DHT is a sex hormone that is responsible for male characteristics such as body hair. However, excess DHT may cause hair loss in men – especially those genetically prone to male pattern baldness.
DHT is also believed to be a leading cause of baldness. DHT binds to the hormone receptors present on the hair follicles, which causes a change in the hair growth cycle and results in hair loss.
What is a DHT Blocker?
A DHT blocker is a substance or a compound that can help inhibit the production of DHT in the body or help stop the build-up of DHT in the scalp. For a more detailed understanding, here’s an article on everything you need to know of DHT Blockers.
DHT blocking foods are effective to reduce DHT levels in your scalp naturally.
Some common DHT blockers are-
DHT blocking food
Here’s a complete guide on DHT blocking food to naturally control & reduce DHT levels in your scalp through diet. Keep reading.
Food for DHT Blockers
DHT Blockers exist to combat this problem. As the name suggests, it “blocks” or slows down DHT in men, thus combating potential hair loss. Many different foods act as DHT Blockers.
These foods can be put into three groups:
Foods rich in Zinc, Lycopene rich foods and Lysine rich foods.
Apart from these 3 food groups it is also important to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins as vitamins play a crucial role in ensuring the health of hair.
These vitamins can be obtained through the list of foods mentioned below or in the form of DHT blocking vitamin supplements that can be taken orally with food. DHT blocking vitamins are another way to reduce DHT levels in the scalp naturally.
Foods rich in Zinc
Spinach as a DHT blocker
Spinach is a vegetable rich in zinc. This means it contains phytosterol, which blocks DHT production and reduces areas on the scalp and hair follicles to which DHT can attach itself.
White Mushroom as a DHT blocker
Like spinach, white mushrooms are rich in zinc and contain phytosterol. It also contains vitamin D and pantothenic acid, which help in growing thick hair on the scalp.
Kale as a DHT blocker
Kale is another vegetable containing phytosterol to block off DHT. It also contains Isothiocyanates which play a primary role in detoxifying excess hormones from the body.
Lycopene rich foods:
Lycopene is a plant nutrient with antioxidant properties.
Benefits of Lycopene-
Lycopene rich foods act as DHT blockers in the following ways.
- Inhibits DHT production.
- Controlling sensitivity of the skin to DHT
Some fruits rich in lycopene:
- pink grapefruits
Most vegetables with pink and red color pigments are also a rich source of Lycopene.
It is advised to always eat these foods rich in lycopene in their raw state to naturally reduce DHT levels in the scalp. Cooking and exposure to heat reduce these foods’ nutritional content.
Here is how the aforementioned food items help in curbing DHT production and ensure hair growth:
Banana as a DHT blocker
Bananas are a great source of biotin, which is a B vitamin that helps in hair growth. Bananas also have potassium, which helps the circulatory system efficiently provide nutrients to the scalp. They also contain FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that helps to reduce DHT overproduction.
Mango as a DHT blocker
Mangoes contain lycopene which inhibits DHT by regulating or inhibiting 5 alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. Mangoes thus naturally block DHT production in the scalp.
Tomato as a DHT blocker
“Are tomatoes good for hair growth?” Is a very commonly asked question. And the answer to that is- ABSOLUTELY YES!
Lycopene in tomatoes inhibits the DHT by regulating or inhibiting 5 alpha reductase. Antioxidants in tomatoes help to fight cells causing damage to the hair follicles. Beta-carotene helps to supply nutrients to the scalp for hair growth.
Beetroot as a DHT blocker
Eating beetroot for hair growth has proven to be extremely effective. Again, like all other foods with red pigment- beetroot is rich in lycopene and this makes it an extremely effective DHT blocker. Beetroots are known to naturally reduce DHT levels in the scalp.
Lysine rich foods
Most seeds and nuts commonly found are rich in lysine. This makes them extremely effective in controlling DHT levels of the scalp.
Benefits of Lysine.
Lysine rich foods act as DHT blockers in the following ways.
- Helps Inhibit DHT production.
- Helps Control sensitivity of the skin to DHT
Some examples of the same are- flax seeds, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds.
Flax seed as a DHT blocker
The alpha-linolenic acid found in flax seed can help block the enzyme that creates DHT in the body. By preventing DHT from shrinking hair follicles, flax seed helps prevent hair loss. The omega-3 fatty acids can also assist the body with forms of stress, preventing another major cause of baldness. Telogen effluvium is the scientific name for a form of hair loss due to stress, and flax seeds can help fight this. Flax seeds thus serve as an effective DHT blocker and hair loss combatant.
