There is a variety of possible side effects when using steroids. The most common known side effect is sexual dysfunction, with a consequent decrease in physical activity and libido. In general, there are many potential side effects from oral anabolic steroids, but hair loss is not usually considered one of them. For example, it has been reported that steroid users experience less pattern baldness than people who have never used these substances. However, some studies have recorded otherwise with finasteride (an agent designed to treat male pattern baldness), showing some effectiveness for this purpose while on a cycle. This may be due to the action on five alpha-reductase inhibition, which can lower dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone known to cause male pattern baldness.
Another possible side effect of steroids is the inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPTA) which can, in turn, suppress natural testosterone production. When supraphysiological dosages are taken, it is common for this suppression to be significant and prolonged due to a strong negative feedback loop. During this period, hair loss might occur as a result of high estrogenic activity. Although very rare, some people have reported depressive symptoms when using anabolic/androgenic steroids, and finasteride in combination has shown some benefit in treating these conditions. Taking anti-estrogens such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors like anastrozole may help prevent or limit this side effect.
Long-term use of anabolic/androgenic steroids can cause a decrease in natural testosterone production. If this occurs, it is advisable to take proper action to avoid possible withdrawal symptoms such as reduced libido and erectile function. It is also noted that infertility caused by steroid abuse could be reversed with detoxification after a cycle has been discontinued. Finally, due to the potential hepatotoxicity of anabolic steroids, it would be beneficial to conduct liver detoxification after completing a process, if necessary or possible. This should include drinking plenty of water daily and taking silymarin or other liver support supplements, as well as eating healthy foods. These actions will help limit damage due to long-term steroid use, which will help lessen side effects.
The most common steroids associated with the least amount of hair loss are nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin), equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate), and Masteron (Drostanolone Propionate).