Creatine is one of the most commonly used supplements by athletes. It also has widespread use among fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders. Because of the low price, little to no side effects and a visible quick result, creatine is a popular supplement among people who would like to add some extra muscle mass. One of the questions that regularly arises is whether creatine causes hair loss.
What is creatine
In addition to whey, creatine is probably the best-known supplement for those engaged in strength training and fitness. In principle, creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid, which is found among other things in meat and fish and is also produced by the human body itself in the liver, kidneys and pancreas. It is converted into creatine phosphate and stored in the muscle tissue, where it is used as an energy source. At high exertion, such as a sprint or weightlifting, it is then converted into ATP, one of the most important ‘fuels’ in the body.
The supplementing of creatine is very popular and is done in many professional sports (including football, athletics, basketball).
What does it do
Research shows that results are especially strong in sports where the load is high but short-lived . The supplement is therefore not recommended for endurance sports. The reason that footballers take it, for example, is that they also regularly undergo strength training sessions to increase their muscle mass. The performance-enhancing effects and increase in muscle mass are more or less indisputable in science. Anecdotal evidence shows that the effectiveness can vary from person to person.
What is Hair Loss
Every day we lose about 50-100 hairs, it is estimated. When we lose a lot more hairs per day, we run the risk of becoming bald. Men are particularly at risk and we therefore speak of male baldness, but women can also suffer from this. The most common cause of hair loss is hereditary hair loss, also called Androgenetic Alopecia.
This is a hereditary sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone , in short DHT.
The presence of DHT has the following consequences:
DHT shortens the anagen growth phase: the hairs are thinner
DHT increases the number of hairs in the telogen ‘drop-out’ phase
DHT eventually causes the shriveling of the hair roots
Creatine and Hair Loss
In 2017 there is no evidence, nor indication, that creatine supplementation seems to cause direct hair loss. Yet there are people who report that they experience an increased loss of hair after using creatine. This could be because increased creatine intake can increase DHT levels . This means that although creatine itself does not seem to cause baldness directly, it can accelerate the process of hair loss by increasing DHT levels if one is already sensitive to DHT. In other words, if you have been genetically ‘condemned’ to this type of baldness, DHT can speed up this process.