You’ve heard the rumors: Creatine causes hair loss! You’ve probably seen it plastered all over internet forums, and maybe even a few personal testimonies from a friend or two. It’s enough to scare anyone away from supplementing with this natural muscle-builder.
But what is the truth? Does taking 5g of Creatine really cause hair loss? To answer this question—and put your mind at ease—we need to take a closer look at the science behind creatine supplementation.
If you’re just looking for a quick answer… the answer is no, supplementing with 5g of creatine per day will not cause hair loss. Keep reading and we’ll show you some research backing up this claim, along with some potential causes for hair loss.
Introduction to Creatine
Creatine is one of the most studied bodybuilding supplements we have available. It was originally “discovered” in 1800’s, synthesized in the 1950’s and gained widespread popularity as a bodybuilding and performance supplement in the early 1990s.
Creatine is a staple for many bodybuilders and athletes. Regular use of creatine has a slew of benefits including; increased muscle mass and strength, improved endurance / performance, enhanced recovery, and even enhanced cognitive function.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the research and break down what creatine does, how much you need to take for it to start impacting your hair and the other possible side effects of taking creatine. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not five grams of creatine per day is right for you.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
Creatine does not cause hair loss in any form, according to research. Generally speaking, most experts advise against taking more than 5g of creatine per day and suggest a maximum dosage of 3-5g per day instead.
If taken responsibly and within the recommended limit, creatine should be perfectly safe with minimal side effects such as bloating or nausea. It’s important to do some research on the type of supplement you’re consuming—as well as understanding your own body and its reactions to certain ingredients—to ensure that you’re taking the supplement safely and not putting yourself at risk of any potential health hazards.
The Research Behind the Claim
We have done some research and looked into existing research on the link between creatine and hair loss. What we found is that, while there may be potential side effects from taking large doses of creatine, it does not seem that 5 grams per day will cause any measurable amount of hair loss.
The most comprehensive study, conducted in 2005 on “Creatine Supplementation and Exercise Performance: Recent Findings,” concluded that 5 grams of creatine taken daily for 8 weeks had no negative effect on hair follicles or general health of the subjects, nor did it appear to cause any increase in acne or other negative skin issues.
In another study, published in 2021 titled “Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show?,” researchers found that creatine supplementation “does not indicate that creatine supplementation increases total testosterone, free testosterone, DHT or causes hair loss/baldness.”
These studies provide us compelling evidence that 5 grams of daily creatine intake will not cause any significant amount of hair loss.
Other Factors That May Contribute to Hair Loss
We’ve taken a closer look at the evidence, and now it’s time to consider other possible causes of hair loss.
First up is food sensitivities. Digestive issues like food intolerance can cause inflammation in the gut, which can lead to thinning hair or even hair loss. Common culprits are dairy, gluten, eggs and soy, so if you’re considering trying out a creatine supplement, it’s worth keeping an eye on how your body responds.
You know stress isn’t good for you—and it turns out that it’s not great for your hair either. Prolonged or intense stress can cause telogen effluvium, where the growth cycle of your hair is disrupted due to a change in routine or an emotional event like death or divorce. And while 5g of creatine probably won’t make you feel too stressed out, if you’re feeling tense during your workout there could be long-term consequences for your mane.
If you have any underlying health conditions that affect hormones—like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hypothyroidism—you may find that taking creatine exacerbates it further and could lead to hair loss. If you think this might be why your mane seems thinner after starting on creatine supplementation, speak with a healthcare professional who may be able to recommend a suitable treatment plan.
Male pattern baldness is hereditary. If you have it, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it besides seeking medical help. There are some treatments that can slow it down and many even prevent it – if you catch it early.
I, Brian, have been using creatine off and on for over 20 years. I have used it for multiple years straight at times with no negative effects. I still have a full head of hair at age 40 (at the time of writing this). If creatine caused hair loss, I definitely would have noticed by now.
Related: If you are interested in creatine supplementation, check out this article on Pump Some Iron about taking Creatine and HMB together.
Final Thoughts on Creatine and Hair Loss
We’ve looked at all the data, and our final thoughts on this question is that 5 grams of creatine should not have a measurable impact on hair loss.
So far, there hasn’t been any research done directly linking creatine intake and hair loss. However, it’s a good idea to always talk with your doctor if you are considering adding supplements like creatine to your regular diet—including the right dosage size—as it could still potentially interact with other medications you may be taking.
Overall, it’s important to remember that while taking dietary supplements like creatine can help with certain fitness goals, they aren’t necessary in order to make progress or achieve desired results. It all depends on individual’s needs and goals—so do your research and consult with a medical professional before making any decisions about supplementation.
If you’ve decided to give creatine a try, I suggest the nutricost micronized creatine on amazon. It’s inexpensive and mixes easily. It’s not flavored but doesn’t taste bad.
Now, time to go Pump Some Iron!