This article is intended to specifically address the accelerated hair loss associated with the use of Anabolic steroids, (AS), and how to prevent it. It is a follow up to an article that is already on our site, that was based largely on input from the late Dan Duchaine. It is not intended to be an ethical treatise on the issue of Anabolic Steroid use.
It is well known fact in professional sports and bodybuilding circles, that the media and government agencies have over-hyped the danger of AS use to the point they have lost any credibility on the subject. Numerous well known specialists in Sports Medicine, such as Dr. Mauro DiPasquali , maintain there is minimal risks and multiple benefits associated with their periodic, short term usage. The majority of professional and Olympic athletes in certain sports either do or have previously used AS, simply because they reliably work. They are also highly successful at masking their usage on tests. Masking steroid usage is a cottage industry in sports medicine that always manages to stay several years ahead of detection technology.
AS are “appropriately” prescribed (with no publicized side effects), and successful in treating muscle wasting syndromes associated with certain disorders such as A.I.D.S. AS and Growth Hormone are commonly used in Anti-aging clinics under medical supervision.
There ARE clearly hazards when AS are used in high doses for long or sustained periods, as there are with compounds such as Aspirin and Tylenol, which can quickly kill you if excessively consumed.
As such AS are here to stay.
People I have personally been acquainted with 😉 have been on a 6 week cycle of Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate, 400mg/wk) stacked with Anavar (Oxandrolone, 25mg/day ) in 2002 and gained a significant amount of lean body mass, some of which they have maintained to this day. “They” did so without losing any hair. Had “they” not known what to do to prevent it, they stood to possibly lose a lot of hair.
AS, will, as a general rule, rapidly accelerate androgenetic alopecia for those genetically predisposed. If you are not sure whether or not you are genetically predisposed, you will find out very quickly if you go on them with no protection measures for your hair. There are fortunately some specific ways to prevent this from happening that will allow you to gain muscle and keep your hair.
One way is use AS that are considered to be low androgenic, such as Deca Durabolin and Anavar. Because Deca is slow acting it requires at least a 6 week cycle to see any appreciable gains in muscle. Deca/Anavar is considered a hair friendly “stack” in sports and bodybuilding arenas.
The other option is to use highly potent, fast acting AS, such as Dianabol (25mg/day) in cycles of very short duration, from 2-3 weeks. We reported before that Dianabol was to be completely avoided for those concerned with hair loss. More recent feedback suggest that abbreviated cycles of Dianabol have not been problematic with regards to hair. Cycles this short, along with appropriate prevention measures, will keep the hair loss side effect from ever manifesting.
By appropriate prevention measures I mean a treatment protocol that accounts for DHT binding(topically and systemically), 17BHSD, and elevations in strong estrogens. Minimally that means using 2 % Nizoral Shampoo, along with Natural Prostate Formula, (to inhibit DHT binding) and Natural Estrogen,(down regulates 17BHSD, inhibits aromatase and displaces strong estrogens). Another alternative, for those who prefer pharmaceuticals, is to use Propecia/Proscar (NOT with Deca) with Arimidex and topical spironolactone.
Admittedly, these two approaches will not produce the massive gains in muscle needed by professional bodybuilders, but they do produce appreciable gains in muscle and strength for athletes, amateur competitors and narcissists such as myself. There are no treatments potent enough as of yet to prevent hair loss for those who use long (8 weeks plus) or continuous cycles of high androgen AS. The fast acting short cycles (Not DECA) are particularly favored by athletes who have to deal with mandatory testing.