Is Testosterone Making You Go Bald?

Is Testosterone Making You Go Bald?

Learn about the link between male hormones and hair loss, and treatments that can help.

Many balding men have heard that a receding hairline is a sign of increased testosterone levels. Though you may think a sparsely covered crown is a sign that you're a stud, "it's an old wives' tale that guys who have premature balding have great libidos," says urologist Steve Kaplan, MD, director of the Men’s Wellness Program at Mount Sinai Health System. The connection between testosterone levels and hair loss known as male pattern baldness are more complicated than that.

What causes baldness?
If your family tree is missing a fair amount of foliage, there's little you can do to prevent your own leaves from falling out. Hair loss treatments can slow down the balding process, but there's no cure for male pattern baldness. The two treatments approved for male pattern baldness are minoxidil and finasteride. Hair loss returns when you stop using either medication.

Minoxidil is a topical solution or foam that you apply directly to the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles. It’s recommended for men under 40 with recent hair loss. For many men, minoxidil slows hair loss and stimulates growth. However, it does not restore growth for parts of the hairline that has already receded. Guidance suggest you need to use minoxidil for at least four months but possibly up to one year before seeing results. generally takes about two weeks to start working.

Finasteride is a pill that blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT to slow hair loss. Because DHT contributes to prostate growth, finasteride is also used to treat enlarged prostate (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). For hair loss, it can take at least three months to see new hair growth.

Other remedies for hair loss include hairpieces, hair transplants and plastic surgery procedures, such as scalp reduction.

It probably goes without saying that if you're not distressed by hair loss, there's no reason to treat it. As a general rule, though, it's easier to maintain hair than it is to regrow it, so if you think you may be bothered by hair loss as it progresses, treat your thinning hair as soon as possible.

Medically reviewed in January 2021.

Mayo Clinic. “Hair Loss.” May 20, 2020.
Medline Plus. “Androgenetic alopecia.” August 18, 2020.
Medline Plus. “Minoxidil Topical.” January 22, 2021.
Medline Plus. “Finasteride.” January 22, 2021.

Testosterone Therapy Linked to Heart Risks
Testosterone Therapy Linked to Heart Risks
If you’re thinking about trying testosterone therapy to boost your energy or restore a little lost “drive,” consider this: Research has linked low T t...
Read More
What are some pros and cons of penile implants?
Taking Control Of Your Diabetes (TCOYD)Taking Control Of Your Diabetes (TCOYD)
Penile implant surgery is a long-lasting treatment for erection dysfunction (ED) in that it allows a...
More Answers
5 Healthy Foods for Men
5 Healthy Foods for Men5 Healthy Foods for Men5 Healthy Foods for Men5 Healthy Foods for Men
These foods may lower your risk of chronic conditions like prostate cancer.
Start Slideshow
What Do Men Consider to Be the Ideal Woman's Body Type?
What Do Men Consider to Be the Ideal Woman's Body Type?