Also known generically as Stanozolol, Winstrol is one of the most popular anabolic steroids and has been used to great effect by a number of athletes.
However, although the benefits are indisputable, like all other anabolic steroids, there are some negative features associated with the drug too.
Hair loss is a major concern for many bodybuilders; here’s a look at whether Winstrol really can make you lose your hair.
What is Winstrol?
In the media, anabolic steroids tend to be all grouped together but in fact there’s several different types with a variety of features that are associated with each.
Winstrol is based on dihydrotestosterone, usually referred to as DHT, with just a couple of important structural changes. An added methyl group occurring at the 17th carbon position allows the steroid to be taken orally as well as injected, classifying it as a C-17 alpha alkylated steroid. The other alteration is the attachment of a pyrazol group.
Making these changes boosts the anabolic strength of the drug while at the same time reducing the androgenic effects.
However, the methyl group also means that Winstrol can be toxic to the liver, and needs to be taken with care. You can read more about hepatotoxicity and which steroids cause this at many awesome locations on the internet.
Hair Loss With Steroids
Some steroids can cause hair loss and thinning but it’s not a universal problem so it’s helpful to understand the mechanism and how it works.
DHT is one of the main culprits for causing hair loss, and some steroids convert into DHT with a bit of help from an enzyme known as 5 alpha reductase. This leads to excessive amounts of DHT in the body, and can promote hair loss.
Not all steroids rely on 5 alpha reductase; those which are directly derived from DHT can cause hair loss without interacting with the enzyme.
It’s also important to mention that there’s a strong genetic component to hair loss and steroid use; if you’re not predisposed to the problem, you won’t be affected even with high DHT levels.
Steroids which trigger hair loss only cause this symptom in individuals who carry the male pattern baldness gene already. Steroid use is an acceleration of hair loss that would have occurred at some point, rather than being solely responsible for it.
How About Winstrol?
As seen above, Winstrol is derived directly from DHT which means that it’s one of the steroids which has the potential to cause hair loss.
In addition, because Winstrol doesn’t need to be converted to DHT from testosterone, the usual treatments won’t work. Finasteride and other similar compounds work by inhibiting the 5 alpha reductase enzyme, thus preventing the change from testosterone into DHT. As Winstrol already is DHT based, this will have no effect.
Despite the fact that Winstrol does have the potential to cause hair loss, in practice it’s not that likely to do so.
Because it holds a low androgenic rating, the number of users who experience hair loss is surprisingly low and not a problem for the majority.