Generally, age makes most of your body’s processes less effective, which leads to a reduction in bone density, wrinkly skin, slow healing processes, and more. Age can also cause decreased testosterone levels. Note that low T levels are associated with a cultural stigma for males who pride themselves on masculinity and can potentially weaken your body over time.
The good news is that there are things you can do to ensure optimal levels of testosterone! For instance, you can start getting testosterone injections (hormone replacement therapy). However, keep in mind that these injections have been linked to instances of hair loss, which is why you must understand how TRT and hair loss are connected before you get started.
Does testosterone increase or decrease hair growth?
Androgens, particularly testosterone, are the most common regulators of human hair growth in men. Androgenic alopecia is also known as male pattern baldness and affects about 80 percent of males. It is characterized by thinning and loss of hair from the vertex and temporal zones of your scalp. Men with this hair condition are predisposed to hair loss, primarily from the fluctuations of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Dihydrotestosterone is similar to testosterone, but it’s much more powerful androgen. It acts upon the hair follicle bulb to induce hair thinning and eventually hair loss. Note that the hair located on the side of your scalp is resistant to androgens, unlike hair on your temporal zones and vertex.
It’s important to mention that DHT is derived from the gradual breakdown of testosterone into DHT by a powerful enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase. For males who are genetically predisposed to suffer from male pattern baldness, the use of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) could accelerate the hair loss process because it increases the level of DHT in your body. TRT may not cause hair loss in males who aren’t genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness.
From various clinical studies, men on TRT who are at a heightened risk of experiencing male pattern baldness are likely to suffer hair loss, especially after the first year of replacement therapy. Instances of hair loss were few (based on clinical trials), even in men who are genetically susceptible to male pattern baldness.
Additionally, studies have shown that the period of TRT can also correlate with instances of hair loss. That means getting exposed to exogenous testosterone for an extended period increases the risk of hair loss.
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Note there has been no difference in the testosterone type (pellets, gel, or injections) used and risk of hair loss.
Although males on TRT may show signs of hair loss, the use of TRT may increase body and facial hair growth. If you are on TRT and are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, your healthcare provider may recommend finasteride to slow down or mitigate instances of hair loss.
Other ways of boosting testosterone levels with no risk of hair loss
Get enough sleep – Sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce testosterone production by up to 20%. Try getting at least seven hours per night. If possible, try to get more than eight hours because it will help with weight loss as well. Make sure not to skip any naps during the day either.
Exercise regularly – Regular exercise helps with belly fat, keeps muscles toned and healthy. This means better blood flow for both men and women, leading to improved circulation and overall health. It may even improve metabolism and boost energy levels too. You don’t have to join a gym or anything like that. Just park yourself outside on the porch or walk around the block every once in a while. Even just going for a brisk 10-minute stroll daily will give you some great benefits.
Eat right – Your diet plays an essential role in how much testosterone you produce. Men who eat lots of protein tend to be healthier and stronger. They’re able to build muscle mass faster while maintaining their leanness. Avoid processed foods and limit red meat intake if you want to maintain optimal T levels. Instead, opt for fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds. These contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health and brain function. Omega-6 fats found in vegetable oils such as corn oil should be avoided since they increase inflammation throughout the body.
Don’t smoke – Smoking causes damage to cells and reduces oxygen supply to organs. This leads to poor cell regeneration and reduced ability to fight off infections. Smokers are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer compared to nonsmokers. The same goes for lung cancer.
Avoid alcohol consumption – Alcoholic beverages cause dehydration which affects organ functions and lowers T levels. If you drink heavily, then you’ll also put stress on your liver and kidneys. Both of these organs play vital roles in helping us metabolize hormones properly. Dehydration makes our bodies work harder to process them correctly. That puts strain on the liver and kidney systems. Over time, this could lead to cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease, respectively. In addition to those two conditions, excessive drinking is linked to many others, including diabetes, depression, anxiety, dementia, and cardiovascular diseases.