The usage of Androgenic-anabolic Steroids (AAS) by bodybuilders and other elite athletes in sports that value speed, strength, or explosiveness is well-known in both the scientific and sporting sectors. Although pro-hormones and cutting-edge dietary supplements may help you increase muscle growth, steroid cycle benefits are unparalleled in this regard.
For several sports including football, baseball, and mixed martial arts (MMA) – AAS is essential to maintaining a competitive edge.
Men in their middle years and beyond who suffer from low testosterone levels may be prescribed milder types of steroids at lower dosages for treatment. Thus, TRT, which stands for “testosterone replacement treatment,” is a clinical term for anabolic steroid use.
Even though anabolic steroids, like testosterone replacement, have many useful effects, they can cause hair loss and speed up the progression of male and female pattern baldness, if you don’t take precautions.
While certain anabolic steroids may hasten or even induce hair loss, this is not the case for all. Some forms of AAS are responsible for severe cases of hair loss compared to others.
It therefore goes without saying that if you are seriously considering using androgenic-anabolic steroids of any kind, you should first consult with your doctor to know if the side effects of the drug would be more pronounced than the benefits in your case.
This post explores the cause of hair loss, how to prevent male pattern baldness during steroid use, and ways to stop hair loss even after running a steroid cycle.
I. What Causes Hair Loss During the Steroid Cycle?
Male pattern baldness is caused mostly by hormonal shifts. To be more specific, hair follicles are harmed by elevated amounts of dihydrotestosterone or otherwise referred to simply as DHT.
When DHT binds to follicles, it triggers an inflammatory response. These brittle locks will begin to shed in due time. Increased levels of DHT caused by steroid use are a major cause of hair loss in both the short and long-term.
However, not everyone experiences hair loss. It’s possible that your hair follicles are genetically designed to resist more exposure to DHT, which explains why male pattern baldness is not consistent in all AAS users. It is important to note that steroid use will not result in hair loss if you are not genetically predisposed to baldness.
II. How to Prevent Hair Loss on a Steroid Cycle
The following measures will make the task of preventing hair loss on a steroid cycle a whole less cumbersome:
Use Steroids with Less Androgenic Properties
Use steroids with a low level androgenic properties to reduce the risk of acne and hair loss.
Stop Itching Scalp
Alleviate the burning/itching feeling in the scalp caused by the inflammation (also medically called “perifollicular inflammation”) surrounding the hair follicle.
Low-temperature-processed topical Emu Oil and oral Resveratrol with Curcumin are two easy ways to deal with this pressing concern.
Prevent Testosterone Conversion to DHT
Thirdly, prevent Testosterone from being converted into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as much as possible.
Numerous methods exist for achieving this goal, including:
- Taking 1 milligram of Propecia daily in addition to 0.5 milligram of Dutasteride once weekly.
- The use of theaflavin (Black Tea) E : extract which decreases DHT by the same proportion as Propecia. It also reduces estrogen levels and increases Testosterone, delivering a libido stimulating effect and lowering the risk of male breast growth or gynecomastia.
- By combining Astaxanthin with phospholipids in Ultra Natural Prostate Formula, not only are DHT and estrogen levels lowered, but testosterone is also boosted.
Prevent hair loss, acne, and hirsutism by blocking DHT from attaching to its receptors with Ultra Natural Prostate Formula’s potent phytosterol extracts.
Use the Right Shampoo
For hair loss prevention and reversal, use 2% Nizoral shampoo three to four times weekly and switch to Follicure para Caspa, an even more effective Piroctone Olamine-based shampoo.
III. 3 Ways to Stop Hair Loss after Steroid Cycle
Once you stop taking certain androgenic-anabolic steroids, you may start growing hair again. However, depending on your genetic makeup, it might take a while to have a head full of hair.
Lucky for you, there are steps you can take to stop hair loss after steroid cycle and encourage hair growth today.
Here are three strategies for reversing hair thinning and regrowing lost strands after running a steroid cycle or stack.
#1. Using Medication
Foam and solution forms of minoxidil are widely sold at drugstores.
It’s a topical treatment for baldness that promotes hair growth, often in men.
But just to be clear, minoxidil is not a substitute for a hair transplant and it is not intended to cure baldness.
However, topical Minoxidil (at a concentration of 2%) is an effective treatment for thinning hair in both men and women.
Primarily, it is in the class of drugs known as vasodilators and many people are known to have had success using it topically. As an effective topical treatment for hair loss, minoxidil is certainly worth a try.
But if you are under the age of 18, you really should not use it without a prescription.
Using Minoxidil Correctly
Before using the minoxidil solution or foam, it’s best to first wash and dry your hair and scalp thoroughly.
On the other hand, you may use it on wet hair as well.
- Fill the applicator to the 1 mL mark, or use 20 drops, to administer the drug.
- Take a section of hair and apply the solution to the area where you see the most thinning.
- After giving your scalp a little massage, let it air dry before applying any further treatment.
