The relationship between testosterone and hair loss is complex. Testosterone is the androgenic hormone that determines male characteristics like muscle strength, bone mass, and fat distribution. It also regulates sexual functions like libido and sperm production and – during puberty – testosterone is responsible for male body hair growth.
While the widely held belief is that high or low testosterone levels directly cause hair loss in adult men, the reality is more nuanced.
Does Testosterone Cause Hair Loss?
A frequent misconception is that testosterone is directly responsible for hair loss in men… particularly for androgenic alopecia – also known as male pattern baldness (MPB). While testosterone plays a role in MPB, it is not the direct cause of this common type of progressive hair loss.
Rather, the culprit is a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a testosterone byproduct that binds to hair follicles and leads to shrinkage, breaking, and a shortened growth cycle. While high testosterone levels may result in increased DHT production, not everyone will have the elevated DHT sensitivity that causes male pattern baldness.
Does Balding Mean Low Testosterone?
If you are experiencing pattern hair loss (or have developed balding patches on your scalp), low testosterone probably is not the culprit. Low testosterone typically results in hair loss from the body, but not the scalp.
That said, if low testosterone levels are negatively affecting your health, your scalp could be deprived of necessary hormones and nutrients… leading to excessive overall shedding and poor hair growth. If you suspect your hair loss may be due to low testosterone, be on the lookout for other symptoms of a hormonal deficit (such as weight gain, low libido, erectile dysfunction, muscle loss, or fatigue).
Does High Testosterone Give You More Hair?
While high testosterone may indirectly contribute to certain forms of hair loss on the scalp, ironically, it could cause heavier hair growth on other areas of the body – like the face, chest, back, and limbs. Be alert to other signs of high testosterone including acne, weight gain, sleep disruptions, high blood pressure, mood changes, or aggression.
Is Hair Loss From Testosterone Reversible?
If you are experiencing excess shedding due to a testosterone imbalance, you may be able to regrow lost hair (provided you can resolve the underlying hormonal issues). If you have symptoms of high or low testosterone, we strongly suggest you consult your physician. While you address any health issues, we can help you create the best possible conditions for regrowth with non-surgical treatments like Minoxidil®, platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections, or laser therapy treatments.
If your hair loss is due to DHT sensitivity, you may be able to significantly slow down the progression of male pattern baldness using a DHT blocker like Finasteride®, possibly coupled with one or more of the previously mentioned therapies. Male pattern baldness can be slowed but not reversed. Once hair loss has progressed, you may wish to explore options for transplantation.
Hair MD: Helping You Meet Your Hair Restoration Goals
If you are concerned about balding or excessive shedding, we can diagnose the cause of your hair loss and create a treatment plan designed to meet your individual goals. We have more than 30 years of hair restoration experience and have performed thousands of procedures for satisfied clients. Contact us today to request a consultation.