be careful while taking this drug.
It is an antifungal drug that has been reported to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT at the site of hair follicles as well as prevent fungal infections.
Will hair grow back after testosterone treatment?
According to an estimate, men start to lose hair naturally when they reach the age of 30 or over thirty. There are three understood reasons for testosterone therapy hair loss in men: age, hormonal imbalance, genetic factors.
When dihydrotestosterone or DHT is formed from testosterone by an enzyme reductase, hair follicles shrink, and eventually, hair growth stops. But don’t worry! Hair follicles never die off. So, if you are experiencing testosterone hair loss or baldness, it is a possibility that your hair will grow back after testosterone therapy.
There are many hair treatments like drugs, hair transplant, hairpieces, plastic surgery, etc., that help your follicles to grow back. The most common hair treatment drugs are Finasteride and Minoxidil. If you stop the medication, hair loss may return. Minoxidil takes approximately two weeks to slow the hair loss or reverse baldness.
Connecting the Dots: Does taking testosterone cause hair loss?
The actual reason for baldness or hair loss varies in each patient who is on testosterone replacement therapy; they are not directly related to each other. Genetics, DHT, stress is seemed to be the reasons for hair loss. So if you opt to take the therapy, don’t panic. It is completely safe.
If you have any further queries concerning testosterone therapy hair loss or you want to take TRT, just fill a query form on our website and get a free consultation today.