Role of DHT
Dihydrotestosterone is present in the body of all people and is actually very useful. It is crucial in the sexual development of males. It is very similar to testosterone and is synthesised more during puberty where it is responsible for changes in voice facial hair and reproductive development.
As we age we still maintain a small need for DHT but some individuals become sensitive and it starts to act inconvenient ways.
DHT and hair loss
Cause of Any Hair Loss
For decades scientists have struggled to find out the biological causes of hair loss and until recently this proved extremely difficult as there are several types of hair loss and seemingly just as many cause for each type.
It is important to establish the cause of any hair loss, as this will determine the next steps in terms of treatment or management.
While there is no method to fully reverse baldness as yet, it can be managed in different ways.
If hair loss occurs suddenly, the cause may be medical and it is important to see your doctor. Some types of hair loss can be an indication of a stress, nutritional deficiencies or using the incorrect hair products. A simple blood test may be able to find any reasons and also improve the diet and eating healthy will improve hair growth.
The Most Common Cause Of Hair Loss
The main cause of pattern hair loss (baldness in men and women) is Androgenic Alopecia. It is 95% of all cases. Responsible for AA is the androgens testosterone and DHT (dihydrotestosterone). => source
Now that science better understand what causes hair loss. It becomes much easier to treat.
Over time, however, DHT tends to inhibit the hair growth ability of the follicles. Some people are not affected by it in the scalp, but individuals with a genetic tendency to hair loss are sensitive to DHT’s effects.
Several pharmaceutical companies who produce hair loss products claim this function.
However as technology and research methods have improved it has become clear that most forms of hair loss may follow a similar route and a common components is DHT
How DHT Affects Hair Growth
DHT tends to inhibit the hair growth ability of the follicles by acting as competition for receptor space instead of behaving as a sex hormone. Some people are not affected by it presence in the scalp, but individuals with a genetic tendency to hair loss are sensitive to DHT’s effects.
When a DHT sensitive individual does not protect themselves, the substance will damage hair follicles, which will begin to produce less and thinner hair, until it stops producing any hair at all.
This explains the gradual loss of hair that occurs with Androgenic Alopecia and can occur over several decades starting as early as the end of teenage years.
Basically the process consists of DHT attaching itself to receptor cells in the hair follicles, preventing vitamin, minerals and proteins from reaching them. Without these important nourishing substances, the follicles slowly become unable to sustain life, shrinking in size.
Of course, the miniaturization of the follicles will cause hair to grow at a slower and slower rate, either lengthening the resting stage or shortening the growing phase. The hair shaft becomes thinner with each growth cycle, until hair stops emerging.
This change can be permanent once the follicles reach a certain size however most will still produce some hair which may resemble vellus hair (covers most of the body) or the hair cycles becomes so long that they seem dormant.
How Can You Prevent Hair Loss Caused By DHT?
While leading a stress-free life and maintaining proper nutrition are important steps that’ll help with hair loss, they aren’t likely to be enough, as DHT occurs naturally in the body and some individuals are sensitive to it.
Instead, to prevent DHT-induced hair loss, it is best to use a DHT blocking product.
In general, there are 4 ways to effectively block DHT and prevent hair loss. Products usually have one of these effects, or a combination of them:
1. Reducing DHT production in the body.
2. Inhibiting the production of 5 alpha reductase – the enzyme which converts testosterone into DHT.
3. Reducing substances that produce said enzyme, such as cholesterol.
4. Preventing DHT from attaching to the hair follicles‘ receptors.
Any product that achieves one or more of these goals can be considered a DHT-blocker, and if it manages to do that effectively, it will prevent hair loss to varying degrees.
These products are known as DHT blocker, and they can work in a variety of ways
How to choose the Best DHT Blocker to stop hair loss
In fact, there is a wide variety of products on the market right now which will effectively protect you from the effects of DHT, or even reverse them altogether.
An effective DHT blocker will undeniably protect you from hair loss.
They will come primarily in the form of supplements or shampoo.
Some products promise to reverse it entirely in a mere 4 months, while others make more conservative claims.
Over the last few years, hundreds of new DHT blocking products have been launched. This can make it hard to properly understand your options and make a conscious choice.
In the end what matters is to make sure the product contains effective DHT blocking ingredients and is generally safe to use.
A simple online search on a products’ active ingredients will let you know whether the substances are powerful blockers or not. Similarly, search online for reviews and accounts from individuals who have used a product and carefully consider their opinions on it.
