Does Testosterone Make You Go Bald?

Man worried about gray hair while looking into a mirror.

Hair Loss and TestosteroneWe know that hair loss in men is much more common than in women, so is it possible that testosterone plays a role in male balding?

Testosterone is one of the male sex hormones. While women do have some levels of testosterone, it is much higher in men. In men, testosterone is produced in the testicles and is responsible for sexual development, increased muscle mass, and the growth of body hair, along with a number of other secondary sexual characteristics.

But can testosterone have an impact on hair loss? Can too much or too little testosterone lead to balding?

Link between Baldness and Testosterone

There is a connection between testosterone and hair loss, but the link may not be as clear as commonly thought.

In general, hormones can have a big effect on the health of our scalps. Fluctuating hormone levels are a common cause of hair loss, which is why many women begin to lose their hair during menopause. When hormones are out of balance, hair loss is a potential result. This can occur with thyroid hormones as well as sex hormones.

However, the idea that testosterone directly causes hair loss is not true. Rather, it is a by-product of testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), that has a more direct effect on balding. On average, roughly five percent of testosterone is converted into DHT. In men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness (MPB), DHT is believed to damage hair follicles and lead to balding. However, for men without the genetic predisposition, DHT doesn’t necessarily have any effect on their hair.

Does High Testosterone Cause Hair Loss?

There is a common belief that higher levels of testosterone can contribute to hair loss. However, research suggests that this isn’t the case. As you now know, it is actually DHT that can cause hair loss not testosterone. So, it is actually higher levels of DHT that are associated with balding.

DHT is converted from testosterone, which leads many people to believe that people with hair loss have more DHT and testosterone. However, some studies have found that balding men commonly have elevated DHT with normal levels of testosterone. This means that men with average levels of testosterone can have balding due to elevated DHT and genetic predisposition. As well, men with higher levels of testosterone may not have a genetic predisposition or elevated levels of DHT that lead to balding.

So, the simple answer is that there is no evidence that high levels of testosterone cause hair loss. In reality, it is high levels of DHT paired with genetic predisposition that are believed to lead to MPB.

Can Low Testosterone Cause Hair Loss?

When people think of testosterone hair loss, they tend to think of excess testosterone being the biggest culprit. However, when it comes to balding due to testosterone, it is low levels of the sex hormone that are more likely to result in hair loss.
One of the symptoms of low testosterone is hair loss and thinning. In fact, testosterone plays a vital role in our bodies. If our testosterone levels are too low for our age, we can also experience fatigue, lower energy levels, difficulty sleeping, decreased muscle mass, increased weight, and a variety of other wide-ranging symptoms. Hair thinning is another common symptom of low testosterone levels.

As well, sex hormone imbalances can affect both men and women. When hormone levels are low, they may be at an unhealthy level and our bodies may not be functioning normally, which is what leads to hair falling out. So while higher levels of testosterone are not linked to hair loss, low levels of testosterone can cause balding.

Hair Loss Treatments for Men

If you’re looking for hair loss treatment in Toronto, then it’s important to know what is causing your hair loss and which treatments will be most effective.

If you are suffering from MPB, which is linked to genetic risk and elevated DHT levels, then your hair loss will be significantly harder to treat. The best option with this type of hair loss is to see a hair loss specialist. Treatment options can include topical treatments, which try to reduce DHT in the scalp and can slow hair loss. Often, hair loss surgery is the only treatment that can effectively restore permanent, growing hair.

If you are suffering from hair loss due to low testosterone, then it’s important to address your hormone imbalance. A doctor may place you on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which should help in treating hair loss. Whenever there is an underlying medical issue causing hair loss, the best treatment will address your medical condition. As well, seeing a hair loss specialist can be helpful for ruling out any other causes.

For a free hair loss consultation, The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists is an experienced hair transplant organization located in the heart of Mississauga. We have 20 years of experience in hair transplants, replacements, and hair loss treatment procedures. Feel free to contact us for more information about hair transplants or any other hair or scalp concern at 905-272-0190.

by Ken Robson

In business since August 1, 1986, I am the president and also a client at The Canadian Institute of Hair & Scalp Specialists. Having worked with a team of Doctors and Chemists over the years I have compiled a great deal of knowledge in this area, originally involved with a Pharmaceutical company manufacturing vitamins for the hair loss industry. Years ago I was fascinated by the new developments in this area as my own hair was beginning to thin. Studying Trichology at the Toronto clinic I then opened my own office and have enjoyed it ever since.