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can dht blockers stop a hair loss ?

The Ultimate Guide to DHT Blockers

Discover what a DHT blocker is, how they work and how they relate to hair loss, the different types, who they’re for and the alternative to DHT blockers. We explore the ins and outs to answer your common questions and help you navigate solutions to stop male pattern baldness.


  1. What Is DHT?
  2. What Are DHT Blockers and How Do They Work?
  3. What Are Natural DHT Blockers?
  4. Side Effects of DHT Blockers
  5. Who Are DHT Blockers For?
  6. How Long Does It Take DHT Blockers To Work?
  7. Alternatives to DHT Blockers

What Is DHT?

hair loss issues are mainly caused by male hormone imbalances

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen derived from the male sex hormone testosterone, and it leads to the male 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.

Follicle miniaturisation occurs when DHT binds to androgen receptors in hair follicles. Smaller follicles will cause the anagen hair growth 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.

What Are DHT Blockers and How Do They Work?

DHT blockers are treatments (medicine, shampoos, and natural foods) that stop DHT attacking the hair follicles and making them shrink. In order to stop DHT from attacking hair follicles, DHT must be blocked. However, this blockage occurs without knowing 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.

Types of DHT blockers

The two main types are blockers (preventing DHT from binding to 5-AR receptors) and inhibitors (reducing the production of DHT in your body). There are many different forms of DHT blockers such as prescription medicine, shampoos and conditioners and natural foods and supplements. 

DHT blocker tablets are available on prescription but come with their own risks and potential side effects:

  • Finasteride: an oral tablet prescribed to reduce the effect of male pattern baldness 
  • Dutasteride: an oral tablet prescribed for men to reduce hair loss 
  • Minoxidil (Regaine): tablet or lotion that can be used on the scalp.
  • Biotin: taken orally or from foods such as egg yolks, nuts and whole grains

What Are Natural DHT Blockers?

dry saw palmetto herbs can be used as a DHT blocker

There are many ways to naturally reduce DHT, and 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 three natural DHT blockers which have been linked to a reduction in hair loss:

  • Saw palmetto: 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.
  • 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: 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

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.

Side Effects of DHT Blockers

There are some negative DHT blocker side effects to understand. 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
  • Rash

Research suggests that DHT blockers can slow down hair loss while potentially promoting regrowth, so it may seem 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, the negative side effects of such treatment options shouldn’t be ignored. 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.

Who Are DHT Blockers For?

DHT blockers are aimed at men looking for treatment for hair thinning and male pattern baldness.

Females should avoid most DHT blockers, although Spironolactone can be used as a DHT blocker for women. DHT blockers should also not be used if you’re under 18 or over 65 years of age, or if you’re due a blood test for prostate-specific antigens, if you have high blood pressure, have any allergies to the ingredients, or if you have a scalp condition such as psoriasis. 

How Long Does It Take DHT Blockers To Work?

There are many different forms of DHT blockers, but a treatment for hair loss such as Finasteride (Propecia) can take from three to six months before any effect is seen. Even if taken daily.

Alternatives to DHT Blockers

If you suffer from hair loss issues, there are alternatives to DHT blockers and the risks associated with them.
Elithair has a team of medical advisors and a thorough 6 step process to help assess the best hair loss treatment for you and your wellbeing.

We also offer a range of products to assist in your hair restoration. Book your free consultation and hair analysis to find a permanent solution to your male pattern baldness.