The Ultimate Guide to Hair Loss and DHT Blockers
Most people don’t think much about their hair—until they wake up one day to find that some of it has gone missing. If you’re reading this article, this might be something you’re currently faced with.
But don’t worry, this guide will give you everything you need to know about hair loss and what is a DHT blocker.
- What Causes Hair Loss?
- How is DHT Produced?
- What are Natural DHT Blockers?
- What are the Side Effects of DHT Blockers?
What Causes Hair Loss?
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is caused by a shrinking of follicles, interfering with the process of new hair growth. Follicle miniaturisation occurs when the male sex hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binds to androgen receptors in hair follicles.
To explain the influence of minimised follicles on the process of new hair growth, the four stages of the hair growth cycle are described below:
- Anagen: This is the growing phase. It lasts 2-7 years.
- Catagen: This is the transition phase. The hair follicle adapts to switch from the growing to resting phase. It lasts 10 days.
- Telogen: This is the resting phase. It lasts around 100 days.
- Exogen: This is the shedding phase. The follicle prepares for the anagen phase again.
Smaller follicles will cause the anagen phase to shorten (hair has less time to grow) and the telogen phase to lengthen (a hair follicle will rest instead of producing more hair). This creates a gradual decline in overall hair regrowth, with hair thinning and eventually leading to hair loss.
Some men are more sensitive to DHT hair loss due to underlying genetics. Certain genes can cause DHT to bind more easily to androgen receptors, accelerating follicle shrinking. Thus, in order to prevent hair loss, the production of DHT must be blocked or its function restricted.
How is DHT Produced?
DHT is derived from testosterone, an androgen that leads to the male sex characteristics of the body such as deep voice, facial hair, or more muscle mass.
Testosterone is converted to DHT with the help of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme is stored in the oil glands of a hair follicle.
In order to stop DHT from attacking hair follicles, DHT must be blocked. However, this must occur without determining the amount of testosterone in the body. A decrease in testosterone could lead to a hormone imbalance.
This negative effect can be avoided while still reducing DHT by inhibiting the function of 5-alpha reductase or by blocking DHT from binding to the androgen receptors. There are many ways to naturally reduce DHT, some of which will be discussed below.
What are Natural DHT Blockers?
While DHT hair loss cannot be completely avoided, the good news is that there are many foods, vitamins, and supplements that may help slow down the progression of hair loss in men. Here are 3 natural DHT blockers which have been linked to a reduction in hair loss:
1. Saw Palmetto as a DHT blocker?
Saw palmetto is an extract derived from the berries of the saw palmetto palm tree (Serenoa repens). Research suggests saw palmetto may be able to inhibit the activity of 5-alpha reductase and can therefore function well as a DHT blocker food.
2. Olive oil
Like many oils, it has long been proven as a way to promote and maintain healthy hair growth. Research has shown that olive oil can play a role in the decrease of DHT.
Also, the topical application of olive oil has demonstrated a promotion in hair growth by stimulating the anagen phase in follicles.
Zinc has shown to be a potent inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase activity, blocking the production of DHT. The body cannot produce this trace element on its own, so it must be supplied through food and/or supplements. Too high of a dose of zinc can be damaging, so it is advised to monitor intake carefully.
Foods that contain zinc: oysters, shellfish, meats, baked beans, breakfast cereal, pumpkin seed oil
Coffee increases DHT and should be avoided
There are many nutrients that can be added to your diet or haircare routine to slow down the progress of male pattern baldness and block DHT production. One substance that you might want to consider avoiding is caffeine. A study suggests that chronic caffeine intake could actually lead to an increase in DHT.
Have you tried Dr. Balwi’s hair care products?
Thanks to a unique combination of ingredients, your hair receives the essential nutrients that nourish the roots and hair, and prevent loss. Our shampoos and sprays are highly concentrated in aloe vera and biotin. In addition, unlike ordinary hair care products, ours tackle the problem at the root. Because a stronger and vitalised scalp produces strong and, of course, silky hair!
What are the Side Effects of DHT Blockers?
Now that you know the benefits, it should be noted that there are some negative DHT blocker side effects to inhibiting its production and function, such as with using DHT blocker shampoo. It can also be blocked using chemical treatments such as Minoxidil or Finasteride, and Spironolactone can be used as a DHT blocker for women. While they are often considered the best DHT blocker solutions, there can be some more severe side effects, such as:
- Ejaculation problems
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Tenderness or excess fat in the breast area
So, is blocking DHT bad? With research suggesting that DHT blockers can slow down hair loss while potentially promoting regrowth, it seems a very reasonable solution if you are faced with this type of alopecia. To lessen risks, any treatment for DHT hair loss should always be discussed with your healthcare provider.
However, one should take note of the many negative side effects of such treatment options. Additionally, once you stop using DHT blockers, your hair will start falling out again. Hair surgery is the better alternative if you are looking to treat male pattern baldness permanently.
An effective method used to prevent hair loss is lessening the influence of DHT in hair follicles. In order to lessen the impact of DHT without causing a hormone imbalance, the production and/or binding function of DHT must therefore be blocked.
Many natural DHT blockers exist to serve as a way for you to restore your hair. But those come at the price of many negative side effects, unlike other more permanent solutions to stop male pattern baldness – such as a hair transplant.
Do you have any questions or are you suffering from hair loss issues? Then feel free to contact our friendly team who will answer all your queries. Furthermore, they can also offer a free and non-binding hair analysis!