Which Nootropics Cause Hair Loss?

Article by: David Gracey
which nootropics cause hair loss?
At the time of writing this article, there’s no solid scientific evidence that suggests nootropics cause hair loss.  Still, there are lots of reports through anecdotal evidence that some nootropics actually do cause hair loss in a portion of the people that take them.
Understanding which ones cause hair loss in cases like these, (and why this happens) is a key factor in minimizing the risk of this happening to you or anyone else.

After all, you want to improve your mental performance and brain health, rather than unnecessarily losing your hair in the process.

When it comes to which nootropics cause hair loss, a few names will pop up from a simple Google search.

The main ones that regularly show up are modafinil, nuvigil, and alcar.

Now, most of the reports are only related to hair shedding (or minimal loss) and not complete baldness.  That’s why many people only take them for a designated period of time before cycling off to a different substance.

Countermeasures to Nootropic Hair Loss…

Some people also include other supplements along with their nootropics stack, to help maintain the hair they already have, and in some cases even gain hair.

This produces a countereffect, increasing your chances of keeping your hair the same way it was before you started taking the specific nootropic substance.

Remember, since there’s no scientific study proving that hair loss is a guaranteed side effect, it doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your hair from taking these nootropics.

What you should do, is learn the most you can about any nootropic supplement that you wish to take, and find out what exactly could cause potential hair loss.

It would be wise to be aware of your genetics as well.  Are you sure that you’re not prone to natural hair loss, or male pattern baldness?  

If so, you don’t want to speed up the process.

bald guy hair loss
After taking these factors into account, (and if hair loss is a big concern to you) you should then make your ultimate decision about whether or not to start taking that specific nootropic substance.

That is what I am going to cover in more detail below.

Read until the end, to find out which nootropics cause hair loss, what could be causing the hair loss,  and how to avoid it from happening in the first place.

There’s No Scientific Reports That Any Nootropic Can Cause Hair Loss

I believe that it is important to note in this article that there’s no scientific study that proves that hair loss and nootropic use are related.

But since nootropics are quite new, there aren’t many studies done yet on many of them.

This is unfortunate, because not only are we not sure about the results, but also many of the side effects as well.   The negative effects (or ones that don’t have a positive impact on your health like hair loss) aren’t studied as much.

It would take a lot of time and money to follow a group of people for several months with regular testing, just to track whether or not they experienced any hair loss.  Not to mention, narrowing down the actual reason for their hair loss (if any), as genetics and many other outside facotrs would come into play.

Still, there’s some evidence that could point towards nootropics causing hair loss.

For instance, some nootropics promote the release of certain chemicals within the body, which could potentially explain why some people experience hair loss.

These chemicals may accelerate the genes that would eventually cause hair loss.

So, although science can’t confirm yet whether or not (conclusively) the hair loss was caused by a particular nootropic substance, there are things that could help lead to this conclusion.

That’s exactly what you’re going to find out below.

Anecdotal Reports Connecting Modafinil And Hair Loss Are Scarce

One of the most pressing questions when it comes to nootropics and hair loss is, does modafinil cause hair loss?

There’s no scientific study that says so.

Also, there’s no recommendation against it in any reputable medical source.  What modafinil does to your brain is stimulate the release of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and histamine.  It also inhibits the production of GABA.

None of those neurotransmitters are associated with either hair loss or follicle growth.

This means that modafinil couldn’t possibly cause hair loss.  Still, some people swear that they experienced hair loss by taking modafinil.  Go figure!

The easiest and most likely way to explain this, is that many of these people usually work at jobs that come with high levels of stress.

Not only that, but they were also likely prone to hair loss already.

stressful job
The stress only accelerated the process.  It’s unlikely that the modafinil was behind the cause.

So, from my personal research (and what I personally believe), you can safely take modafinil without worrying about hair loss.

If you do experience any shedding or reduction in hair when starting a new nootropic,  you can just stop taking it so that no further damage will be done.

Nuvigil (Armodafinil) And Its Connection To Baldness

Nuvigil is very similar to modafinil.  It has similar benefits and side effects because they affect some of the same neurotransmitters.

What this ends up meaning for you is that the answer should be the exact same.

Although there’s no evidence that points to this, who are we to say that the people claiming to have had hair loss with those nootropics are wrong.

This nootropic affects mainly your dopamine release.  Dopamine isn’t only related to your pleasure centers as many people think.

It regulates other important processes in your body as well.

Still, none of them are either related to hair loss or hair growth.  This makes it virtually impossible for this smart drug to affect your hair.  Not even hair thinning is proven to occur.

So, you should be able to safely take nuvigil (or Armodafinil) without worrying about hair loss.  Of course, if you do experience a hair problem, you can discontinue the use of the nootropic immediately.

But you should ask yourself if you already had a hair loss problem to begin with, or if there were any other recent changes in your lifestyle or diet that may actually be the culprit.

If you are prone to male pattern baldness (have it in your genetic make-up), that time may have just came sooner than later.

Does Alcar (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) Promote Hair Shedding?

Alcar (or Acetyl-L-Carnitine) has reportedly promoted hair shedding in some individuals.