- You need to thoroughly wash your hands before using them to apply the foam to your scalp.
- Apply a half of the foam pill topically by rubbing the region lightly. Wait for the foam to dry on your scalp before going to bed.
Don’t give up hope if you don’t see immediate results; keep at it until you do.
To the contrary, you should stop using the product immediately if you experience any irritation after applying Minoxidil to your scalp.
Dutasteride and Finasteride
While Dutasteride is a known medication for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, doctors have been known to prescribe the drug for alopecia because of its effectiveness in curbing and even reversing hair loss.
The reason why dutasteride is recommended for hair loss treatment is the fact it is a 5-alpha reductase (AR) inhibitor. The 5-AR enzyme comes in two basic forms, namely; type 1 and type 2 with the former appearing in the scalp while the latter appears in hair follicles.
Most doctors will prescribe finasteride in the treatment of type 2 5-AR enzyme which appears in hair follicles while dutasteride is often prescribed in the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 making dutasteride a more recommendable drug for hair loss.
Both drugs are available on prescription, but while finasteride is available in tablet form, dutasteride, on the other hand, comes in capsules. It is also worth noting that the use of these drugs, while effective, may result in varying results in patients with some having more immediate results than others.
#2. Using the Oil Extracted from Pumpkin Seeds
Hair loss steroids often induce the thinning of the hair by increasing 5-alpha reductase activity or by increasing DHT synthesis.
This last enzyme is a known hair-loss factor. Oil extracted from pumpkin seeds are known to inhibit this enzyme albeit to a lower extent. Other oil extracts like those from sesame seed and even saw palmetto will act in a similar fashion.
In 2014, researchers examined the causes and effects of hair loss in 76 individuals. After 24 weeks, the males were evaluated for the effectiveness of pumpkin seed oil and there were noticeable signs of improvement in subjects with mild alopecia.
However, for individuals with a more severe case of alopecia, the use of conventional medication like minoxidil, dutasteride, and finasteride under the strict guidance and prescription of a qualified medical practitioner is advised.
Nevertheless, if you have low-level alopecia, then pumpkin seed oil is widely available at most health food shops and even on the internet.
#3. Nutritional Value of a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet that includes enough protein, iron, and vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy hair cells.
Therefore, to maintain healthy hair, it is important to consume foods high in the following nutrients:
Eating a diet rich in protein may help you get the amino acids your hair cells need to repair and grow.
Nearly 80% to 85% of your hair contains keratin which is a protein.
Dietary protein helps hair cells produce enough keratin to remain in the growth phase.
The proper ratio of protein in your diet is, therefore, of paramount importance. You might begin by making sure that your morning meal contains at least 120g of protein.
Protein-rich meals, such as; quinoa, broccoli, almonds, lean meat, and eggs, should be eaten regularly.
One of the most important minerals for lustrous locks is iron. Its primary role is to facilitate the development of RBCs, which are essential to the body’s ability to transport oxygen throughout the body.
Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss because it reduces blood flow to the scalp. Spinach, red meat, lentils, seafood, and pumpkin seeds are all good sources of iron.
Damage to hair health and development from free radicals is reduced by this vitamin.
Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C aids in the elimination of these harmful free radicals and prevents them from damaging the hair.
Plus, it promotes the production of collagen, a protein crucial to the health of your hair.
Blackcurrants, guavas, jalapeño peppers, acerola cherries, and kakadu plums are all good sources of vitamin C.
Take DHT Blocker Foods
Foods that inhibit 5-alpha reductase are used to prevent testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Thus, inhibiting this enzyme may prevent further hair loss during a steroid cycle. Foods like curcuma, alliums, green tea, and edamame are effective DHT blockers.
IV. Is Hair Loss from Steroid Use Reversible?
Steroids hair loss is often temporary and the thinning and/or falling off of hair usually stops at some time after a steroid cycle. So, Yes! Hair loss from steroids is reversible and your hair can definitely grow back.
However, it must be mentioned again, that people that are genetically predisposed to hair loss would only make matters worse if they use steroids and in their case, hair loss may be permanent or at least a reversal may take a much longer time than in other individuals.
It is important to determine if the steroids you are taking are directly responsible for changing your DHT levels before you start using them. Also, inquire about other treatment options from your doctor if at all feasible. It is worth remembering that not all anabolic steroids will increase DHT levels leading to hair loss.
However, if you do use known steroids that cause hair loss like Anadrol, Anavar, and Dianabol, you should not accept hair loss as an inevitable consequence. You can speak to your doctor to know what medication can be taken to help prevent or minimize hair loss during and after a cycle.
When you stop running an AAS cycle, hair growth usually resumes within a few months. The one catch is that you will need to be patient as no two cases are ever the same and your genetics often plays a key role in determining the degree of hair loss and/or reversal.
Meanwhile, you may want to focus on maintaining healthy hair by sticking to a clean, healthy diet today.
If you need any information about steroids and possible side effects including hair loss, please feel free to chat with our fitness and health experts here.