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Steroids and Hair Loss

Recent news coverage about MLB players' steroid use, particularly in the cases of Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, has shone a spotlight on steroid abuse, human growth hormone use, and the consequent negative health effects from using both. While steroid use has been widely reported on for potentially causing side effects such as infertility, liver damage, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, and possible aggression ('roid rage), many users still don't know that anabolic steroid use can increase their risk of premature balding and hair loss as well.

Why Getting 'Juiced' Jinxes Your Hairline

So, how does steroid use affect hair loss and balding tendencies? Consistent steroid usage increases the body's natural testosterone levels, in order to add body mass. Unfortunately, male pattern baldness and alopecia is directly tied to hormonal levels, usually in combination with a genetic predisposition for hair loss.

The hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is one of the main catalysts in permanent hair loss. DHT binds to hair follicles on the scalp, causing hair strands to weaken and break down over time. Since steroid users develop increased testosterone levels, the presence of DHT can subsequently become even greater—consequently so will DHT's role in patients' hair loss.

Is There any Hair Hope for Juicers?

If you're an athlete or a bodybuilder who has used steroids in the past, or who is currently "juicing," your best bet would be to discontinue use—if not for your hair vanity, then for your health! Since androgenetic alopecia is permanent, the damage done by DHT as it ravages your hair follicles can't be reversed.

The negative effect of steroids on hair loss will be greater for users who already have a genetic predisposition to hair loss. Additionally, the severity of hair loss experienced by steroid users can be further exacerbated by other factors—be sure to do your research into legitimate hair loss causes and hair loss myths to better understand your own risk factor.

Hair Loss Treatment Options

If you aren't trying to sport Barry Bonds' cue-ball look, and want to act now to treat premature hair loss or totally bald scalp areas, these are some treatment possibilities available to you:

Some of these hair loss treatments are better suited for premature or temporary hair loss patients, while options like hair transplant surgery are highly recommended for patients or celebrities experiencing baldness, like former baseball player Wade Boggs. In order to determine what type of hair loss you're suffering from—temporary or permanent—or to understand which hair loss treatment will yield the best results for you, it's wise to consult with a skilled hair restoration specialist near you.

At a treatment consultation with a hair transplant surgeon or hair loss professional, patients will undergo scalp and hair analysis, and discuss all of their available treatment options in depth before choosing an appropriate method of treatment.

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