It is important to note that most DHT blocking specific products come with a variety of side effects. DHT blocker work while the products are continually used so it is crucial to make any informed decision before starting any treatment
Our Recommeded List of DHT Blockers
1. Finasteride (the only one approved by FDA)
The best known dht blocker. It is taken in pill form (internally) and works to inhibit the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. 1mg of Finasteride is enough to achieve results. 5mg is used for enlarged prostat. Finasteride can decrease serum levels of DHT by up to 70%. => study
Generic Name: finasteride
Brand Names: Propecia (1mg Finasteride), Proscar (5mg Finasteride), Durasterid, Avocar
Patients who had problems with an enlarged prostate and also had hair loss experienced treatment with Proscar in addition to significantly reducing prostate problems, stopping hair loss and increasing new hair.
Following this discovery, Merck immediately started a clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of finasteride in the treatment of hair loss when taken as a tablet. To minimize side effects, Merck reduced the dose of finasteride to 1 mg and conducted a series of clinical studies.
In the first 5-year clinical study, 352 patients at different stages of hair loss were involved. At the start of the study, the researchers calculated the number of hairs in the monitored hairy circular area of the scalp with a diameter of 2.5 cm. The average hair count of patients in this area was 876 hair. Two groups of patients were created to compare the effects of finasteride. One group was taking a 1 mg tablet of finasteride. The second group was taking a placebo tablet without finasteride or any other active substance.
After the first year of treatment, patients receiving finasteride had an average of 126 hair more than patients receiving placebo. This difference in the number of hairs in the observed circular area of the scalp gradually increased.
By the end of the fifth year of treatment, patients receiving finasteride had 277 hair more than patients receiving placebo. Up to 65% of patients receiving finasteride retained or improved their original hair count in the study area compared to the hair count at baseline. All patients who received placebo had a reduced hair count.
In the first 12-month phase of the study, the following adverse reactions were reported in a small group of patients: decreased libido, difficulty achieving an erection, and reduced ejaculate volume. These adverse reactions gradually disappeared in all patients who stopped treatment, but also in 56% of patients who continued treatment until the end of the fifth year.
By researching and testing, Merck has demonstrated the potential of finasteride to stop male hair loss and to induce new hair growth.
In December 1997, based on research results, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved Propecia (finasteride 1mg) as effective in the use of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). treating male hair loss.
Unlike minoxidil which can treat both male and female pattern hair loss, Finasteride is only effective with males. This success rates for commercially viable hair growth even after 6 months of treatment is around 25%. Aside from low success rates it is the preferred choice as the side effects are milder and less common.
Going For A Natural Option
Instead of using artificial products, a lot of people choose to treat their DHT-induced hair loss through the use of foods that naturally block it.
A lot of foods can have that effect, which make it relatively easy to treat your hair loss by consuming at least one of them every day.
Some can be used internally while others can be applied directly to the scalp.
As they are all natural the benefits will not be limited to preventing or treatmenting hair loss but will also generally improve your health and well being.
Even if you would rather get a supplement or a topical product, these will almost always contain natural blockers, so it’s important to educate yourself on the effectiveness of each, so you can pick a something with all the most effective ingredients in it.
Below is a list with some popular DHT-blocking ingredients.
2. Saw Palmetto | Number #1 Natural DHT Blocker
Probably the most popular natural DHT blocker.
Saw Palmetto is very effective to slow or prevent hair loss. It does an excellent job of inhibiting DHT, and a lot of people consider it the best natural blocker there is.
Several pharmaceutical companies have patented products containing the saw palmetto component to treat hair loss. In the USA, saw palmetto has become the 6 best selling supplement => source
It tends to be very well tolerated by those that take it, although mild side effects such as an upset stomach are experienced eventually. More in this article
We recommended saw palmetto as the first choice.
More in this article: SAW PALMETTO | The Way To Stop Hair Loss
3. Pumpkin Seeds And Oil
Pumpkin seeds can break down DHT through the liver. It is believed their blocking properties are due to the rare amino acids in them, such as curcubitin, along with a variety of plant steroids.
Consumption of raw pumpkin seeds is an age-old, tried and true method of preventing prostatic hyperplasia.
The German E Commission (Analogous to America’s FDA) has approved its used for prostate disorder treatment.
4. Green Tea
Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis), is a precursor product in the production of oolong and black tea, hence it retains more medicinal properties.
An excellent swap for more common caffeinated drinks it is excellent in the morning to gently wake up the body whilst being a potent detox.
It contained many antioxidants which circulate the system and neutralize any harmful free radicals which speed up the aging process.
When applied to the hair is works as a humectant by sealing in moisture. It also aids in cell regeneration and preventing hair loss by regulating the amount of key hormones including testosterone.
According to research, green tea blocks formation of DHT through one of its active components, called EGCG (epigallocatechin 3 Gallate). Green tea also has plenty of other beneficial properties as well as important antioxidants.
5. Stinging Needle Root
Stinging Nettle or Urtica dioica may pack quite a punch if you happen to unknowingly stumble across it, but its herbal uses have been recorded far back into ancient history.
