Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

Creatine is a popular supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It’s known for its ability to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help muscles recover quickly during exercise. However, there is a persistent rumor that creatine can cause hair loss. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind these claims, examine the evidence, and help you make an informed decision.

Does Creatine Cause Hair loss? Modern Healthme, Healthline, WebMD

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a natural substance found in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during high-intensity exercise or heavy lifting. You can get creatine from foods like red meat and seafood, but many people take it as a supplement to improve their athletic performance.

How Does Creatine Work?

Creatine works by increasing the availability of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy currency of the cell. This boost in energy helps you perform better in short bursts of high-intensity activities, such as weightlifting or sprinting.

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

The claim that creatine causes hair loss is primarily based on a single study conducted in 2009. This study suggested that creatine might increase the levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is known to contribute to hair loss in men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness.

The 2009 Study: A Closer Look

The study involved 20 rugby players who took creatine supplements for three weeks. Researchers found that their DHT levels increased by 56% after one week and remained 40% above baseline after three weeks. However, it’s important to note that the study did not observe any hair loss in the participants during this short period.

Examining the Evidence

While the 2009 study has sparked concerns, it is crucial to consider the broader scientific context. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Limited Research

  • The 2009 study is the only direct research linking creatine to increased DHT levels.
  • No large-scale, long-term studies have confirmed that creatine causes hair loss.

Genetic Predisposition

  • Hair loss due to DHT typically occurs in men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness.
  • If you do not have a genetic predisposition, increased DHT levels may not affect your hair.

Other Factors

  • Stress, diet, and overall health can also contribute to hair loss.
  • It’s difficult to isolate creatine as the sole cause without considering these factors.

What Do Experts Say?

Many health and fitness experts believe that the evidence linking creatine to hair loss is not strong enough to warrant concern. They emphasize that:

  • Creatine is one of the most studied supplements with a strong safety profile.
  • The potential increase in DHT from creatine is unlikely to cause significant hair loss, especially if you are not genetically predisposed.

Practical Tips for Creatine Users

If you are considering using creatine but are worried about hair loss, here are some tips:

Monitor Your Hair Health

  • Keep an eye on any changes in your hair thickness or shedding patterns.
  • Consult a dermatologist if you notice significant changes.

Consider Your Family History

  • Check if you have a family history of male pattern baldness.
  • If you do, you might want to be more cautious with supplements that could potentially increase DHT.

Balance Your Diet

  • Ensure you have a balanced diet that supports overall hair health.
  • Include vitamins and minerals known to promote hair growth, such as biotin, zinc, and iron.

Manage Stress

  • High stress levels can contribute to hair loss.
  • Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or regular exercise.


The current evidence does not conclusively prove that creatine causes hair loss. The link is primarily based on a single study with limited scope. For most people, especially those without a genetic predisposition to male pattern baldness, creatine is likely safe to use. However, if you have concerns, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.

Key Takeaways

  • Creatine is a widely-used supplement with proven benefits for muscle strength and recovery.
  • The link between creatine and hair loss is based on limited evidence.
  • Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in hair loss.
  • Consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about hair loss and creatine use.

By staying informed and monitoring your health, you can make the best decision for your fitness and wellness goals.

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