Creatine Hair Loss: The Truth 2017

Does creatine cause hair loss?

Let’s get straight to it:

Creatine hair loss is a REAL problem.

Guys are losing hair from creatine! And there are thousands of guys taking creatine right now without realizing this potential side-effect.

Here are just a few stories:

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I was one of those guys. I had to deal with creatine hair loss at the age of 22.

I spent a lot of time searching for a way to stop my hair loss.

I also spent quite some time researching the connection between creatine and hair loss, and put all my findings together on this page.

Bellow you’ll find all the up-to-date information on creatine and its effects on hair and my tips on how to stop and prevent creatine hair loss.

If you’re thinking about using creatine, but you’re concerned about losing your hair, I encourage you to continue reading.

But first, let me share with you my story:

My Creatine Hair Loss Story

Hi there, I’m Alex.

I started lifting weights at the age of 17.

I was desperately trying to put muscle on my skinny and weak teenage body.

That was also the time I started using creatine for some extra help with my muscle gains.

I had good results. I put on some weight and I could do a few extra reps.

But, there was a problem:

I was a lot more serious about video games than about lifting weights.

I started slacking off and skipping workouts.

And since I didn’t manage to look like Arnold after 3 months of lifting, I lost my motivation, and eventually took a long break from the gym.

During my break, I became seriously addicted to World Of Warcraft, and played it for 18 hours a day (true story).

I remember that time clearly, I remember how I felt very weak. I could barely stand up straight. But in-game, I was at the top.

Fast forward three and a half years later and I decided that I needed to start taking care of my body more than my WoW character, so I quit the game.

This time I was a lot more focused and a little better informed about proper nutrition and supplementation, and most importantly, I had more realistic expectations.

A year into training, I was getting great results just with the help of good food and the basic understanding of muscle building.

To tell you the truth, I was never a big fan of supplements.

I always gave priority to high quality food, especially when it came to spending my hard earned money.

The only supplement I believed was worth the money, was creatine, and I started using it again.

I started with the standard loading phase of 25 grams split into five equal doses for 7 days. After that I switched to a maintenance dose of 5 grams/day.

Everything was going great. I was loving the awesome pump I was having while training and I started noticing that I could bench 1-2 extra reps.

But something strange happened around the 10th day:

I started my morning like any other, with a trip to the bathroom.

I was bending over at the sink washing my face, and when I raised my head and looked at the mirror, I saw something seriously wrong.

My hair thinned out at the corners of my hair line!

I couldn’t believe it. This all happened OVERNIGHT!

My face immediately turned red and I started sweating like I seen a ghost standing behind me in the mirror.

receeding hair line
The guy in the picture shows a receeding hair line — the same spot my hair was thinning.

Then I started to remember hearing stories of creatine causing hair loss, but I never thought it would happen to ME.

I had no signs of hair loss before this happened. My hair was perfect.

To be completely honest with you, I knew deep inside that I would experience hair loss at some point of my life.

You see, both my father and grandpa were balding, but I never thought that it would happen to me so suddenly, at the age of only 22!

I spent that whole day researching the connection between creatine and hair loss, and which products I could use to stop my hair from falling out.

Also I spent quite some time reading stories of guys with similar experiences.

There were dozens of horror stories.

Some guys were describing noticeable hair thinning, while others described an increase in hair seen in the shower or on the pillow.

Today, I can relate to these stories, but back then I refused to believe that creatine caused me to lose hair.

Also I spent that day analyzing the days prior to my hair loss, everything from the food I ate, to the shampoo I used, but I couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.

Later I found more stories of guys mentioning having hair loss from specific brands of creatine.

I immediately thought to myself: “That’s it! That cheap creatine from that not-so-popular brand was responsible for all this!”

I was so pissed off that I grabbed the remaining creatine and flushed it down the toilet.

Life started to suck for me. Losing hair affected me a whole lot more than I thought it would.

I felt like I had lost a big part of my personality.

I was so embarrassed that I started wearing a hat everywhere I went so noone can see my messed up hairline.

My confidence was crushed, but I still went to the gym, just to keep my mind off my hair.

Three weeks later… I did something crazy:

Despite everything that happened, despite me losing hair and being almost 100% certain it was from creatine…

…I started using it again.

