Table of Contents
Steroids And Hair Loss
Anabolic steroids are risky to use for a variety of reasons, but that often does not stop individuals from taking the risk and using the injections to boost muscle mass, lose fat volume, or speed up recovery time after an injury.
Steroids and hair loss are just one of the common side effects to be aware of, but in the range of potential risks, hair loss is one of the least important to health.
Though anabolic steroids are appealing to some – most often men between the ages of 18 and 35 – a good portion of users don’t have a true understanding as to how risky they are to inject into the body
Anabolic Steroids And Hair Loss
Male pattern baldness is a fairly common risk for anyone using testosterone or other forms of steroids, especially anabolic steroids.
While everyone is predisposed to lose some hair each day, this form of hair loss occurs in relation to male sex hormones and even genetics, in some cases.
Steroids cause the hair follicles to shrink over time, making it harder for hair to grow and be healthy.
With increased hormones in the body, the hair follicles become smaller, resulting in the hair becoming fine and short – eventually falling out. It is important to note that once the hair falls out, new hair does not grow in its place.
Once the hair fails to grow back, you have limited options – stopping steroids must be a primary action, but speaking with a doctor about possible treatments is the next step.
Select medicines, such as minoxidil and finasteride could stimulate hair growth from the follicles and stop the testosterone from influencing male pattern baldness.
It is imperative that you share with a doctor your history of steroid use in order to create a safe and effective treatment plan.
Anabolic Steroids – What Are They?
There’s a difference between using natural testosterone supplements and anabolic steroids. First and foremost, testosterone is a male sex hormone that is essential for developing traits in the male body such as hair growth and deepening voice.
Anabolic steroids are created in a lab to mimic the benefits of testosterone – but these steroids also have an impact on a number of other bodily functions, such as increasing the production of red blood cells and developing bone and muscle growth.
Anabolic steroids aren’t limited to gaining muscle or losing fat in the gym.
In some medical cases, they are used by a medical professional to treat a number of conditions, such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, and even delayed puberty in young boys.
In these cases only, using anabolic steroids is legal when prescribed by a doctor – otherwise, having and using anabolic steroids is illegal and could come with fines or jail time if caught with the substance in your possession.
It is also important to note that anabolic steroids are legally classified by the United States as being a Schedule III controlled substance – in the same class as morphine and hydrocodone.
They are classified in such a manner because anabolic steroids are highly addictive and there is a potential for abuse to take place.
Common Side Effects Of Steroids
Steroids and hair loss aren’t the only side effects to worry about when it comes to using anabolic substances.
In its most basic explanation, steroid use alters how the body produces hormones and while some side effects could be reversed in the event the steroid is stopped, other side effects might be longer-lasting.
It should also be noted that the number of studies examining long-term use of anabolic steroids is lacking and if studies do exist, they often don’t feature controlled aspects to obtain accurate results.
Side effects of anabolic steroid use include:
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Increased aggression and irritability
Steroids and hair loss is also a very common symptom to be aware of with anabolic injection use.
Depending on the number of androgenic compounds in the substance, the more risk of hair loss. Some steroids most notable for hair loss include:
That does not mean other steroids and hair loss aren’t possible – there is just less likely of a risk. To some extent, even using natural testosterone supplements could lead to hair loss depending on how much is used, and how long a cycle lasts.
To combat steroids and hair loss, more aggressive action might be needed – hair transplants are one viable option. Transplants take plugs of hair from other areas of the scalp and essentially replace them in the areas of baldness.
While there are many instances of success, hair transplants are expensive and may take numerous sessions to achieve desired results.
If you wish to avoid male pattern baldness, keep in mind that steroids and hair loss are some of the most common side effects – avoid using any hormone supplements if possible.
- Rambaldi A. Anabolic-androgenic steroids for alcoholic liver disease: a Cochrane review. Am J Gastroenterol. 2002.
- Takada M. [Pharmacological action of anabolic steroids]. Nihon Rinsho. 1994.
- Christou GA. Acute myocardial infarction in a young bodybuilder taking anabolic androgenic steroids: A case report and critical review of the literature. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016.
- ZARUBINA NA. [THE ANABOLIC STEROIDS. (REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE)]. Probl Endokrinol Gormonoter. 1965.
- Yesalis CE. [Anabolic steroids in athletes]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1992.
- Abushareeda W. Advances in the detection of designer steroids in anti-doping. Bioanalysis. 2014.
- Shahidi NT. A review of the chemistry, biological action, and clinical applications of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Clin Ther. 2001.
- Rohman L. The relationship between anabolic androgenic steroids and muscle dysmorphia: a review. Eat Disord. 2009.
- Kious BM. Philosophy on steroids: why the anti-doping position could use a little enhancement. Theor Med Bioeth. 2008.