hmb hair loss

HMB Hair Loss Effects: Does It Increase Or Inhibit Hair Growth?

HMB, a metabolite of the amino acid leucine, has gained recognition for its role in muscle protein synthesis. The scientific community and users alike have widely acknowledged the remarkable benefits of HMB for muscles. However, there is an increasing prevalence of rumors suggesting that HMB may cause hair loss. This raises the question: What is the actual effect of HMB on hair? Does it contribute to hair loss or support hair growth? This document explores the relationship between β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) and hair growth, especially shedding light on the HMB hair loss subject.


Cause of Hair Loss

To understand the role of HMB in hair growth, it is essential first to understand the underlying causes of hair loss. Numerous factors can contribute to hair loss, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, stress, poor nutrition, and medical conditions like alopecia areata or telogen effluvium.

Hair follicles require a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen for healthy growth, and any disruption in this supply can cause hair loss. Furthermore, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) contributes to hair loss by shrinking hair follicles.
Some primary causes associated with hair loss include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Protein-deficient diet
  • Iron deficiency
  • Certain infectious diseases
  • Certain medications such as retinoids, contraceptives, antidepressants
  • Hormonal changes
  • Sexually transmitted infections like syphilis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Fungal scalp infections
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Menopausal hair loss in women.

In summary, hair loss is a multifaceted issue influenced by numerous factors, from genetic predispositions to dietary deficiencies and medical conditions.

Now, with an understanding of the general causes of hair loss, let's delve into the potential effects of HMB on hair health and growth.

HMB Hair Loss Effects

Currently, there is limited research on the HMB hair loss effects. Existing studies primarily focus on its impact on muscles, and there is no concrete evidence supporting claims of HMB causing hair loss beyond unproven social media inquiries.

HMB helps with muscle growth

This indicates that it is impossible to definitively determine the effect of HMB on hair, and it is unjustified to assert that HMB directly causes hair loss.

As mentioned earlier, hair loss can be attributed to various factors, and reports of hair loss while using HMB do not necessarily imply causation.

Since there is a lack of direct studies discussing the relationship between HMB and hair loss, we attempted to explore indirect influences through the known causes of hair loss.

Studies on athletes supplementing with functional foods have mentioned hair loss side effects associated with DHEA.

So, what is the connection between DHEA and HMB?

DHEA is a hormone the adrenal gland produces that increases testosterone and estrogen levels in both men and women. On the other hand, HMB is a metabolite of leucine produced in the body through the oxidation process of keto acid and leucine.

Although unrelated, both are commonly used as supplements for muscle development and fitness, so they are often studied together.

In some studies, hair loss has been evaluated as a potential side effect of DHEA, which may lead to confusion with HMB causing side effects of hair loss. However, this is a subjective inference on our part.

Furthermore, hormonal imbalance is also one factor that we consider when examining the causes of hair loss.

Elevated testosterone levels play a significant role in increasing muscle mass and improving male physique, but excess testosterone can lead to hormonal imbalances.

It is important to note that HMB's mechanism for muscle growth is related to protein turnover in muscles by stimulating synthesis and reducing protein breakdown, not testosterone.

Moreover, studies published in the Food Science Nutrition journal have noted that acute ingestion of HMB does not increase the testosterone response to exercise [1].

Similar conclusions were reached in research conducted by Krzysztof Durkalec-Michalski and colleagues [2].

Therefore, it is not possible to draw a definitive conclusion regarding the impact of HMB on testosterone, hormonal imbalance, or hair loss.

hmb may not cause hair loss

Another cause worth mentioning is thyroid disorders. Many studies on HMB have highlighted its positive effects on hormone production in the thyroid, leading to increased muscle mass and reduced fat.

However, these studies only address the beneficial hormone-increasing effects and do not mention any associated disorders. Thus, this cause also has no relationship with HMB and hair development.

In summary, what do these findings conclude about the relationship between HMB hair loss? We will address this question in the following two answers below.

Does HMB Increase Hair Loss?

After extensively reviewing the available literature and considering various factors, there is no direct evidence to suggest that HMB increases hair loss. Additionally, any potential indirect influences are not proven and require further research.

Do HMB Benefits for Hair Growth?

While no evidence suggests that HMB directly promotes hair growth, its benefits for muscle protein synthesis and hormone production may indirectly contribute to healthier follicles and hair growth.

Taking care of one's overall health and nutrition through exercise, proper diet, and managing stress levels can also positively impact hair health.

HMB has been shown to improve muscle development and reduce muscle loss, so it may indirectly support overall health and hair growth.

Are There Any Side Effects of HMB?

HMB is generally considered relatively safe when used at a dosage of 3 grams [5] [3] [4].

A few studies have reported minor side effects such as abdominal pain, constipation, and itching [6] [5]. However, more research is needed to understand HMB's potential side effects fully.

It is worth noting that any reported hair loss while using HMB could be due to other factors or underlying conditions and not necessarily a direct result of HMB usage.


If I Have Concerns About Hair Loss, Should I Stop Using HMB?

If you're experiencing concerns about hair loss, it's best to consult a healthcare professional or a dermatologist. They can help identify the root cause of your hair loss, which may not be related to HMB. It's important to continue taking HMB if it's part of a recommended health regime until advised otherwise by a professional.

Is HMB Safe To Consume For Women?

HMB is generally considered safe for both men and women. However, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

Can HMB Be Harmful In Any Other Way?

Like any supplement, following the recommended dosage and not exceeding the daily limit is essential. Taking too much HMB may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, but there is no evidence of any other harmful effects. It's always best to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.


In conclusion, no concrete evidence suggests that HMB directly causes hair loss. While there may be indirect associations with hormones and thyroid disorders, further research is needed to establish a conclusive link of HMB hair loss effects. As always, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen or if you have concerns about hair loss. Maintaining overall health and proper nutrition can also contribute to healthy hair growth.


[1] Zhao, L., & Mohammad, M. (2022). Testosterone and cortisol responses to ß‐hydroxy ß‐methylbutryate consumption and exercise: A meta‐analysis. Food Science and Nutrition, 10(9), 2815–2824.
[2] Krzysztof Durkalec-Michalski, Jeszka, J., & Tomasz Podgórski. (2017). The Effect of a 12-Week Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Highly-Trained Combat Sports Athletes: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study. Nutrients, 9(7), 753–753.
[3] Fuller, J. C., Arp, L. H., Diehl, L., Landin, K. L., Baier, S. M., & Rathmacher, J. A. (2014). Subchronic toxicity study of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyric free acid in Sprague–Dawley rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 67, 145–153.
[4] Alessio Molfino, Gioia, G., & Filippo Rossi Fanelli. (2013). Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation in health and disease: a systematic review of randomized trials. Amino Acids, 45(6), 1273–1292.
[5] Wilson, G. J., Wilson, J. M., & Manninen, A. H. (2008). Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: A review. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1).
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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