This time I had bought a different brand, believing that there was NO WAY that this well-known company sells creatine that causes hair loss.

I decided to start slowly, with 5g/day.

Bad idea.

After only three days I noticed more hair loss! My hairline thinned out even more!

That was a clear sign for me, I needed to stay away from creatine if I wanted to keep my hair…

This was five years ago, and I haven’t taken any creatine since.

Thankfully, I haven’t lost anymore hair.

I even had some regrowth of the thinning areas with help of hair loss products.

Also, I’ve been checking online for creatine and hair loss stories from time to time.

There are new ones popping up left and right.

I believe that this evidence shouldn’t be ignored.

Creatine Hair Loss: The Truth

In the marketing fueled bodybuilding supplement industry, very few products provide REAL results.

Numerous research studies show that creatine causes an increase in lean muscle mass and strength.

Over the years it has earned its throne as one of the best selling supplements in the world.

Since becoming available in stores in the early 1990’s, it has grown to be a 100 million dollar per year business.

Many lifters have been using it for years. But is creatine completely safe? Or does it have some hidden side-effects that are yet to be discovered.

While there are many myths regarding its safety, there are a couple of negative side-effects that are in fact common, such as stomach pain and diarrhea.

Another one is constantly being debated, often leading to intense online discussions:

Does Creatine REALLY Cause Hair Loss?

Because of the relatively short time that creatine has been available on the market, there are still no research studies about its direct effects on hair loss.

The truth is:

There are dozens reports of guys experiencing hair loss while taking creatine.

Some report having noticed a slight receding of their hairline over the course of a couple of months, while others have said to have had a noticable increase in hair shedding within just a matter of days.

What’s more interesting is that everyone reports that their hair loss stopping when they discontinue using creatine.

How can something advertised as safe cause this kind of thing?

Is this a side-effect supplement companies don’t want us to know about?

Have you experienced hair loss while taking creatine?

Let’s dig a little deeper:

What Causes Hair Loss?

This cool video explains it perfectly:

Most doctors and hair loss experts believe that male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) is caused by the hair follicles sensitivity to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (also called DHT).

DHT is the most powerful male sex hormone.

It is closely associated with masculine characteristics such as body hair growth and a strong jaw line.

A substance produced by the body to help bring about a biochemical reaction called 5α-reductase (5AR) converts testosterone to the more potent DHT in areas like the prostate and hair follicles, as well as the testes and adrenal glands.

Basically, DHT is a by-product of testosterone which helps the body grow and regulate itself.

Male and female adults can lose hair as a consequence of changes in the metabolism of sex hormones in the body, men more commonly than women.

dht hair loss

DHT attaches to hair follicles that are not genetically programmed to withstand certain levels of the hormone. This inflammatory process strips nutrients from hair follicles so that they progressively over time produce thinner and shorter hair; until eventually, they stop producing any.

DHT is the primary contributor to male pattern baldness in genetically prone individuals.

The general characteristics of male pattern baldness are the onset of a receding hairline and thinning on the top of the scalp. These areas appear to be the most sensitive to DHT.

In the more advanced stages this pattern eventually progresses throughout the entire top of the scalp.

 

norwood scale
The Norwood Scale source: http://www.americanhairloss.org/

Hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT must be exposed to the hormone for a prolonged period of time for the affected follicle to complete the miniaturization process.

Today, with proper intervention, this process can be slowed or even stopped if caught early.

So, How Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

In a study carried out on college aged male rugby players, it has been discovered that DHT levels substantially increased after three weeks of creatine supplementation.

To be exact, after one week of a daily loading dose of 25g, DHT levels increased by 56%, followed by a two week maintenance dose of 5g/day during which DHT levels remained increased by 40%. Creatine also increased the ratio of DHT:Testosterone.

Because we know that anything that raises DHT can cause hair loss, it is safe to assume that creatine can considerably increase the hair loss rate in men with a family history of male pattern baldness.

Sadly, if you have inherited the genes that contribute to male pattern baldness, there is little you can do to prevent the onset of hair loss.

The good news is:

There are steps you can take to slow down (or even reverse it) if you’ve noticed that you’re starting to lose your hair in a pattern that looks like androgenetic alopecia.

