Creatine is a supplement commonly used by bodybuilders and professional athletes to increase lean muscle mass, improve strength, and help muscles recover faster during exercise.
But the question that often arises is, are there any adverse effects of taking creatine? According to a study , the consumption of creatine may cause hair loss. However, there is no concrete evidence of it.
This article helps you understand whether creatine plays a role in hair loss and if it does, natural ways to help prevent it. Read on to learn more.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an organic compound produced by the human body from the amino acids glycine and arginine.
Its function is to supply energy  to the body's cells, primarily muscle cells. It is naturally produced in the liver and kidneys and then stored in muscle and brain tissues.
Most people get creatine from natural food sources like meat, fruits, and vegetables.
Creatine is also available in the form of a supplement, which is mostly taken by athletes and bodybuilders, to enhance their performance by increasing the formation of a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
ATP supplies more energy to the muscle cells and speeds up cellular respiration.
Does Taking Creatine Cause Hair loss?
In 2009, a study was conducted on 20 college-aged rugby players who used creatine supplements for three weeks. The results reveal an increase in the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone in all the players.
DHT  is a by-product of testosterone, the male sex hormone. When testosterone reacts with 5α-reductase (5-AR), an enzyme, it produces a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in various body tissues, including the hair follicles.
DHT plays a vital role in developing male biological characteristics, such as a deep voice, body muscles, facial hair, etc.
How Does DHT Cause Hair Loss?
Your hair grows from capsule-like structures called follicles that are present under the skin.
The cycle of hair growth is divided into four stages: growth, transitional, resting, and shedding. It takes 2-6 years for a hair strand to reach the last stage of the hair growth cycle.
During the last stage, the follicle sheds the hair strand and produces a new one. When DHT level increases, it shrinks the hair follicle and interrupts the process of hair growth.
DHT is the hormone responsible for male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness.
The excessive production of DHT blocks the blood supply to the hair follicles, leaving it fragile, lighter, and thinner.
DHT also prevents hair follicles from producing new hair once the old strands fall out. Androgenic alopecia  is a typical example of hair loss in men due to DHT imbalance. Women too face hair problems due to an increase in DHT level.
Is There Scientific Evidence Of Creatine Causing Hair Loss?
No research suggests that creatine directly causes hair loss. As discussed before, the study conducted in 2009 indicated that the consumption of creatine increases the DHT level in the cells, including hair follicles. So, indirectly creatine may cause hair loss.
Several other reasons can also lead to hair loss, such as an unhealthy diet, dehydration, excessive use of chemical products, and aggressive brushing. Even medical conditions like thyroid, scalp infections, alopecia areata, and stress can contribute to it.
In Ayurveda, hair loss occurs due to an imbalance of the three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Individuals with Pitta dosha Prakriti are more prone to hair loss due to an increase in the DHT level.
“The effects of the hormone DHT can be vaguely equated to the effects of Kapha and Pitta on the hair follicles. The understanding is that high levels of circulating Kapha occlude the blood vessels. At the same time, Pitta causes inflammation in the hair follicles triggering hair fall,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
How To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Creatine?
You can try Ayurvedic methods to control the level of DHT in the body and balance your Pitta dosha. We've listed some effective natural solutions below.
1. Ayurvedic Herbs
Herbs like Kumari (Aloe Vera), Flax Seeds, Grapes Seeds, Krishna Tila (Black Sesame), Kalonji (Black Cumin), Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri), Amla (Indian Gooseberry), and Fennel Seeds are rich in nutrients and minerals that are necessary for hair growth.
These herbs also have properties similar to linoleic acid and oleic acid that help control the level of DHT in the hair follicles. They provide natural conditioning to the hair while preventing infection or inflammation in the scalp.
2. Ayurvedic Treatments
Ayurveda suggests that treatments like Nasya, oil massage, and hair masks promote blood circulation in the scalp, making the hair follicles healthy.
They can help keep your hair and scalp nourished and clean while being efficient techniques to balance Pitta dosha and control the DHT level.
You can use oils like Rosemary, Tea Tree, Pumpkin Seed, Lavender, and Saw Palmetto to massage your scalp. These are essential oils that can help balance your DHT levels.
3. Healthy Diet
“Ayurveda recommends whole natural foods over synthetic supplementation. It believes various food combinations exalt the benefits and neutralize the harmful effects of food items,” says Dr. Zeel.
Certain fruits and vegetables boost the production of DHT levels, so choose foods that are rich in zinc, lycopene, vitamins, and minerals to lower the DHT levels.
You can include spinach, green peas, kale, mushrooms, beet greens, sweet corn, mangoes, tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, bananas, pumpkin seeds, black pepper, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. 
4. Yoga and Pranayama
Yoga and pranayama stimulate blood supply to the hair follicles, which allows your hair and scalp to grow and breathe.
Apanasana, Pawanmuktasana, Vajrasana, Sasangasana, Uttanpadasana, Ustrasana are some yoga asanas that can promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
You can also do pranayama like Kapalbhati Pranayama, Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, and Bhastrika Pranayama, which reduces stress and provides more oxygen to brain cells.
The Last Word
When used appropriately, and in the right doses, creatine is safe to take. However, if you are consuming creatine and facing hair loss, you must consult with your doctor.
Not everyone faces hair loss as it also largely depends on heredity and your hair care routine. Understanding your Prakriti and dosha level can help you treat your hair correctly while also helping you choose the right hair care products.
At Vedix, we provide a customized Ayurvedic hair care regimen based on your dosha and unique hair type.Know Your Dosha Now
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