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What Is the Connection between Lysine and Hair Loss?

By Synthia L. Rose
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Since collagen, a protein support structure for hair, is dependent on the amino acid lysine, the lack of lysine and hair loss are positively correlated. Research shows that those with alopecia, hair breakage, and reduced hair growth often suffer from insufficient lysine. Another link between lysine and baldness is that lysine can be effective in blocking an enzyme responsible for baldness.

Lysine serves as a building block for collagen in hair cells specifically because it aids in the body’s absorption of calcium; calcium is one of the main factors required for the formation of collagen in nails, hair, and skin. Low lysine levels in the body are often the result of imbalanced nutrition. Daily servings of proteins from sources such as meat, eggs, fish or beans are generally sufficient to prevent low levels of lysine and hair loss. People most at risk of suffering from lysine insufficiency are vegans who do not consume enough legumes and athletes whose muscular physiques require higher protein demands.

The ability of lysine to block the enzyme 5-alpha reductase type 2 helps in preventing baldness, particularly male-patterned baldness characterized by the loss of hair at the front and top of the head. This enzyme is known for converting testosterone in the body into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes hair follicles to stop producing hair. In the presence of lysine, however, the enzyme’s conversion power is inhibited. While the correlation between lysine and hair loss linked to DHT affects mainly men, women can still benefit from lysine beyond its collagen formation powers. Research shows that while iron supplementation is often prescribed for women with hair loss, lysine is typically prescribed simultaneously because it enhances iron’s ability to reverse alopecia.

Bodily stores of lysine can often be replenished through supplementation. Trichologists suggest that 500 mg to 800 mg a day may be sufficient to halt or reverse hair loss linked to a dearth of lysine. The benefits of using supplementation to treat a lack of lysine and hair loss include convenience and multiple forms of application and consumption. Many companies produce lysine-based creams that can be rubbed into the scalp and hair; there are also liquid lysine supplements touted for their quick absorption. Capsules and tablets are alternative options.

While natural lysine obtained from a balanced diet is safe, high lysine supplementation for long periods of time can often result in gall stones. Other side effects of lysine supplementation include higher cholesterol and kidney malfunction or complete renal failure. People already plagued by kidney or liver disorders are advised by doctors to avoid lysine supplementation, as are pregnant women.

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Discussion Comments
By anon994959 — On Mar 20, 2016

I bought it since I was desperate to stop a cold sore in its tracks. I can't believe it actually worked in less than 24 hours, plus the odd dab of tea tree on my lip.

Now I hear it's good for heart health and circulation. I will be starting to take it again and see how it goes,

By anon975528 — On Oct 27, 2014

I'm a female and taking lysine and will report back if this works for my hair. I do have hair loss but not baldness, I actually am hoping that it makes my hair thicker and stronger so it won't easily yank out when I am styling my hair into nice ponytails.

If anyone wants to hear my feedback after a month or so then email me:

theanongal (at sign) maildrop (dot) cc

By anon934835 — On Feb 22, 2014

My thoughts are that finding out if you have any shortages of any vitamins, amino acids or too much DHT could make it a lot easier to avoid spending money on supplements or medicine that won't work.

By anon934834 — On Feb 22, 2014

I hear being low in iron, vitamin D, zinc or producing too much DHT contributes to hair loss. Another cause is thyroid problems which makes hormones imbalanced.

By fBoyle — On Feb 04, 2014

I'm still confused about the connection between lysine and hair loss. Many sources claim that it works, but there really isn't much scientific research done on it. In fact, I have only found one.

I take an anti-androgenic medication for hair loss and the company that manufactures it says that lysine can be taken with it. They've done a small study and found that lysine improves the effectiveness of the medication. But they can't say why.

So I'm not sure if I should take lysine. It's not very expensive and I know that it's just an amino acid. But I'm probably getting enough of it through my diet.

By literally45 — On Feb 04, 2014

@donasmrs-- Yes, I take lysine for hair loss and it's definitely working. I think it took two weeks for me to start seeing results but change really became apparent after that. So give it some time.

Also, I should mention that I started taking propecia, another supplement for hair, at the same time I started taking lysine. They were recommended to me by a friend and he uses them together. So I'm not sure if results will be different if you only take lysine.

By donasmrs — On Feb 03, 2014

I've heard of lysine being used to support the immune system. I've taken it in the past for a brief time for cold sores. I had no idea that lysine is also beneficial for hair loss.

Does anyone here take lysine for hair health? Have you seen any improvements? How long did it take to see results?

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