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Do Male Enhancement Pills Cause Hair Loss?

By: Alejandro Buttari |
Do Male Enhancement Pills Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a common concern among men of all ages. Similar to hair loss, erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes that may be related to an individual’s genetics, hormones, or physical health.

While you may not immediately make the connection between male enhancement pills and hair loss, they do affect each other — though not in the way you think. The short answer is male enhancement medication like sildenafil (known as the more popular brand Viagra) has been known to promote hair growth.

Surprised? Here’s what you need to know about hair loss and erectile dysfunction.

Why Do Men Need Enhancement Pills: About Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, affects around 30 million men in the US. It refers to a condition where there is not enough blood flow to the penis to facilitate an erection. When a person frequently experiences ED, it can be symptomatic of other underlying concerns.

Though usually associated with maturity, age is not a primary factor. Men can experience ED at any stage in life even while under the age of 40 due to psychological and physical factors.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by psychological and physical problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Drug use
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Emotional problems
  • Tobacco

ED can be caused by a single cause or a combination of different factors.

In addition, erectile dysfunction can also be a result of hormonal imbalances such as low testosterone.

Medications to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

ED is often medicated with some popular prescription drugs that you may have already heard of:

  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)
  • Avanafil (Stendra)

These medications increase the nitric oxide in the blood to increase blood flow.

They may cause certain side effects such as body pain, headaches, dizziness, digestive issues, vision changes, congestion, etc.

 

Male Baldness or Hair Loss

 

Alopecia or hair loss can be due to several factors including aging, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, medications, and hair products.

Around 50 million men in the US suffer from this type of hair loss or baldness.

In fact, the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) suggests that over 50% of men over the age of 50 years old experience male pattern baldness to some extent.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness is associated with androgens or male sex hormones which is why it’s also referred to as androgenic alopecia.

Androgens, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT), are responsible for regulating hair growth aside from the development of other sexual characteristics. Dysregulation or imbalance in these androgens or excessive DHT can lead to male pattern baldness.

This is because the hair growth cycle of each hair varies. DHT can slow down the hair growth cycle or weaken the hair follicle. This leads to strands of hair that are finer, shorter, and grow at a slower rate than usual.

Eventually, the hair follicle’s growth cycle ends and no new hair is produced, leading to permanent baldness.

Hair Growth and DHT

Often, DHT blockers or inhibitors are used to reduce the production of DHT in the body. This is done in an attempt to slow the effects of androgen and delay male pattern baldness.

Derived from testosterone, DHT is also responsible for promoting muscle mass, sexual health, and fertility.

When DHT flows through the bloodstream, it can attach to the hair follicle receptors on the scalp and cause them to shrink. This makes them less capable of supporting healthy hair growth.

Therefore, high levels of DHT are often associated with hair loss, especially among those with high androgen receptivity since they’re more affected by the androgen receptor genes.

Erectile Dysfunction Medication and Hair Loss

Now that we’re better acquainted with erectile dysfunction and male pattern baldness, let’s tackle the all-important question: do male enhancement pills cause hair loss?

No, it does not. In fact, clinical trials that concluded earlier this year show that it does the opposite. Medications like sildenafil stimulate certain processes in the body that encourage hair to grow. This includes the production of dermal papilla cells, boosting the messenger RNA or mRNA function of platelet-derived and vascular endothelial growth factors.

Because of this desirable side effect, topical versions of the product have been used to treat male pattern baldness.

Final Thoughts

Sure, there are a lot of medications that cause hair loss while certain hair loss medications like finasteride can cause or aggravate erectile dysfunction. If you have ED and are worried about the hair on your head, the great news is male enhancement pills like Viagra won’t cause you to lose any more strands than usual. They may even help you enjoy a thicker head of hair.

Note, however, that these are initial findings. More exhaustive and validating studies have yet to be done about the topic.

While hair loss isn’t one of the side effects you need to worry about with regard to male enhancement pills, it’s always best to consult your physician first for specific medical guidance.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.