Hair loss affects more than half of men over 40, according to research. It’s one of the most common conditions associated with aging, but modern medicine offers many corrective tools.
One of the biggest benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with human growth hormone (HGH) is the regrowth of natural hair in men with hormone-driven hair loss.
Discover how human growth hormone affects hair growth and loss in men, and whether HGH will help you regrow your hair.
How does HGH affect hair growth in men?
Normal human growth hormone (HGH) levels are required for healthy hair growth. Too little or too much HGH in the blood supply can have negative effects on hair health in men, as explained via research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences:
“Excess GH [growth hormone] levels, and therefore excess GHR [growth hormone receptor] stimulation and excess IGF-1 [insulin-like growth factor 1] levels are associated with hypertrichosis and hirsutism. Absent GHR stimulation, and thus severely decreased IGF-1 levels, is associated with alopecia, telogen effluvium, frontal hairline recession, as well as severe HF [hair follicle] structural changes like pili torti et canaliculi and trichorrhexis nodosa.”
So, abnormal HGH levels in men can result in the following hair conditions:
- Hypertrichosis, or excessive body hair growth
- Alopecia, also known in everyday terms as baldness (we’ll explore this condition more in-depth coming up)
- Telogen effluvium, defined as “a form of temporary hair loss that usually happens several months after a person experiences a traumatic event or stress”
- Frontal hairline recession
- Trichorrhexis nodosa, defined as “a common hair problem in which thickened or weak points (nodes) along the hair shaft cause your hair to break off easily.”
Fortunately, most of these conditions may be corrected through hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with synthetic recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH, aka somatropin).
A rare condition called Laron syndrome, in which the body cannot effectively utilize circulating HGH, causes thinning hair (as well as poor skin and nail health), which over time results in baldness. This further illustrates the centrality of HGH for achieving a full head of hair.
Does HGH make your hair grow faster?
As its name suggests, HGH and its partner hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), perform numerous growth-promoting (anabolic) functions in the body, including stimulating hair growth.
One study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology examined the beneficial impacts of exogenous HGH administration on hair growth:
“Before GH administration, hair scores in the GH deficient patients were lower than in the comparison group. In the 33 men treated with GH from the beginning, there was an increase in hair scores after 6 months. The increase in hairscores was not seen during 6 months of placebo treatment.”
When the researchers switched the control group (the ones who initially received a placebo) to actual HGH, they also improved their scores.
Impressively, they also found that the HGH administration resulted in declines in DHT levels – which has important implications for hair loss that we’ll discuss in an upcoming section.
Can HGH cause hair loss?
No evidence exists to link exogenous HGH administered under the care of an experienced endocrinologist (hormone doctor) to hair loss. As a pro-growth hormone, HGH induces hair growth, not hair loss.
As we’ve previously discussed, high HGH levels can trigger excessive body hair growth, but those side effects can be eliminated through careful blood monitoring to prevent excess levels in the blood supply.
How do hormones in general affect hair growth?
Androgenic alopecia – aka male pattern baldness – which affects as many as half of all men, is triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Specifically, an overabundance of the androgen (male sex hormone) dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is linked to male pattern baldness.
DHT activates androgen receptors, which in turn shorten the anagen (growth phase) of the hair cycle. Thinner and shorter hair follicles are the result, which ultimately fail to penetrate the epidermis and cause baldness.
The underlying physiological process behind androgenic alopecia generally begins after puberty but may not manifest as hair loss until much later in life.
Notably, clinical research has demonstrated that sub-optimal HGH levels are tied to increased DHT concentrations in the body through an increase in 5-α reductase activity, meaning that low HGH is further tied to hair loss in men.
It’s important to understand that, while high testosterone is at the root of many cases of men’s baldness, it’s testosterone in the form of DHT – not free testosterone, the usable kind administered in therapy that provides health benefits – that’s implicated in this process.
How does HGH therapy restore and regrow men’s hair?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the process of introducing an exogenous (meaning “from outside”) form of HGH called somatropin when the pituitary gland fails to produce enough endogenous (meaning “from inside”) HGH on its own. This condition is called adult growth hormone deficiency (GHD).
HGH therapy also supports an increase in growth hormone’s partner hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Together, IGF-1 and HGH spur the regrowth of hair in HGH-deficient men.
Research published in Skin Appendage Disorders explains IGF-1’s essential role in the hair growth cycle:
“Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) has been shown to affect follicular proliferation, tissue remodeling, and the hair growth cycle, as well as follicular differentiation, identifying IGF-1 signaling as an important mitogenic and morphogenetic regulator in hair follicle biology.”
And further evidence is presented for IGF-1’s role – and by extension, HGH’s role – in regulating healthy hair growth in Faculty Reviews:
“Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor has been shown to stimulate hair follicle growth in vitro, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) has been identified as a significant regulator in the hair follicle.”
Conclusion on HGH to treat hair loss
A wealth of clinical data proves the utility of using HGH in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat hair loss in men. When it’s conducted under the supervision of an expert endocrinologist, this form of therapy has an impressive track record of success with minimal risk of serious side effects.
If you’re a man who has experienced hair loss – especially if you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments without success – talk to your doctor about the potential role that your hormonal profile might be playing in your condition.
With proper HRT when appropriate, you can regrow a full head of luscious hair, just as thousands of our patients have already.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Let’s go over a few frequently asked questions regarding HGH and hair loss.
Yes. HGH triggers the healthy regrowth and thickening of hair through various hormone-mediated mechanisms.
Yes. Research shows that HGH is effective in treating hair loss. It is commonly administered to hair loss patients.
Hair thickening and regrowth normally occur within 3-4 months of beginning hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In all cases, significant results appear within six months of the start of therapy.
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