It is a common thing to wonder about side effects when taking something like kratom. There are side effects to pretty much everything that we implement into our lives. There are side effects to our morning cup of coffee (crash, headaches, anxiety). There are side effects to medication we are prescribed by our trusted doctors. Fact is, we accept the possibility of side effects and even often times accept the side effects themselves; but that heavily depends on how much we need “said thing” in our lives.
- Does kratom really cause hair loss?
- The Theories
- What’s true?
- How to prevent hair loss as a kratom consumer
Does kratom really cause hair loss?
Unfortunately, due to the constant legal battle here in the US, not enough research has been done to be able to truly offer a plausible answer. Thankfully, it seems that kratom is in the clear, so more and more research is starting to be scheduled, similar to the research done for marijuana. Until that data comes in, we can base our opinion on what kratom consumers report in various communication channels like Reddit, Facebook groups, kratom blogs and the like. One Reddit group that has over 116K members discussed kratom and hair loss. The question was,
“Has anyone else had this thought before? Ever since I started taking Kratom, my healthy, full head of hair has slightly started to “damage” and fall out, though not a lot. Friends and family think I’m crazy. At first, I thought this was paranoia as I’m 29 years old, but after doing some quick googling I found that other people have brought this concern up as well.“[source]
Out of 64 comments (when last read), the great majority reported the same issue and agreed that hair thinning is a side effect, but with common denominators. One commenter said that “Kratom is an immunostimulant, that’s why some people who take kratom report not getting sick for prolonged periods of time. But that also leads to an over active immune system response when taken chronically. The reason kratom can cause hair loss is because of the increased immune response which can cause our own bodies to attack the hair follicle as well as cause inflammation in the scalp which constricts blood flow to the hair follicle.”
This sounds like you’d think it might be correct. However, upon further search, our bodies reacting to an increased immune response is actually very rare.
There has been many theories to hair loss and kratom. There’s actually quite a few:
1. Kratom Pesticides
There are some reports that a Selenium-based pesticide spray sometimes used on kratom farms can cause hair loss. This has not been proven. If this be the case, any other crop this was used on would cause the same side effect. But either way, it’s a theory. This is why you should always shop from vendors who test and provide the results for all of their batches, to ensure you’re receiving quality products that are free from contaminants.
2. Kratom is an opioid!
Kratom is full of what they call alkaloids that affect the body’s opioid system. They are responsible for its painkilling benefits and mood lifts. Though there are some similarities, these two substances are actually very different. Aside of one being from nature and the other mainly man-made, most of the side effects that come from opiates are NOT found in kratom. However, because some think there are similarities, it wouldn’t be surprising that they think that hair loss would be a likely side effect.
3. Kratom Immunostimulant Properties
A doctor from the University of Science in Malaysia named Darshan Singh believes that adulterated kratom powder sent overseas is the reason for hair loss issues. There are two reasons why this doctor thinks this: kratom immunostimulant and potential contaminants in the kratom that gets shipped to the US.
Kratom’s potential immunostimulant quality is one of the major reasons many people try kratom leaf powder. Immunostimulants boost the functions of your immune system, which may prevent some illnesses. When immunostimulants are taken in large quantities, they may cause your immune system to attack hair follicles. It may also cause inflammation of the scalp, which can cut off the hair follicle’s blood flow. These immune responses could lead to hair loss, but this happening is actually very rare.
Unfortunately, until there is more research done on kratom, we will have no valuable data to base our theories on.
Hair loss is actually a very common issue for people, and side effects is not a common reason behind it. Here are some common reasons people begin to lose hair:
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. …
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Dieting (rapid weight loss).
- Restrictive diets.
- Over processed scalp hair (breakage).
- Giving birth. Mothers will lose a lot of hair after giving birth that usually last about a year.
Worrying about a kratom receding hairline can ruin the potential benefits of kratom powders and not help the efforts thousands are making to show support for the tree in their country, especially here in the US. I would never encourage blind faith, refusing to “diss” kratom in anyway, but often times people will jump to conclusions and blame a substance they are already on the fence about (because of lack of research). Then they will spread possibly false information, managing the reputation of kratom even more.
How do we prevent hair loss as a kratom consumer
Because I am open minded and because there are many consumers who claim this to be a side effect, regardless of theories we may or may not rule out, what are ways we can avoid or prevent this from happening to us?
- I would recommend you rule things out from the list above before blaming kratom. Hair loss is a VERY common issue that has tons of likely reasons as to why.
- Increase your food and supplements that purposely help hair growth. Omega 3, Iron supplements, dark green vegetables, folate, and B & B12 Vitamins all assist hair follicle growth.
- Try to avoid having a stress filled life. Exercise and eat healthy as much as possible.
- Buy quality, tested kratom from legit vendors. With the possibilities that contaminants might be causing the hair loss for consumers here in the states, this should be a priority. Too many vendors are “dealing” kratom bags out of their kitchen, relying on the overseas vendor or farmer test results to be accurate instead of retesting it here in the states. I share a list of vendors I recommend due to my years of trying many.
- Lastly, and this is a big one, don’t take more than recommended! Click here for dose recommendations. Kratom can become an addiction, anything can (I recommend you watch this video where I share my thoughts on that). And if possible, try to take breaks a couple days throughout the week. If you’re like me, suffering from chronic pain, and you HAVE to take something to help, taking breaks is nearly impossible, I recommend you do replacement breaks with Stem & Vein (use code KRATOMGIRL or ask for them to honor my discount code). When the time of impact becomes shorter, that’s when you know you need to take a break. The alkaloids in the vein and stem of kratom can help prolong the effect by lowering tolerance. This way you don’t have to go without the major reasons you take kratom in the first place. This practice of replacement a couple days a week will provide better results from your regular kratom dosing.
Many kratom consumers share their many different evidences of problems regarding hair loss, but I find it interesting that consumers in Southeast Asia, where the tree grows, do not report this “side effect”. Kratom is a need for many people who have found that it helps with a chronic illness they may have, so in situations like that, the benefits truly outweigh the side effects.
About the author
What began as a new journey for a young girl has become an established lifestyle for the business woman/owner, mother and wife that she is today. Shaunna became a “holistic influencer” in 2014. She created a persona called Kratom Girl to help support alternative medicine by creating #normalizekratom & #normalizealternativemedicine. Today she donates her time, money and resources to continue to help spread truth and knowledge about kratom, to further normalize it, especially amongst her fellow executives at her day job.
“Someday, we will be sipping kratom tea around the waterhole at work.” – Shaunna Kaufmann.