Baldness and Testosterone — Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Cause Baldness?
Baldness and testosterone have been associated with each other for literally thousands of years.
Going as far back as the ancient Greeks, people thought that baldness was a sign of excessive testosterone. Though of course they didn’t know about testosterone, they associated baldness with a variety of traits which we today associate with high testosterone levels — higher-than-average libido, increased fertility, and increased strength.
Of course, we know today that these things are myths — bald men do not have higher or lower levels of testosterone than men with hair. Though the relationship between baldness and testosterone does exist, it’s not as straightforward as “More testosterone = less hair.”
However, the tenacity of this myth is such that, even today, it persists. Many people still believe that baldness and testosterone go hand in hand.
Which may keep some men from seeking testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Is Unlikely to Cause You to Go Bald
The reason for this is simple:
Testosterone by itself doesn’t cause baldness.
The source of baldness in men is genetic. You either have the set of genes that causes baldness, or you don’t.
By the time most men begin investigating testosterone replacement therapy, it’s usually quite clear whether or not male pattern baldness has begun.
However, there is a connection between baldness and testosterone, just not the connection you expect.
The mechanism by which the genes responsible for balding attack your hair is not as straightforward as you might be inclined to think it would be.
Your genes aren’t directly responsible for your hair loss. Rather, they make your hair follicles weak, but weak in a specific way. They become very sensitive to testosterone.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “If they’re sensitive to testosterone, then testosterone DOES cause balding!”
You see, even a small amount of free testosterone can cause these sensitive hair follicles to suffer. It doesn’t take much, so even if you suffer from low testosterone, it’s likely not low enough to have any measurable effect on your hair loss (or a lack thereof).
And, when it comes to testosterone replacement therapy, we’re not increasing your testosterone levels by huge amounts — just enough to get you back into a normal range.
It is highly unlikely that this additional testosterone will cause baldness that would not have otherwise occurred.
Baldness and Testosterone — The Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy far Outweigh the Risks
The risks of testosterone replacement therapy, in terms of baldness, are practically nonexistent.
However, the symptoms of low testosterone are much worse than simple balding.
Feeling exhausted, even when you’ve had enough sleep, getting zero results from your hard work in the gym, being unable to concentrate, feeling depressed or never feeling like having sex — these are serious issues, and they are much more dangerous to your well being than losing a little hair (or even a lot)!
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, you may want to begin with our eBook: “What Are the Symptoms of Low T?” You can click the button below to download the eBook and learn more about the symptoms of low testosterone.
—Augie Galindo, PA-C