If you are revamping your diet to amplify your gym gains, you may be looking to protein powders to help give you an extra boost. But, can the type of protein that you select for your protein powder lead to unwanted issues like accelerated hair loss? One study suggests that this might be the case.
Below, we will review if whey protein can cause hair loss by looking at a study done on protein supplements and hair, why the type of whey protein you select may make a difference, how adequate intake is very important to healthy hair growth in general, and wrap up with our final thoughts.
We do not currently have enough information to jump to the conclusion that whey protein can be a direct cause of hair loss. So, as of right now, it would be inaccurate to claim that whey protein causes hair loss.
However, there is one interesting study that looked into common supplements used for muscle growth and working out. In this study, the researchers concluded that whey protein isolate was one of the substances that resulted in higher amounts of hair loss.
The main researcher in this study, Dr. Shapiro, was interviewed about his findings and proceeded to break down how there may be a difference between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate when it comes to negative hair effects.
Dr. Shapiro states that while he thinks that whey protein concentrate has a positive effect on full and healthy hair, the whey protein isolate can damage hair and accelerate hair loss. The doctor goes on to explain that the difference may be from the fact that the whey protein isolate has a more highly concentrated amount of amino acids, and that this may stimulate the body to produce more testosterone, which can then turn into more DHT.
This increased DHT theory has to do with hair loss because DHT is the hormone that causes hair follicles to shrink and become damaged in men dealing with male pattern hair loss. With this genetic condition, men have an increased sensitivity to the negative effects of DHT. So, having more DHT around may mean that the already present genetic hair loss can be accelerated.
This information should not scare you away from aiming for adequate amounts of protein in your diet, though. The hair is mainly composed of a protein called keratin, so healthy hair growth is dependent on the body getting adequate amounts of protein in through your diet and supplements.
While this one study is interesting, and will no doubt trigger the study of more protein supplement sources and how they may relate to hair health, there is still more information that is needed before concluding that whey protein can cause or accelerate hair loss.
According to the doctor who led the study, there may be a difference between different forms of whey protein, namely the concentrate vs the isolate. He suggests that the concentrate whey protein may be beneficial for hair, while the isolate may exacerbate hair loss in men with existing male pattern hair loss.
If you are concerned about your hair loss and you want to supplement your diet with a protein powder, you may decide to go with the concentrate over the isolate, or just choose a different protein source for your supplement altogether. Pea protein and casein protein are some other options for protein powder supplements.
If you are experiencing increased hair loss, it is likely due to a genetic predisposition to hair loss called androgenetic alopecia.
Androgenetic alopecia can occur in both men and women, and is sometimes referred to as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss. The cause is your genetics as well as your sensitivity to certain hormones like DHT.
At Strut, we have a focus on innovative prescription-only treatments for androgenetic alopecia that may help slow the progression and extent of the hair loss in some users. We have customizable formulations that can utilize multiple active ingredients together in the same medication to hopefully help amplify your results.
If you are interested in seeing if a customized hair loss treatment is a good route for you, simply select the medication type you are considering, and complete a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation in under 15 minutes.
If our doctors determine that you are a good fit for treatment, your treatment plan will be developed, and your medication will be shipped to you from a U.S. compounding pharmacy with our free shipping.