Anabolic steroids and baldness – how to prevent it
You may already know that one of the side effects of anabolic steroids is baldness. Yes, for some athletes, despite the long-term use of anabolic steroids, this problem is irrelevant. But some athletes start to lose hair even after taking steroids for a short time. Therefore, before starting a course of steroids, it is worth learning more about all the possible side effects in order to protect yourself. After all, when an athlete knows about the possibility of side effects, he will be able to prevent them. In this article, we will learn more about steroids and baldness. We will also determine if it is possible to prevent this side effect.
What is baldness?
On the one hand, male pattern baldness is a natural process, that we can associate with age-related changes in the hormonal system. It’s no secret that testosterone is the main hormone in a man’s body. It directly affects almost all organs and systems in a man. It affects growth, hair growth, and muscle mass. But, in the case when the body has too high levels of testosterone, which may be when taking steroids, then everything happens differently. High testosterone levels directly affect hair loss.
Why taking steroids leads to baldness
As we mentioned earlier, a high concentration of testosterone in the body leads to alopecia. The fact is that hair follicles are very sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is formed under the influence of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. DHT stimulates hair growth throughout the body but affects hair in a completely different way. An increase in its concentration due to taking steroids leads to baldness.
There are 3 main causes of baldness – changes, related to age, genetic influence, hormonal background. In most men, the cause of scalp hair loss is a hereditary factor. This family feature we can explain by the hypersensitivity of hair follicles to one of the forms of androgens – dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The hormone inhibits the ability of the hair follicle to produce new hair. Early loss can occur due to hormonal imbalances. And if a man is genetically predisposed to hair loss, then baldness is inevitable. In addition, thyroid diseases, stress, an unhealthy diet and work with harmful factors can accelerate the process of hair loss in men.
What Steroids Cause Baldness?
There are certain steroids that are known to cause hair loss. These are mainly androgenic compounds that cause side effects through DHT (hair loss as our example). They are what you will need to avoid if you are worried about your hair. Unfortunately, quite a large number of steroids are based on DHT. The higher the androgenic rating, the higher the chance of hair loss problems.
It is important to remember that the higher the level of natural testosterone, the higher the level of DHT, which means the higher the chance of losing your curls. People who do not take steroids do not need to worry about DHT, but if you use drugs for training, monitor the level of the hormone in the blood.
Heredity plays an important role, which is determined by the number of receptors that are sensitive to DHT and the activity of 5-alpha reductase. Knowing about your predisposition, you can avoid negative consequences. In addition, it is very important to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
How to recognize alopecia from steroids?
First, the hair will not fall out all at once. At first, an athlete may notice increased hair breakage, dullness and thinning. Let us mention right away that trichologists have established the rate of natural hair loss up to 100 hairs per day. Most often, a person does not notice such an amount of lost hair. And pathological hair loss is difficult to miss. The hair will actually remain on the pillow and comb, but not on the head.
It often happens that a person notices baldness even when one can see bald patches on the head. And since the so-called “steroid alopecia” is more often observed in the frontal and temporal areas, it will be difficult not to notice it.
How to avoid hair loss from steroids
Finasteride (a 5-a reductase inhibitor) is one of the most popular anti-hair loss treatments. Simply put, a drug that reduces the production of dihydrotestosterone. The second most popular way to combat hair loss is low-androgen courses and short steroids courses. Read more about this type of steroids courses in this article. This will allow you to reduce your DHT production and thus keep your hair in place.
Also, in the course of the treatment of baldness, specific and non-specific therapy can be distinguished. Firstly, specific therapy is aimed at eliminating provoking factors. That is, if steroids provoked baldness, their use should be stopped. It will not be superfluous to start post-cycle therapy to restore the synthesis of internal testosterone. If additional risk factors are present, such as illness or stress, these also need to be adjusted. The methods of non-specific therapy include a wide range of cosmetic products and procedures. These are as well as various sprays, masks and shampoos, as well as scalp massages or acupuncture.
It is very important to understand and know about the possible effects of certain drugs that you enter into your body. You must be aware of the problems that may arise, therefore you must be aware of the ways to solve them. If you are prone to any problems or are simply worried about them not starting, for example, about hair loss, then you should be vigilant when taking any steroid drugs, this is especially true for those drugs that were mentioned above in our lists. Act carefully and wisely, you must always be ready for any outcome when making decisions.