Currently there are only a handfew products available on the market that are scientifically proven to work.

Creatine Hair Loss Prevention Guide

This is a basic guide meant to help anyone trying to prevent hair loss while taking creatine.

The products listed in this section are what helped me slow down and stop my hair loss from creatine, and should help anyone trying to slow down hair loss whether using creatine or not.

And while I did experience some regrowth, my hairline hasn’t fully 100% returned to the way it was before.

It is important to mention that these products will be most effective for treating hair loss in younger guys who have just recently began noticing it, or are concerned about hair loss while taking creatine.

But be warned:

If you are seeing and increase in hair shedding (15+ hairs in the shower or pillow) or thinning happening seemingly overnight shortly after starting creatine, my honest opinion would be to avoid any creatine containing supplements while using these products, because it is still unclear if they work to stop hair loss while creatine is being taken.

All of the recommended products bellow are clinically proven to help treat hair loss, and are by far the SAFEST products for hair loss prevention and hair regrowth stimulation on the market today.

Results may vary, these products should be used for PREVENTION PURPOSES ONLY.

Many people experience regrowth, but I can’t guarantee that you will, no one can.

I will never recommend products that I haven’t personally tried.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: I am an Amazon affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Get Minoxidil (a.k.a Rogaine)

Minoxidil is a nonprescription medication used for male pattern baldness.

It is a powerful hair growth stimulator. It improves blood circulation on the scalp, and therefore oxygen and nutrient delivery to hair follicles.

The effects are most promising in younger guys who are just beginning to show signs of balding or who have minor thinning, but it is less effective in men who are in the advanced stages of male pattern baldness.

“Men who used 5% Minoxidil on a daily basis for an entire year lowered their hair loss from washing (when showering) from an average of 69.7 hairs to 33.8 hairs.

Men who didn’t use Minoxidil experienced increased hair loss or maintained their current rate.” (study)

Apparently there are guys using it to grow their beards:

Minoxidil comes in the form of a liquid or foam, and is applied to the scalp daily. Use it every 12-24 hours.

The treatment must be continued indefinitely, because hair loss will resume and the regrown hair is lost if application is stopped.

Side effects appear to be minimal, but in some users the medication may cause slight skin irritation.

About the product
  • 6-2 Ounce Bottles
  • 5% Minoxidil Topical Solution
  • Six Month Supply
  • One Child-resistant Dropper Applicators
  • Contains Information Booklet on How To Use and Obtain Best Results

Kirkland Minoxidil 5% Extra Strength Hair Regrowth for Men, 6 Month Supply $28.55

Or you can go with the cheaper, 3 month supply version and see if it works for you: Kirkland Signature 5% Minoxidil Hair Regrowth for Men, 3 Month Supply $16.50

Get Anti Hair Loss Shampoo

When buying an anti hair loss shampoo make sure to get the one that has ketoconazole as an ingredient.

Ketoconazole is a scalp exfoliator, that is also very effective in treating dandruff and oily hair.

It has an anti-inflammatory effect which is shown to stop DHT from attacking and destroying the hair follicle, therefore preventing hair loss.

A more recent study found that Ketoconazole can actually stimulate hair growth but the mechanism behind the growth is still being researched.

By itself a shampoo with ketoconazole isn’t powerful enough to completely stop hair loss, but with the combination of minoxidil it has shown a positive synergistic effect.

These are the best options currently on the market:

Regenepure – DR Shampoo, Hair and Scalp Treatment, Supports Hair Growth, 8 ounce

About the product
  • FOR MEN AND WOMEN: This shampoo for dandruff can also help both men and women without the sulfates, parabens, DEA and harsh chemicals.
  • GREAT FOR THE FOLLICLES: Regenepure DR is an anti DHT shampoo that contains powerful ingredients that work to remove the DHT build up, sebum, and toxins from the scalp and follicles to make way for new growth.
  • SAFE FOR TREATED HAIR: The Regenepure DR shampoo is safe for colored and keratin treated hair, free of harmful chemicals paraben and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SLS) which can cause damage to the hair and the scalp.
  • DRY SCALP RELIEF: Regenepure DR helps to reduce flaking. Your scalp and your confidence will thank you.
  • THE REGENEPURE LINE: The versatile line of Regenepure products can be used in a variety of combinations to cater to everyone’s individual hair types. Whether your hair is average/normal, oily, dry, or a combination of the two, we have the recommended treatment just for you.

