Dear Dr. Rassman,
I am a 24 year old male medical student. I have had a very gradually receding hairline for the past 2-3, but just recently (past 6-8 months) I noticed the shedding of hair has increased and my hair is thinning in the front. This realization really is depressing because I didn’ think I would start REALLY balding until I was well in my 30s. At least thats been the pattern in my immediate family. I have an appointment with the dermatologist in a month to pinpoint it to male pattern baldness and not something else just to make sure. Anyways, my question to you is whether or not there is a correlation between weight lifting and hairloss?
Working out, especially with heavy weights, will increase your testosterone levels. So the natural assumption would be that increased testosterone levels = increased DHT production = more hair loss. I personally have been a big fan of whey protein supplements, glutamine, and creatine to boost my gains in the gym. My parents always warned me against taking these saying it was “unnatural” and would have consequences in the long run, and now I’m wondering if they might have been right after all. I’ve had a protein shake(30 grams whey protein) and maybe 5 grams of glutamine maybe 3-5 times a week for the past 4-5 years. This is very coincident with the time that my hairline started to gradually recede.
I’m starting to wonder now whether my dedication to weight training and diet actually hastened the hair loss process. For now, I am discontinuing all forms of supplements including protein drinks and glutamine. Doing this will obviously cut my gains in the gym, but as long as I can save my hair for now I don’t care what it takes. What is your opinion on this???
What you are suggesting is logical, but there is no proof to it. Since you are 24 years old and at the peak of the early balding process when genetics generally tend to kick in, it may be coincidental with your training process. Realistically, if you have genetic hair loss you should have a diagnosis made, then probably treat it with Propecia, which should stop the hair loss impact of DHT reasonably well. As a medical student you should approach this process the correct way.