Kratom is a herb that comes from Southeast Asia, It’s a controversial substance for a host of reasons that we cover in our other articles on kratom.
But one thing that it’s not as well known for is how it affects hair.
(Kratom is popular for supporting addiction withdrawal, enhancing energy, and even improving short-term sexual performance.)
Yet, lots of Reddit posts on kratom, which contain the biggest collection of kratom users sharing their experiences, have called kratom both the culprit and solution to hair loss.
So what’s the truth? Does this make sense? What does the research say?
First of all, we have to understand that hair loss is often a complicated process, with so many myths surrounding what causes hair loss and what prevents it. Kratom, more or less, is just another one of those myths.
Genetics is the key contributor to whether you lose your hair or not, along with age.
Other factors like testosterone levels, which kratom may shift can also play a role, may also affect your hair. Most notably, if you take exogenous testosterone, it clearly leads to hair loss.
It’s important to keep in mind here that a lot of what we’re saying isn’t anything more than theory, and true hair loss is likely caused by something beyond this herb.
Just because somebody on Reddit said that they started taking kratom and then they lost their hair, or they started taking kratom and their hair grew back, doesn’t mean that’s what caused it, or that it’s that simple.
These are not well-controlled research studies, and we can’t confuse correlation with causation.
So. Can kratom cause hair loss?
Probably not. And directly, we’re pretty confident is saying definitely not.
Based on what we know about kratom and its active alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, any effects that kratom has on our hair will be indirect.
If hair loss is your concern, then other problems are at the helm, and there are other solutions you should look into.
The downfall of kratom is that it can be addicting, and excessive amounts of kratom, particularly if you combine it with other drugs, can cause a ton of health problems. But in this case, hair loss won’t be your main concern, and this is only for extreme cases.
(These extreme cases are what organizations like the FDA have used to justify attempting to shut down kratom, but the reality is the vast majority of kratom users have no resulting serious health issues, but we digress.)
Just because kratom probably won’t directly cause hair loss, there are a few indirect explanations.
One of the problems with kratom, brought on by its gray-area legal status, is that it’s hardly regulated at all. This means lots of kratom is contaminated with bacteria or cut with other ingredients.
While pure kratom probably won’t affect your hair, we can’t say the same for the mystery ingredients your kratom is cut with.
That’s why we always talk about the importance of buying your kratom from a trusted source, and it’s why we recommend the third-party tested, GMP-certified brand, Viable Kratom.
Testosterone’s link to hair loss is fairly well established. How kratom and testosterone interact we’re also learning more about.
As we discuss more in-depth in this article on kratom and testosterone, kratom abuse appears to decrease testosterone.
This also explains why it stunts your libido over the long term, and also may lead to hair loss.
But, moderate kratom doses don’t appear to impact testosterone, so as long you don’t abuse it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The funny thing about this discussion is that there are also lots of people who have claimed that kratom actually improved their hair.
This seems even more of a stretch, but there are a few explanations.
While there’s no research on this with kratom, there is research on the delta opioid receptor, which kratom’s alkaloids target, and how it may affect hair and skin.
Serious opiates like morphine seem to stimulate wound healing. Often, hair loss is a result of scalp and skin damage, so speeding up wound healing could in turn help your hair.
But by that logic, anything that speeds up healing could help your hair. And this is kind of ture. For example, collagen supplements are known for supporting your hair.
But, this is a stretch and we don’t have any direct research on kratom in this area. It’s not clear if kratom will support wound healing.
We know that excessive, chronic stress may lead to losing your hair. With this in mind, healthy stress management strategies may help you keep your hair (or even grow it back.)
Kratom, when used intelligently, can be a great stress reliever. The euphoria and calm focus you get from kratom can be a part of managing your stress.
Again, this is indirect and unproven.
If you’re worried about your hair, then there’s a lot more you should look into.
Beyond that, there are countless products and interventions that can support your hair, and I’m sure you’ve seen the infomercials.
Overall, when it comes to your hair, kratom isn’t going to play a big role.
But kratom clearly has lots of other effects. It gives you energy which may make it a useful pre-workout.
It’s most lionized use is to support addiction and withdrawal symptoms, whether that’s opioid addiction or alcoholism.
If you’d like to try research, remember, it’s crucial to get it from a trusted source. That’s why we recommend Viable Kratom. They’re certified by the American Kratom Association for GMP (good manufacturing practices), have the most transparent manufacturing processes, and also display the test results of every batch with a simple QR code.