Can Creatine, Protein, or Differin Cause Hair Loss?
August 20, 2008 by Spencer Kobren
I think what you’re doing is great Spencer!…Propecia stopped my hair loss at 20. I am 31 now, however, over the past 3 months I have lost about 30-40% of my density all over the top of my scalp, and the sides and back as well. I am still on Propecia and have scheduled a doctor appointment. I would like to list a few things that I started to do a few months ago that I think may have contributed to this:
1. Differin cream (vitamin A derived)
2. Working out with heavy weights along with taking creatine (No Xplode) and protein powder
These two things are my main concern especially Differin. Also, I started using a self tanning lotion sunscreen (durascreen) since I work outside, and teeth whitening products all within the past few months. I know I sound paranoid, but I would like to know if you think any of this could contribute to my rapid hair loss. I’ve been a little stressed too, but no more than usual. However, I am really stressed now because of this. Oh yeah, I also tried adding Rogaine a few months ago, but stopped after 2 weeks…I am so depressed about this. I just found out about you and your show and I’ve listened the last few weeks. What a great thing you are doing, it is such an epidemic that totally destroys people. I could go on and on about how depressed and mortified I was when I started to lose my hair at 18. Thank You. – Mark
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Thanks for the support! I’m glad to hear that you’ve done so well with Propecia these past eleven
years. I have to preface my comments by letting you know that I am not a physician, but from what you’ve explained, I think that the use of Creatine supplementation might be what is affecting your hair.
I’ll probably get a lot of crap from the bodybuilding community, but the truth is each body reacts diffently to this type of supplementation, and I do believe that creatine can effect hair growth and cycling.
Here are my thoughts on the matter: We know that exercise when done properly and accompanied by good sleeping habits and a high protein, well balanced diet stimulates the release of hormones that promote muscle growth. These are known as anabolic hormones, which include testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone. When training, stimulation of these muscle growing hormones is what most athletes strive for. Unfortunately for men who are predisposed to androgenic alopecia ( male pattern hair loss), raising levels of testosterone can increase DHT levels.
With that said, in most cases, the use of Propecia should cancel out the effects of any naturally occurring increase in testosterone since Propecia blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone into the follicle killing DHT, reducing DHT levels by about 70% in most individual who use the drug.
Since each individual reacts differently to medial treatment, any increase in testosterone and HGH that you might be experiencing from the use of creatine theoretically could have put you over the preverbal edge as far as the ability for Propecia to effectively protect you against higher DHT levels. The 70% block in DHT might have been all you needed to stave off your male pattern baldness, but by increasing your hormonal output the dam might have burst, so to speak.
Since creatine is known to increase or ability to exercise more efficiently, and exercise increases hormone release, it is expected that creatine should also indirectly increase the amounts of anabolic hormones produced while exercising.
There have also been studies that have demonstrated that growth hormone was actually released in non exercising subjects within a few hours after ingesting creatine.
So, my advice would be to speak to you doctor about your creatine supplementation, and perhaps raising your dose of finsteride if he or she sees fit.
I’d don’t think you have much to worry about when it comes to Differin and hair loss, and I certainly don’t think that whitening your teeth will effect your hair.
Hope this helps. Keep listening and spread the word.
Host of The Bald Truth Radio Show
Founder, American Hair Loss Association
Founder and Director of Consumer/Patient Affairs, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS.ORG)