Are you considering taking a creatine supplement but concerned that it could cause hair loss? It’s an understandable worry — nobody wants to jeopardize their appearance or health by unwittingly damaging their own body.
As a popular health supplement that offers a variety of physical benefits, many people take it routinely to support muscle and strength-building initiatives. Any supplement comes potential risks. But does creatine cause hair loss?
We explore this question in depth, offering evidence and expert advice on maximizing its effectiveness while minimizing any side effects — so read on if you want the real answers.
Table of Contents
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss? What is Creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogen-based compound that’s mainly found in muscle cells. It’s one of the body’s most important energy sources, and it helps your muscles produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a key energy source for muscle contraction.
Creatine is found naturally in foods and is also available as a dietary supplement. Athletes and bodybuilders commonly use it to help boost performance, but it can also benefit people who don’t exercise regularly. It can also be taken before workouts, as it helps the body better utilize energy during high-intensity exercise.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
No, creatine does not cause hair loss. However, it can cause hair loss indirectly. In 2009, researchers did identify a link between creatine supplementation and increased levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which has been linked to hair loss. There was a noticeable rise in DHT concentrations. 
Because DHT levels contribute to hair loss, a rise in them might put you at risk, especially if you have a family history of balding. Creatine consumption may increase DHT levels, although it is unclear whether or not these levels are high enough to cause hair loss without additional factors. Additional study in this area is needed.
Excess creatine can lead to dehydration which, in turn, can disrupt the hair’s natural growth cycle and eventually lead to hair loss. For these reasons, it’s essential not to take creatine supplements over the recommended dosage, as this could cause health issues, including hair loss. 
Is Creatine Good for Your Hair?
Even though creatine has been studied primarily as a performance aid for exercise, training, and slowing age-related decline, various additional health and cosmetic advantages have been discovered.
Creatine is not a hair-specific supplement, so it won’t directly benefit your hair. However, creatine’s vital function in cellular metabolism has led to its use in reducing the severity of damage and illness, especially when the oxygen supply is low. Hence, it may also have a stimulating impact on the hair and the skin.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss? Is Hair Loss from Creatine Permanent?
The good news for those concerned about creatine-related hair loss is that it’s not typically permanent. For example, if dehydration is causing hair loss, restoring proper hydration levels should cause hair to grow again in a few weeks or months.
Even while your hair loss may slow down again now that you’ve stopped using creatine, if the supplement increases a preexisting tendency to a hereditary problem, the lost hair may not grow back without regrowth therapy.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss? Can Hair Loss from Creatine Grow Back?
If creatine is the cause of your hair loss, you should start seeing thinning around two months after you begin taking the supplement.
If you’re losing or experiencing thinning hair because of creatine, you should start seeing new growth after you stop using the supplement. However, if creatine accelerated your preexisting genetic issue, it’s possible that hair won’t come back without treatment.
Knowing the root cause of your hair loss is crucial because it might help you address any underlying issues that may make your problem even more severe. Consuming these supplements, for instance, can speed up hair loss if you have a hereditary disease that causes you to lose your hair.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss? Will 5g of Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
No evidence suggests that creatine causes hair loss unless taken in excess. Most creatine supplements come with a suggested dosage of between 2-5 grams per day, so if you take creatine within those limits, it’s unlikely to cause hair loss.
Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss in Females?
The risk of creatine-related hair loss is the same for both men and women. However, because creatinine does not contain any testosterone, it is unlikely to cause male pattern baldness in either gender.
How Fast Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
Creatine-related hair loss usually occurs over several weeks or months. However, you should start noticing thinning about two months after taking the supplement. 
Dehydration caused by creatine is the most common culprit here, and it can take some time for dehydration to affect hair growth significantly enough to cause noticeable hair loss.
Other Potential Side Effects of Creatine
Too much creatine can lead to other, more serious health issues, such as kidney damage, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, gastrointestinal distress, and impaired liver function.
Additionally, creatine can strain the body’s cardiovascular system, leading to increased heart attack and stroke risk.
Also, while on creatine, you shouldn’t consume caffeine (coffee, tea, soda) or herbal stimulants like ephedra or Ma Huang. Using this product in combination with these products may raise your risk of stroke and other severe health complications.
Creatine is safe in moderation, but excessive amounts may cause dehydration, muscle cramps, and other side effects. Therefore, it’s important to stick to the recommended dosages, especially for adolescents, and not exceed them to avoid any potential adverse reactions. 
Bottomline: Can Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
Creatine is a natural byproduct of creatine phosphate, an energy molecule in muscle cells. Hence, Creatine does not directly cause hair loss. However, creatine consumption can lead to an indirect increase in the hormone DHT, which has been linked to hair loss. Additionally, creatine can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and other side effects that may lead to hair loss.
It is important to follow the recommended creatinine dosage and avoid taking too much, as it may have serious health implications, such as kidney damage or an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
As always, consult your healthcare provider before taking creatinine or any dietary supplement, particularly if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is also important to talk to your doctor about hair loss concerns and discuss possible causes and treatments. By making informed decisions about creatinine consumption, you can help protect your health and reduce the possibility of unwanted side effects.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- van der Merwe J, Brooks NE, Myburgh KH. Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. 2009 Sep;19(5):399-404. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181b8b52f. PMID: 19741313.
- Antonio J, Candow DG, Forbes SC, Gualano B, Jagim AR, Kreider RB, Rawson ES, Smith-Ryan AE, VanDusseldorp TA, Willoughby DS, Ziegenfuss TN. Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show? J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Feb 8;18(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s12970-021-00412-w. PMID: 33557850; PMCID: PMC7871530.
- Kreider RB, Melton C, Rasmussen CJ, Greenwood M, Lancaster S, Cantler EC, Milnor P, Almada AL. Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):95-104. PMID: 12701816.
- Jagim AR, Stecker RA, Harty PS, Erickson JL, Kerksick CM. Safety of Creatine Supplementation in Active Adolescents and Youth: A Brief Review. Front Nutr. 2018 Nov 28;5:115. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2018.00115. PMID: 30547033; PMCID: PMC6279854.