Although this isn’t exactly the same as complete hair loss, it could be worrisome. The thing is, this is anecdotal evidence.

Scientific evidence actually points to the opposite.  Alcar could potentially HELP with hair growth.

This is an amino acid that helps your body turn fat into energy.  This is the main reason why it’s so popularly used for weight loss.

What this amino acid does is change your metabolism, which could improve your hair growth not only the rate but also the quality of the hair.  This is what a study conducted by a German University concluded.

So, although there have been reports of people having hair shedding problems with alcar, it’s actually worth giving it a try since it can actually promote hair growth.

The secret may lie in taking the right dosage, and paying attention to how your body reacts to it.

It may also very well be related to the person’s genes or DNA.

That’s why you should always test it out with a short trial before taking it for longer periods.

Genetics - DNA

BDNF May Be The Culprit For Hair Loss

Here is a very interesting fact about BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and NGF (nerve growth factor).

They’re neurotrophins and are heavily related to hair growth control.  This means that an inflammation in MPB (male pattern baldness) caused by neurotrophins could impact hair growth and cause hair loss.

Side Note: Another study has also demonstrated the potential of combining Resveratrol and Curcumin together to neutralize this inflammation.

Now, why is this so important? This is important because many nootropics cause your BDNF and NGF levels to spike.

When taken over a long period of time, they could really well explain the hair loss that many people experience. Although nothing is pointing to hair loss directly, this could explain it.

So, BDNF may be the culprit for hair loss.

You should conclude this only after you make sure that you’re not prone to hair loss already.

Also, you can still take the nootropics that stimulate BDNF. You just have to be careful and avoid taking them long-term.

Maybe it’s Not Nootropics… You May Just Be Prone To Hair Loss!

It’s been mentioned a couple of times in this article already, that the culprit may just be your genes.

Still, let’s understand why you shouldn’t be so quick to blame the nootropics for causing hair loss. 

Although there’s the possibility that the nootropic you were taking accelerated your hair loss process, it would have happened anyway.

The reason it is so important to know whether or not you have the hair loss genes (MPB), is so that you can take that into account when forming your opinion as to if nootropics played a role in your hair loss.

This way you will have a better informed opinion on the results that you got.

So, ideally, you should first determine  if your hair loss problem is something that you already have before jumping to conclusions that it was caused by the nootropic.

This is the best way to make sure that you should or should not stop taking the nootropic.  Especially the ones that stimulate BDNF and NGF.

Remember, it’s also possible to shed some hair while taking a new smart drug or supplement, and for that hair to grow back normally afterwards.  Hair shedding does not always equate to permanent hair loss.

Don’t Take Those Nootropics For More Than 6 Months

The final tip is to not take nootropics that can potentially lead to hair loss for more than 6 months.

A lot of people read about the potential of a nootropic causing hair loss from places like reddit or other online groups or forums, and they’re afraid of even getting near those.

You really shouldn’t have to to worry about it that much.

In most cases, what can happen is that you’ll experience gradual hair loss or shedding.  When something like this happens, then you should simply stop the use.

What’s most likely to happen though is that you won’t even experience any hair loss at all as long as you don’t take them for more than 6 months at a time before cycling to a different stack.

So, make sure that you don’t take those nootropics for more than 6 months (That should for any smart drugs stack).

Pay attention to how your body responds, especially your hair.  Make sure that you take the right dosage and for the right period of time.  This is how you can minimize any damage / ensure your hair’s safety.

Which Nootropics Cause Hair Loss? – Final Thoughts…

So, fortunately, not many nootropics cause hair loss at all (or very minimally).

In fact, there’s no scientific evidence that suggests they do.  But, the stimulation of BDNF and NGF caused by certain nootropics could explain the hair loss experienced by some people, and should be the main thing to keep in mind when putting together your next nootropic supplement stack.

So the question I have…

Have you, or anyone you know, had any noticeable hair shedding or actual hair loss after taking a new nootropic substance?

If so, which one did you take, and how quickly did you notice the signs?  (Also, if so is baldness in your genes?)

Share your thougts below!

About David Gracey

About David Gracey

Founder of SuperMindHacker.com

Hey! My name is David Gracey.  I am the brain child of SuperMindhacker.com and a Cognitive Brain Function Researcher, Avid Biohacker, Lucid Dreamer, Morning Ritual Master, and Self-Proclaimed Nootropic Junkie of Sorts! 

In other words, I am completely obsessed with anything and everything related to cognitive brain enhancement! 

Whether it's nootropics supplements, challenging brain puzzles, or even meditation techniques, chances are, I've tried it!  This website is my outlet to give back and share what I've learned in the past 15+ years in this field of study. 

You Can Read my Other Posts Here: 

 

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About David Gracey:

Hey! I’m so glad you’re here. My name is David Gracey. I am a cognitive brain function researcher, avid biohacker, and self-proclaimed nootropic junkie of sorts! (And, yes, a bit of a nerd as well...) This website is my way of giving back and sharing everything I’ve learned along the way. Got questions? Shoot me a message!

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