It has been used to treat hair loss as it protects the hair follicles and block receptors for high levels of the hormones which can trigger hair loss.
Nobody exactly understood how but it can also reduce the immune response makings it a perfect alternative to toxic medicine used for conditions such as alopecia and psoriasis and others which cause inflammation.
Best consumed as a tea but is also available as and oil.
The stinging needle is a plant with a variety of health applications.
It is used to treat BPH in Europe. Often combined with saw palmetto and Pygeum bark.
This herbal combination has been proven quite effective at warding off androgenetic alopecia.
6. Pygeum Bark
Pygeum bark is a hormone balancer. Another hebal remedy. It helps reduce and regulate DHT levels in the organism, blocking the action of 5-alpha-reductase in a way similar to saw palmetto. It also block another enyzme, called aromatase.
7. Reishi Mushroom
The Reishi Mushroom is a lesser known DHT blocker, as it was discovered more recently than others. It has been gaining traction in the world of hair growth and hair loss treatment. Is proven to be very effective at in inhibiting testosterone.
In study which compares 19 medicinal and edible on 5alpha-reductase activity, the reishi mushroom (ganoderma lucidum) was the strongest. => source
It is available as a powder or oil. The oil should always be mixed with a carrier oil of your choice. Never applied directly to the skin alone. It works deep in the hair follicle and stimulates new growth. It is great for thinning or bald spots.
9. Baheda Fruit
Is commonly used by women across Asia however it should be avoided during pregnancy. The fruit has powerful healing properties and can be applied to wounds and sores. When applied to the scalp it will boost hair growth. It can also be used as a dye due to the fact it stains black
Others to consider
- Beta Sitosterol – found in fruits and vegetables study togehter with saw pametto
- Rosemary oil
- Sesame seeds
Another notable mention are for Ayurvedic herbs and practices. They are commonly found as the key ingredient in many luxury brandy while the herbs themselves are cheap and readily available. Neem, Methi and Hibiscus and Henna are all known for their potential hair growth capabilities.
Androgenic Alopecia in women
AA is not limited to men but the expression and look of the hair will be different. Women can experience hair loss at anytime in their life and may actually have more recorded cases compared to men.
Most are due to human error caused by using strong chemicals or improper hair dressing techniques. Women are prone to more hormone changes which can result in hair loss. But in most cases these are temporary and can easily be reversed. Common causes of hair loss are due to pregnancy or taking contraceptive medications.
DHT and Hair Loss in Women
As women age and approach menopause the balance of the sex hormones (androgens) changes. Even a subtle rise is testosterone and DHT can cause hair loss in those who have a genetic predisposition. It can be hard to test for confirmation as the baseline level of DHT can not always be measured for a comparison before and after the onset of AA.
The characteristics include a general thinning if the top of the hair from hairline to crown. Unlike men the area will not become bald. Will be very sparse and the hair will look see through making the scalp easily viewable.
As women tend to experience this type of hair loss in smaller numbers and at a higher age most of the research and products are aimed at men.
Many women will use other means to disguise the hair loss rather than seeking treatment. They are more likely to seek advice solely from their hairdressers who would probably suggest a new hair colour, cut or even wigs.
As Androgenic Alopecia a genetic condition it is possible to tell from older immediate family members if you are probably going to lose your hair in this fashion. You can inherit AA from either parent and will possibly start to lose your hair at a similar age. If that is the case you can either embrace the journey or seek to find alternative methods to maintain your hair.
Potential Side Effects Of DHT Blocker
Although it seems to have more effect in this regard throughout teenage years. DHT play an important role in sexual behavior. For this reason, blocking substances may have sex-related side effects, and it’s important to be wary of those.
Around 2% of men taking such substances will experience lower libido, weaker erections and/or decreased ejaculatory volume. These effects will often take place gradually, which might make them more difficult to notice.
Unless using natural remedies stick to one product at a time. They can contain strong chemicals which may interact with each other or any medications you take.
Remember to consult your health care provider before jumping into any treatments yourself.
Conclusion About DHT Blocker and Hair Loss
Hair loss can be a frustrating condition to deal with.
The most common type of hair loss in men and women (95%) is Androgenic Alopecia, most commonly referred to as pattern baldness. It is very recognisable on men as the is distinct hair loss as the crown and temples leaving hair only at the back and sides of the head before full baldness ensues.
DHT is the primary responsible for AA (Androgenetic Alopecia)
By using effective DHT-Blocker, you can slow, stop, or even reverse hair loss in the long term.
It can take up to 3 months to see any results. If within 6months there is no impact it is time to try another method.
Just make sure to educate yourself. Learn all you can before starting out, and you’re very likely to get amazing results.