Regenepure – DR Shampoo, Hair and Scalp Treatment, Supports Hair Growth, 8 ounces $25.00 (Click to Read Reviews)

 

When Can You Expect Results?

If you use these two products together on a daily basis, you can expect a noticeable slowing down of shedding and hair loss, this occurs over the period of a few weeks up to three months.

Visible regrowth of lost hair is to be expected after 3 months, but is reported seen in 30-40% of users.

I noticed regrowth after around 3 months while using minoxidil combined with the ketoconazole shampoo.

Patience and consistency is key when trying to combat hair loss, so give the medications time to work before you decide whether the products are working for you.

Also make sure you share this page with friends that are thinking about using creatine and have a balding dad. You could be doing them a favor by saving their hair and self-esteem.

P.S. Leave a comment bellow if you experienced hair loss from creatine or know someone that did.

Good luck and take care.

-Alex

This website is not designed to, and does not, provide medical advice. All content, including text, graphics, images and information available on or through this website are for general informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website. The owner of this website is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this website. After reading articles or other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider.

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20 thoughts on “Creatine Hair Loss: The Truth 2017”

  1. I’ve recently returned to weight gainers with the use of creatine and in my second week I’ve noticed some hair shedding when I finger through my hair. Its really worrying me now and I will stop from using the supplements after reading your article. I’m 33 with relatively good hair though on the fine side wavy side. In my family we don’t really have bald men but the guys do have receding hairline. How long did it take for your hair to return its relatively normalcy after you stopped taking it? Would really like to hear back from you.

    1. Hi there, thanks for commenting. It took around 3 months for the hair on the thinning spots to become thicker to the point of it looking like 70% before the hair loss. During that period I used the products in this article twice a day, the results peaked at 4 months but I continued using them for another 6 months just to be sure. The hair loss you describe in your comment doesn’t seem to be anything alarming. But because you mention having family members with receding hairlines, I think it’s best to stay cautious with creatine.

  2. Hey..Thnx for the given information…can you tell me ,is drinking green tea are also cause hair lose?? Coz I read on some articles???

  3. Hi Alex,

    great job on making this website, I share your opinion. I noticed hair loss on my temples few months ago, and I have been taking creatine for maybe two years! I think I fucked up a little bit, but the receding is not too bad, have been using minoxidil and ketokonazol for a month and a half now and already seeing improvements, the thing is, I thought that it was just my age (26) and I am still using creatine. After reading the info on this website, I am quitting the creatine today. How much has your hairline changed since then, is it still 70-80%? Why did you stop using minoxidil?

  4. I am 51 and many people commented on how impressed they were that I didn’t have any gray hair or hair loss. Recently I noticed my hair thinning. They only thing different that I have been doing is working out and taking creatine supplements. My wife is a hair dresser and a she just cut my hair and she notices that my hair is thinner. Perhaps it’s the creatine.

  5. Hi,

    Iam becoming 37 years old in a few weeks and iam going to the sport since my childhood and in gym since 15 years and i never took suplements and never cared about food.
    My hairloss started with 26 and i observed it very carefully.
    I noticed that in winter iam not loosing hair but in summer i have hairloss and loosing a lot of hair.
    In winter i think that 50% or 60% of the hair is growing back which i have lost during the summer.
    So with the time in 10 years my hairline moved back for 2 cm but it still looks good.
    After ten years only two of all the people i have not seen for 5 years or morew have noticed that my hairline went back a little.

    Last year in the end of november i decided to take suplements and creatine because in my age its harder to hold a good body than when i was younger.
    So first time i took creatine in my live and it was like a wonder.
    My muscles became bigger and much stronger. I have so much power and I love the feeling of power and becoming bigger.
    And Everybody noticed that i became bigger only after two weeks.
    Creatine is wonderfull.

