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Does DHEA Cause Hair Loss?

8 min read 2023 Apr 25
Written by Moerie Team
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Hair loss can be a challenging and often distressing experience for many people. Not only does it affect our physical appearance, but it can also impact our self-confidence and overall well-being. It can occur gradually or more suddenly and dramatically over time and manifest as thinning hair, receding hairline, bald patches, or even androgenetic alopecia. 

Hair loss is a complex issue that can be influenced by many factors, including genetics, age, hormonal imbalances, numerous health conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits. Pinpointing the exact cause of hair loss can be challenging and may require a combination of diagnostic tests and medical evaluations. For example, a doctor may perform a scalp biopsy, blood tests, or hormone level assessments to determine the underlying cause of hair loss. However, even with all these assessments, finding the root cause of hair loss can be difficult, which can make treatment even more challenging.

The good news is that there are various treatment options available for managing hair loss, ranging from topical treatments to medications and supplements. One of those supplements is known under the name of DHEA.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the potential benefits of DHEA supplements for preventing hair loss. However, many people are still unsure about what DHEA is and how it affects the body. 

While various factors can contribute to hair loss, such as genetics and the aging process, hormones can also play a role. A hormone that has been associated with hair loss is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is produced by the adrenal gland and is converted into other hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen, in the body. 

In this article, we will examine the link between DHEA and hair loss and discuss whether DHEA supplements can cause hair loss or if the hair loss related to DHEA is reversible. Also, we will discuss if taking the supplement is worth it, considering all the risks associated with it. 

What Is DHEA?

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a naturally produced hormone made by a small gland on top of the kidneys called the adrenal gland. 

It helps the human body do many important things, like fighting off infections, keeping bones strong, and managing energy levels. 

The levels of the hormone DHEA typically peak in the early 20s. However, it changes naturally with age – DHEA levels typically decrease by around 80% by age 70.

DHEA Benefits

DHEA has been linked to several potential benefits, including improved mood, increased energy, and enhanced cognitive function. Some studies suggest that DHEA may help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It has also been associated with improved insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of diabetes. 

Additionally, DHEA may have a role in promoting a healthy immune system and reducing inflammation in the body. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of DHEA, it is clear that this hormone plays a crucial role in many important bodily functions.

DHEA and Hormonal Imbalances

DHEA is also linked to hormonal imbalances, which can occur when there is an excess or deficiency of certain hormones in the body. Hormonal imbalances can contribute to a range of health issues, including acne, irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain, and hair loss. 

For example, if women have too high testosterone levels, it can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause irregular periods and difficulty getting pregnant. If men have too little testosterone, it can cause problems like trouble getting and keeping an erection, low libido, and losing muscle mass.

Factors Affecting DHEA Levels

Several factors can affect the levels of DHEA in the body. 

Age is the most significant factor, with levels declining as we age. Other factors impacting those levels include stress, chronic illness, and certain medications (corticosteroids and some antidepressants). Lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can also affect DHEA levels. 

Some literature suggests that eating a diet with lots of protein and little carbohydrates and getting regular exercise may help boost DHEA levels.

How Does DHEA Affect Hair Loss?

DHEA plays a complex role in hair loss and growth, and its impact on hair health may depend on a variety of factors, including age, sex, and hormonal balance. However, hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair loss, and DHEA may be one hormone that plays a role in this process.

DHEA Hair Loss

Various hormones, including androgens like testosterone and estrogen, regulate hair growth and loss. These hormones can impact the hair growth cycle by affecting the length of the anagen phase, during which hair grows, and the length of the telogen phase, during which some hair loss can be expected. In particular, high levels of androgens like testosterone can lead to androgenetic alopecia or pattern hair loss in men and women.

Is DHEA Hair Loss Reversible?

If you are experiencing hair loss related to DHEA supplements, it may be tempting to wonder whether stopping their use can reverse the damage. Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward. 

While DHEA has been linked to hair loss, there is no clear evidence that discontinuing its use will lead to the reversal of this condition. Androgenetic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss, is notoriously difficult to manage and may require a multifaceted approach. Still, if you are concerned about whether DHEA will accelerate hair loss, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your individual situation and offer personalized recommendations.

