Creatine does not cause hair loss. However, it can increase DHT levels, a hormone linked to hair thinning.

Creatine is a go-to supplement for athletes and fitness fans, praised for boosting muscle growth and performance. But there’s also a rumor that creatine can cause baldness. But guess what? The rumors are wrong!

Let’s clear up the facts about creatine and hair.

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The speculation regarding taking creatine and hair loss stems primarily from one small study. In this 2009 study, 20 college-age rugby players used 25 grams of creatinine daily for seven days, followed by 5 g daily for 14 days. Following the regime, their dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels increased.

DHT is a hormone derived from testosterone. The study increased by 56 percent after the seven-day loading period and remained 40 percent higher than the initial levels after the 14-day maintenance phase.

Experts have linked some cases of hair loss to DHT, which led to the theory that creatine causes baldness. However, the results of this study haven’t been replicated, and it’s also possible that intense resistance exercise can raise DHT.

DHT has had a bad rap in the hair world because of potential links to the development of androgenetic alopecia — commonly known as male pattern baldness.

DHT regulates the hair growth cycle. It binds to specific receptors in hair follicles, shortening the growth cycle and resulting in shorter, thinner hairs. So, you get skimpy little strands instead of lush, long locks. And because the growth phase gets cut short, more hairs fall out than can be replaced, making your lush mane look sparse.

Increased levels of DHT may expedite hair loss in folks predisposed to the condition. Variations in the AR gene can boost the activity of hair follicles’ hormone receptors. However, this is typically a genetic lottery; not everyone will experience the same effects.

Also, some peeps have an enzyme that’s a little too enthusiastic about converting testosterone to DHT. And this enzyme could work overtime in people experiencing hair loss — like a barista on a double shift during the morning rush.

So, while DHT isn’t the only cause of hair loss, it’s undoubtedly a key reason some people might need to consider hats more than just a fashion statement.

You might have stumbled upon forums or Reddit threads suggesting that creatine supplementation could lead to hair loss. But it’s mainly hearsay with little hard evidence to support it.

Going back to the 2009 study on rugby players, the researchers didn’t track hair loss in the participants. They assessed hormone levels and noted raised DHT levels. If you’re genetically predisposed to hair loss, this increase in DHT could theoretically affect your risk. However, there’s no 10/10 proof.

While most folks experience good vibes and better gains from creatinine, some might encounter a few hiccups. Here are some potential side effects to look out for:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • water weight
  • stomach upset
  • muscle cramps

To minimize side effects, follow these safety tips when adding creatine to your daily routine:

  • Hydrate: Your need for water goes up with creatine, so keep sipping throughout the day.
  • Start slow: Ease into it with a lower dose to see how your body reacts before going full throttle.
  • Consult a pro: Before diving in, chat with your healthcare professional, especially if you have health concerns or take medications is smart.

Don’t stress about your tresses just yet! While creatine isn’t the direct culprit in any hair horror stories, it could support DHT, a hormone that may contribute to hair loss.

Creatine is usually considered safe, but it’s still a good idea to chat with your healthcare professional before taking it.