SARMs & Hair Loss vs Hair Growth
Despite the overwhelming success of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) for increasing lean mass and strength, there is a never-ending debate about whether SARMs can cause hair loss. Although there is no clinical research showing a link between SARMs and hair loss, there are plenty of anecdotal reports floating around the internet that may seem convincing. However, it is essential to note that anecdotal reports are not scientifically rigorous.
In addition to losing hair, adults over 35 years of age lose ~1% of their muscle mass each year. SARMs are particularly relevant in this regard due to their tissue-selectivity and potential to provide therapeutic increases in muscle mass with minimal adverse effects when used appropriately. It may actually be possible to reduce hair loss while simultaneously gaining muscle mass by using an appropriate SARM at an appropriate dose.
Intriguingly, it appears as though SARMs can either promote hair loss or prevent hair loss, depending on dose and length of use. Ultimately, the fearmongering about SARMs promoting hair loss can be traced to inappropriate use of SARMs (ie. high does for extended periods of time).
Let’s take a deeper look into the mechanisms at play to better understand how SARMs can influence the underlying causes of hair loss.
SARMs & DHT
Many SARMs have been shown to be suppressive of testosterone in clinical trials. Since DHT is derived from testosterone, it is conceivable that SARMs could lower DHT and thus lower your risk or pace of hair loss. However, there are other mechanisms at play that may counteract this.
For instance, some SARMs can dramatically lower Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) levels, which in turn leads to higher levels of bioavailable DHT in your body. More bioavailable DHT means more risk for hair loss.
However, anecdotal reports suggest that Ostarine and Andarine may actually promote hair restoration due to overall changes in the balance of testosterone vs SHBG, which favors decreased bioavailable DHT in the body.
In fact, research has shown that SARMs can outcompete DHT, which is beneficial for your hairline.
There is no published evidence that SARMs cause hair loss. Surprisingly, molecular biology research suggests that some SARMs, including Ostarine (MK2866) and S4 Andarine in low/moderate doses, may actually prevent hair loss, although this remains to be quantified in a controlled clinical trial setting.