Although we need more research to understand the full benefits of DHEA supplements for preventing hair loss, some studies have suggested that they may be helpful for certain individuals. We’ll cover the benefits in the next section. 

Potential Benefits of DHEA Supplements for Preventing Hair Loss

DHEA supplements have been suggested as a potential treatment for hair loss, especially in women with low levels of this hormone. 

DHEA supplements can help balance hormone levels, which could positively affect hair growth. It may also improve blood flow to the scalp, which could support the growth of healthy hair follicles.

DHEA Dosage

When taking DHEA supplements for hair loss, following the recommended dosage and safety guidelines is important. 

The appropriate dosage of DHEA supplements may vary depending on age, sex, and overall health status. Women may need a lower dose than men, and older adults may need a lower dose than younger adults.

It’s crucial to consider the significant risks of improper dosing of DHEA. Improper dosing or use of DHEA supplements can have adverse effects on the human body, including permanent stunting of growth, aggressive behavior, mood swings, and other psychological symptoms. Additionally, DHEA can increase blood pressure, cause liver problems, and lead to changes in cholesterol levels. 

Women who use DHEA may experience voice changes, thinning hair, and growth of facial hair, while men may experience breast enlargement, male pattern baldness, shrunken testicles, and reduced sperm production.

DHEA Side Effects

In addition to the risks of improper dosing, DHEA supplements can also cause a range of side effects, some of which can be unpleasant or uncomfortable. 

These side effects can include oily skin and acne, as well as skin thickening. Hair loss, stomach upset, high blood pressure, changes in the menstrual cycle, facial hair in women, and deepening of the voice in women are also possible side effects of DHEA supplements.

Other potential side effects of DHEA supplements may include fatigue, nasal congestion, headache, rapid or irregular heartbeats, insomnia, and unfavorable changes in cholesterol levels. As with any supplement, it is crucial to carefully monitor any potential side effects and discuss any concerns with a healthcare professional. 

While DHEA supplements may offer potential benefits for preventing hair loss, it is essential to weigh the risks and benefits carefully before beginning a supplement regimen. Consult a healthcare professional before taking DHEA supplements and monitor any potential side effects closely.


DHEA is an important hormone that affects many aspects of our health, including hair growth. Hair loss can be a frustrating and distressing issue for many people, and hormonal imbalances can play a significant role in this condition.

While DHEA hair loss supplements have been suggested as a potential treatment for preventing hair loss, it’s important to understand that more research is needed to understand their benefits entirely. However, some studies have shown that DHEA hair loss supplements may be helpful for individuals with low levels of this hormone, particularly postmenopausal women.

It’s essential to remember that DHEA supplementation can have numerous side effects, such as acne, oily skin, and mood changes, so it’s crucial to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Our Advice

Would we recommend DHEA hair loss supplements? Only as a last resort. There are many potential risks and side effects associated with DHEA supplement use. 

Moreover, there are numerous other hair loss prevention methods available that are less harsh and do not pose as serious consequences as the ones dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) does. It is best to discuss any concerns regarding hair loss with a healthcare professional who can advise on the most effective and safe treatment options for your specific needs. Ultimately, it is essential to prioritize your health and well-being and make informed decisions based on reliable information and expert advice.

Overall, if you’re struggling with hair loss, it’s worth exploring all the potential treatment options available. There are many popular hair growth methods that people have tried with varying degrees of success. 

One such method is using rosemary oil spray, which has been shown to promote hair growth and thickness. Biotin, a B vitamin, is also commonly found in hair care products, including Moerié products, and has been shown to support hair growth and strength. Another method that has gained popularity is the use of derma rollers, which involves rolling a small, handheld device with tiny needles over the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Scalp massage is another option, which can increase blood flow to the scalp and promote hair growth. While these methods may work for some individuals, they are a cheaper, more accessible alternative for those looking for risk-free hair growth methods.

By caring for your overall health and working closely with a healthcare provider, you can find the best way to manage your hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.


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