Preventing Baldness While On Steroids: Discovering Relevant Facts To Maximize Benefits

preventing baldness while on steroids

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are mainly synthetic forms of testosterone with a more substantial anabolic effect. The use of such steroids can cause a wide range of side effects, like baldness or thinning of hair.

Different people react to anabolic steroids in various ways. Many factors can influence such reactions, including genetics, diet, lifestyle, and age. Some athletes encounter hair loss problems after using steroids for a long time. However, some also had hair growth issues even with short-term use of the drug.

It is no secret how many people would negatively think of steroid use. They would only think of it as a performance-enhancement drug or to merely enhance muscle mass. But little do they know that most physicians use steroids for treating hormonal imbalances. It can likewise be helpful as a treatment for arthritis, blood disorders, allergies, and more.

Nonetheless, if you’re considering steroid use, it’s only practical to learn more about the drug. Remember that awareness of possible risks is crucial in preventing side effects before you start with any regimen.

A Closer Look At What Baldness Is And What Causes It

Losing some hair from time to time is not unusual. But if you experience hair shedding or thinning more rapidly than usual, then those might be signs of balding.

Men and women alike experience hair loss that can be because of varying factors. Hair loss can be due to hormonal changes, age, hereditary, or illnesses. At the same time, balding symptoms can also differ. These symptoms can be hair thinning from the top of the head, receding hairlines in men, and hairless patches at the scalp for women.

Male pattern baldness is generally hereditary and can start at any age. While for women, this condition is less common and would appear differently. Pattern baldness affects many women only after menopause, and unlike males, they are less likely to go completely bald.

There are instances when specific individuals would also encounter hair loss after childbirth. Giving birth can be traumatic to a woman’s body, affecting the hair follicles to enter a transitional phase. Some would call it postpartum baldness, but it’s only temporary.

Other stressors, poor hair care, malnutrition, or excessive heat treatment using chemicals can also trigger hair loss. Let’s not forget that excellent blood circulation is likewise crucial to optimal hair growth and loss prevention. It causes hair follicles to receive the oxygen and nutrients they need.

Related Post:  Dealing With the Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

Different Stages Of Hair Loss

stages of hair loss

Anagen Phase

The growth phase, known as the anagen stage, begins when the hair emerges from its follicle, with hair roots dividing rapidly. Although it varies for different hair types, the growth phase may last three to five years.

A regression period follows shortly, lasting between one and seven years. Eyebrow and pubic hairs have shorter anagen periods than the hair on your scalp.

Catagen Phase

The catagen or commonly known as the transition phase, could approximately last for two to three weeks. Hair follicles decrease in size, and hair growth slows down during this part of the cycle.

Further, the hair detaches from the base of the hair follicle and stays in place throughout the final growing stages. At any single moment, only around 5% of your hair is in the catagen phase.

Telogen Phase

Telogen is more popular as the resting stage, where the hair is not growing nor falling out. During this phase, new hair follicles that shed during the catagen phase begin to grow. 

Various experts would also refer to telogen as the shedding phase, but some would put that into two categories, being the resting and shedding stages.

Does Steroid Intake Cause Baldness?

Dihydrotestosterone, a more potent androgen than testosterone, typically gets the blame for baldness. Many people would think that way since steroid use would boost testosterone production. Although dihydrotestosterone affects hair growth, too much of it can degrade hair follicles.

However, addressing the question of whether taking steroids can lead to baldness may not be as simple as it seems. The truth is, one will only experience alopecia once there is an abnormally high level of testosterone in the body. Some steroids may also cause thinning of hair follicles.

Using some corticosteroids, like prednisone, can result in hair thinning. Although many experts, including the FDA, agree with prednisone’s benefits. They even consider this drug as a treatment for an autoimmune disease, also known as alopecia areata. I understand how confusing that may appear, but using steroids moderately would most likely reduce its adverse side effects.

It would be more appropriate to say that genetic disposition is one of the top contributing factors to hair loss. Several individuals have high sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. While for some, hormonal imbalances would cause them to lose hair over time progressively.

Related Post:  Do Athletes Become Better on Anabolic Steroids?

What Steroid Types Can Cause Hair Loss?

Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids are the most common steroid types in the medical community. Many healthcare professionals use corticosteroids for various medical treatments. Alternatively, the use of anabolic steroids can have an impact on androgen levels.

Recently, there are many DHT-based steroids on the market nowadays. But only steroids with high amounts of androgenic compounds are those that cause hair loss, and they are what you should mostly avoid. The higher the androgenic concentration is, the more likely you are to experience hair loss.

Having elevated levels of natural testosterone would also mean an increase in DHT concentration. Eventually, this would lead to more chances of losing your hair. Baldness is more likely to occur in individuals sensitive to DHT and those with an increase in 5-alpha reductase due to genetic reasons.

Hence, understanding more about your hereditary disposition could significantly help you in preventing detrimental effects. It is also critical to follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to taking your medications.

How To Identify Alopecia Symptoms From Using Steroids?

alopecia symptoms

There are different ways to determine if it is steroid use indeed that causes alopecia. Diffusing hair loss that occurs within days after starting a new medication or some dosage modifications is one sign.

However, you need to know that drug-induced hair loss happens in stages, especially when using steroids. It typically starts within three months of the initial use but still depends on drug type and dosage.

You may notice thinning of the hair at first, as well as increased hair breakage, dryness, and loss. While it can be pretty tricky to determine how much hair you’re losing, medically-induced hair loss is a lot more impossible to miss. On average, losing about 100 hair strands in a day is not an unusual occurrence.

Although the scalp is the most affected area, you would know if it’s steroid alopecia if you notice it happening in the frontal and temporal regions. You may also observe uncommon hair abnormalities not only from steroid use but also from neurological disorders.

Aside from steroids, here are some other medications that can contribute to losing hair:

  • Medications for acne
  • Prescription antibiotics
  • Drugs preventing blood clots
  • Antifungal medications
  • Medicines for lowering cholesterol levels
  • Autoimmune condition treatments
  • Seizure-prevention drugs
  • Beta-blockers
  • Antidepressants
  • Drugs inducing weight loss
  • Gout medications

Preventing Hair Loss While On Steroids

If you happen to lose some hair due to steroid use, you need not worry because such a condition is still reversible. Nowadays, you will find reliable hair loss treatments such as Propecia and Finasteride.

Related Post:  A Quick Guide to Steroids for Women
preventing hair loss while on steroids

These prescription drugs for men slow down hair loss and increase the chances of regrowing them. They work by decreasing DHT levels, stopping the progression of hair loss. Dutasteride, a treatment for enlarged prostates, can also inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.

But more than these hair loss treatments, the best way to prevent alopecia is to reduce stress and ensure a nutrient-rich diet. Providing your hair with the necessary nutrients, like vitamin B-complex and zinc, can help in naturally stimulating hair growth.

Some claims would regard pumpkin-seed oil for its effectiveness in preventing hair loss. This oil contains properties that can minimize the effects of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that causes hair loss.

Final Thoughts

If you happen to lose some hair due to steroid use, you need not worry because such a condition is still reversible. Nowadays, you will find reliable hair loss treatments such as Finasteride.

This prescription drug for men slows down hair loss and increases the chances of regrowing them. It works by decreasing DHT levels, stopping the progression of hair loss. Dutasteride, a treatment for enlarged prostates, can also inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.

But more than these hair loss treatments, the best way to prevent alopecia is to reduce stress and ensure a nutrient-rich diet. Providing your hair with the necessary nutrients, like vitamin B-complex and zinc, can help in naturally stimulating hair growth.

Pay more attention to other vitamins other than biotin that can strengthen your hair’s overall health. Vitamins A and D, for instance, are also excellent for your hair growth efforts. Although, these vitamins can only do so much if it’s a genetic predisposition that causes baldness.

Despite this, you should also know that there are individuals capable of withstanding high DHT levels. In such cases, these people do not experience any adverse effects when taking steroids.

If you are experiencing any adverse effects, your doctor will provide you with further advice. Your healthcare provider can recommend whether you should stop the medication, modify the dosage, or adjust your treatment entirely.

Have an in-depth discussion of every pros and cons of your prescription and what could be the safest way to deal with them. At any given time, your doctor would be the best go-to person who can help you make well-informed choices regarding the use of steroids or any drugs for that matter.

Author: admin

Leave a Reply