    But i noticed too that after two weeks iam loosing a lot of hair.
    My bed was full with hair after sleeping and in winter i normaly dont loose hair only in summer.
    So i start thinking if creatine is doing hairloss? so i googled and i saw that creatine is causing hairlos.
    The hairloss became realy bad so i have to stop to use creatine.
    The hair on the front became realy thin and i lost a lot of hair.
    It makes me realy sad but i have to stop using creatine.

  6. If you have the gen you will lose the hair, i am 44 used creatine when i was younger, but i got a bit of thinning on the crown due to ephedrine based fat burners.

    I recently started using creatine creapure 5g per day no more, my hair still looks good, i can accept a slight thinning at my age, its amazing the feeling creatine gave me a lot more strength, energy to train i am so much bigger too shoulders are large, and with creapure filtered and micronized i don’t have the fat bloating i used to have with regular mono back in the days.

    Warning i used finastiride last year and also some dutastiride, that made me gain 20 pounds of fat, i decided to had an AI arimidex and after that aromasin and i felt terrible. Soft erections and no pleasure when having sex and so on.

    Also minoxidil made my face swell and i had no improvement in my hair loss.

    This is my current mix i use everyday all powder, 5g creapure, 3g MSM, 6g collagen, 5g vitamin C, 5g BCAA, 5g d ribose, i know that MSM and collagen and vitamin C are amazing to thicken hair and creatine hairloss is dose dependent 5g i might cut down to 3g per day and see how things go. I also take 3g of arginine in capsule form and iron tabs 18mg.

    Someone he really as male pattern baldness while get the shoe shape and really lose all is hair within a year of so, this is what i notice from all the people i work with in there 20, the hair loss is very fast and they lose all there hair within a year or so.

    Light thinning like i have on the crown which for me as not gotten worst since i was 25 is normal thinning.

  7. 41 yrs old. Starting thinning out in my early 30’s but over time starting using Propecia, then added Rogaine, and eventually added Nizoral. Have had great results and actually stopped the loss and maybe even thickened hair a little. Fast forward to 3-4 months ago….started 5mg of creatine per day. Sure enough over the last few months i started thinning again and my hairline receded a bit more, much to my dismay, especially since I hadn’t stopped my hairlosss regimen. Started doing some research and discovered the link with the creatine. I’m getting off it right away. It has to be the culprit. I recommend anyone predisposed to hair loss to avoid it at all costs.

  8. Thank you so much for such a great article. I am 42 and in the last month or two, I started to notice that I was losing a lot of hair …. I thought that it could be just me and my age. But then these last two weeks I started to notice that my problem had worsen – it appears that I been losing 5 percent of my hair each day.

    After some thinking, I started to question my supplements. The first thing that came to my mind was this creatine element. Then, I decided to Google any links between hair loss and creatine and I miraculously came across to your site. I am now stopping my ingestion of this supplement and I cannot thank you enough.

  9. I am 30 years old and have been using creatine for about a month now, first time in my life. Did not do the loading phase, just 5 grams per day. I had very strong hair and nobody in family was bald. In this period I have been experiencing an increased hair loss every time I take a shower or just comb it in the morning. Hairs also became visibly thinner. At first I didn’t pay much attention as I have not so short hair and I know that some falling off every day is natural. Eventually I realized that something is happening and doesn’t look like it’s going to stop soon. I then remembered that I once heard somewhere about possible side effect of taking creatine, so I did the research on internet and found my answers. As I didn’t change my diet recently, nor the lifestyle, I didn’t have any extraordinary stress situations, there can be only one, now obvious cause. Creatine does cause hair loss and many are probably not even aware of it. And now that I think of it, lots of people who are using creatine that I know have very short haircuts and thin hair. Even those big guys who work in the supplement store are either bald or look like they are going to be soon. The fact that many people who regularly work out have short haircuts or shave their heads regardless of supplements they take makes me believe that this problem is very underestimated and unfortunately very often unheard of. The worst thing is that you usually learn of it after experiencing it yourself and some damage is already done. As for myself, I’m quitting it for good. There are plenty of other healthy things one can take as diet and exercising supplements and with a good training program look good without creatine. Now I need to find a good shampoo and possibly some medicine to try getting my hair back the way it once was. For those still considering taking creatine, I can only say that having no family history of alopecia guarantees absolutely nothing and eventually it can happen to everyone.

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