All About DHT in the Scalp & DHT Blockers Explained !
What is DHT ?
DHT (also known as Dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen which is a sex hormone that leads to the production of what is considered to be male sex traits, such as body hair.
Sex hormones in our body are considered to be the most important driving cause behind the male pattern of hair loss.
Androgen alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness) is one of the most popular reasons why men lose their hair when they grow older.
Your tendency for hair loss is inherited, so DHT can affect you in different ways.
In other words, it's handed down genetically.
You’ll be surprised to know that also women can have that problem though only 30 million of them have it vs 50 million men in the United states!
Let's talk about how DHT works, how DHT applies to your hair and what you can do to avoid, or at least postpone baldness.
First let me explain you what DHT is doing to you.
Testosterone is a hormone that is found in both men and women.
And DHT has been derived from testosterone.
DHT is a hormone that adds to the features of male sex as you go through puberty.
- deep voice
- body hair and muscle development
- Development of the penis, scrotum, and testes as sperm production starts.
And it’s also in charge of how fat is stored around your body.
When you get older, testosterone and DHT provide many benefits to the body, such as preserving your total muscle mass and encouraging sexual well-being and fertility.
About 10% of an adult's testosterone is converted to DHT along with the help of 5-alpha reductase enzyme.
What’s the link between hair loss and DHT?
Your hair follicle normally goes through a growth cycle that lasts between two to six years.
At the end of the cycle, your hair is going into a "resting phase" before dropping out a few months later.
After that, the follicle puts out new hair, and the cycle starts again.
When you have high DHT levels, this hormone will bind to your hair follicle receptors in your scalp, inhibiting their growing cycle and leading your follicle to shrink and your hair to fall. That is why with high DHT levels, you become less capable of maintaining healthy thick and full hair.
And even more than that, researchers showed that high DHT levels in the body not only affect your hair but can also lead to a slow healing of your skin, enlarged prostate, coronary heart disease and even prostate cancer.
Now let's talk about how you can reduce DHT levels in your body.
Targeting DHT production and receptor binding is proven to reduce and even stop hair loss.
There are the 2 main types which you should focus on.
1. DHT BLOCKERS which prevent DHT from binding to your 5-AR receptors in your hair follicles that may cause DHT to shrink your follicles.
2. DHT INHIBITORS which decrease the output of DHT in your body.
There are medications you can take like Minoxidil and Finasteride, but they contain chemicals which can have side effects and that’s why many people try to avoid taking them.
Finasteride binds to 5-AR proteins to prevent DHT from binding to them.
While Minoxidil may help stimulate hair growth when you rub it on your scalp.
But if you’re scared of the side effects that can come along with these medication, you should DEFINITELY consider the ingredients I’m about to tell you. They are supplementations to your body which are naturally proven to help dramatically with reducing hair loss and they are the preferred method for most people.
So let’s start.
Biotin has been proven to enhance and preserve keratin levels.
Keratin is a type of protein that is found in your hair, nails, and skin.
Biotin is inside foods like egg yolks, nuts, and whole grains.
So try to eat more of them.
2. PYGEUM BARK:
This ingredient is an herb that’s extracted from the bark of the African cherry tree. It is well known as a useful therapy for enlarged prostate and prostatitis due to its ability to block DHT.
Caffeine really helps to block the effects of DHT on your hair follicles.
If you take it, It will induce elongation of your hair shaft, resulting in thicker, broader roots of your hair.
It will also prolong the length of the anagen, which is the stage of hair development.
Some people don’t like to take it as a supplement because it can cause insomnia if you’re sensitive to that.
But I highly recommend you to use it as a topical treatment like caffeine shampoo, caffeine conditioner and hair serum that contains caffeine.
4. vitamin B (B-12 and B-6):
Deficiencies in B vitamins can cause symptoms of hair loss and thinning of the hair.
These 2 vitamins B-12 and B-6 are shown to increase blood flow to the scalp follicles which can make your hair thicker and healthier.
So make sure you don’t have any B vitamin deficiencies!
5. SAW PALMETTO:
Saw palmetto is an amazing alternative to hair loss medication.
So if you’re trying to avoid prescription medications, this is the one for you!
It's a plant that has been used as a remedy by native Americans for hundreds of years.
Some of the things saw palmetto is used for are:
- hair loss
- bladder infections
- prostate cancer
- decreased sex drive
Saw palmetto is a powerful DHT blocker because blocks 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that transforms testosterone to DHT.
So I highly recommend you to try it!
So you probably want to know if there are any side effects to DHT blockers?
The side effects highly depend on the type of DHT blocker you’re using.
First let me start by saying that the side effects of dietary supplements are way less severe than medications and I’m sure you already know that.
So when it comes to medications like Minoxidil and Finasteride some of the side effects reported can be eczema, abnormal hair growth on the body and skin allergy.
Another important thing to know is that when you stop using these medications, you can have a dramatic effect in hair loss due to the trauma your follicles have when DHT rise in your body so fast.
However, no severe side effects have been reported from taking DHT blockers as dietary supplements or as topical treatments like caffeine shampoo for example.
So here is my takeaway for you.
DHT plays a major role in hair loss and can be a turning point for many of you.
I’d recommend you to start with a dietary supplement containing DHT blockers before taking the risk of medications.