Testosterone mainly plays a role in hair growth during puberty. It still plays a role after puberty, but it is mainly associated with hair loss.... mainly from the head. This is one of the causes of male pattern baldness.
So, a testosterone supplement (I'm mainly talking about "real" test here; aka steroids.... most of the supplements on the market are pretty worthless) may increase overall body hariness, but you will be putting the hair on your head at risk. Especially if there's a history of male pattern baldness in your family. This is why you'll see a lot of bodybuilders, sprinters and other strength athletes with receding hairlines... it's one of the common side effects of steroid usage. Sure, heredity plays a role as well... but you'll still see an awful lot of young athletes (even females) with a receding hairline at a pretty young age.
Assuming that an over the counter test supplement actually has any effectiveness, then yes there are potential side effects. Aside from hair loss, others include: acne, water retention, liver/kidney stress, increase in LDL cholesterol and gyno (development of breast tissue). Granted, since most available products contain little in the way of active ingredients (they are also largely destroyed by the liver) the risks are fairly minimal, but they exist nonetheless.
Regardless, a person's hariness is largely determined by genetics. Obviously your "hairy" genes didn't come from your father. If you check around the ol' family tree (possibly on your mother's side, or maybe your father's parents) you'll likely come up with some people with your particular hair pattern
Originally posted by welsh_boyo: A friend told mine that if I take a testosterone supplement (testosterol etc.) then it will increase the amount of facial hair and body hair I have. Is this true?
The reason I ask is becuase I'm 18 years old and have almost no facial or body hair (my dad is hella hairy though). Are there any risks? should I take it? Any advice welcome.
First of all, having little to no facial and body hair at your age, could mean absolutely nothing. I have seen men in their 30's with almost no body or facial hair with no health problems at all. However, having little to no facial and body hair can be an indication of a genetic anomally that occurs in males. Are your genetials small? If they are, this may also be an indication of a genetic anomally.
Please stay away from over the counter testoserone products. Testosterone is a controlled substance for a reason as their are numerous SIDE EFFECTS. It makes no difference whether you take over the counter or prescribed Testosterone, it all does the same thing to you. In young men like yourself, it drastically increases the risk of testicular cancer. It also causes you to have an enlarged prostate, and as you get older, it increases the risk of prostate cancer. In some men,it can cause gynecomastia(male breast tissue). It will cause your testicles to atrohpy. It will cause you to have a problem with acne as it is an overload for your liver. Long term use causes edema and leg ulcers. It can increase your bad cholesterol and does cause a thickening of the blood with huge red blood cell counts. The list goes on and on.
If you suspect a problem, please go to an endocrinologist or a urologist and not a general practioner. Many family doctors don't have a clue as to what may be causing your lack of secondary sexual characteristics.
Again, PLEASE don't take any form of testosterone unless there is no other way for you. The risks are not worth the benefits.
I take androgel for the genetic anomally that vmnlln is talking about. I take it every day and my testosterone is now at a normal healthy level. I couldn't grow facial hair for 30 years, and now testosterone is making the difference. If you suspect that you may have an issue, go see an endocrinologist. There are risks associated with higher levels of testosterone, but if you are under the care of a physician, they will stay on top of these issues. Not that anyone looks forward to a prostate exam every six months!