Peanuts & DHT blocking: Are peanuts good for the hair?
Yes, peanuts are extremely good for the hair. Peanuts contain L-Lysine and Biotin.
Both act as natural DHT inhibitors and they are also a heart-healthy source of protein, unusually rich in Folate and Molybdenum. These naturally reduce DHT levels in the scalp.
Folate and Molybdenum help scalp follicles utilize the Iron and Copper needed to grow healthy hair. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats which help keep hair follicles nourished by a healthy cardiovascular system.
You can now eat your salt free peanuts guilt free as peanuts are extremely good for the hair.
Pumpkin Seeds as DHT blockers
Pumpkin seeds act as DHT blockers due to the presence of two compounds.
- The first is the phytosterol beta-sitosterol, which has been shown to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that is responsible for converting beneficial testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
- The second is a steroid called that is much less powerful than DHT. The steroid helps block DHT by specifically competing with it at the cell receptor sites where it does its damage, such as at hair follicles and in the prostate gland.
Coffee as a DHT blocker
The caffeine in coffee can help stimulate hair growth and stop hair loss.
A 2007 lab study found that caffeine helped block the effects of DHT in male hair follicles.
It even resulted in longer, wider hair roots. It also prolonged the anagen duration, which is the hair growth stage.
Coffee helps in DHT blocking and coffee is an effective DHT blocker.
Boiled egg & DHT blocking- Is boiled egg good for the hair?
Boiled egg is good for the hair.
Egg white contains avidin (protein) that binds to biotin.
Eggs contain cysteine, a key amino acid for hair growth & found in hair keratin.
Boiled or cooked eggs act more as DHT blocker than raw ones.
Green Tea & DHT blocking- Green Tea for Hair loss
Green tea contains high amounts of the plant compound EGCG, which supports hair growth by blocking DHT from damaging hair follicles.
Black Tea & DHT blocking- Black Tea for Hair loss
The major chemical constituents of tea are the polyphenols and the predominant polyphenols are catechins.
The catechins have antioxidant properties due to which these catechins exhibit DHT inhibiting properties.
Both black tea and green tea act as effective DHT blockers and help with hair loss.
Green tea and black tea are extremely good for the hair.
Alongside your diet, use other DHT blockers such as a DHT blocking shampoo to completely reduce DHT.
Soya Beans or Soy Protein for Hair
Soybeans and other Soy Isoflavones play a very important role in curbing DHT of the scalp. Isoflavones derived from soy act as effective hair growth agents. Soy isoflavones are organic compounds that work like phytoestrogens. They push DHT out of the hair follicles, reducing DHT accumulation.
The activity of isoflavones competes with DHT at the sites in the hair follicles. That means less DHT accumulates in the hair follicles which will leave more space for nutrients from the blood to pass through and nourish the hair follicles thereby promoting hair growth.
Edamame Beans as DHT blockers
A imbalance of the hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is said to contribute to hair loss.
Eating soy-rich foods like edamame beans and tempeh, inhibits the formation DHT.
Edamame beans is rich in iron, omega-3, vitamin B2, magnesium and having 75 gms of soy a week will certainly help curb the excess production of DHT in the scalp.
Turmeric as DHT blocker
Turmeric has a high concentration of active compounds called curcuminoids. This compound helps control DHT levels in the scalp. Clinical studies have demonstrated that curcumin lowers DHT levels by blocking the action of the alpha-5 reductase enzyme. Including Turmeric in its natural state ( uncooked) will most certainly help keep the DHT levels in check.
Edible Powders or Churna for Hair
Apart from Foods there are other Natural herbs that help control DHT related hair loss.
These herbs can be consumed as powder, mixed with milk or water or made into churna balls.
Some of the most effective edible herbs in fighting DHT related issues and promoting hair growth are-
Ashwagandha for hair- Ashwagandha powder or ashwagandha churna can be used to improve the health of hair. This herb works as an adaptogen and helps balance out hormones in the male body. An excess of testosterone can be handled using daily dosage of ashwagandha. Want to know more about how to take ashwagandha for hair?
Shatavari for hair- Shatavari is yet another powerful herb that can help stregthen the hair shaft and the hair follicles.
Jatamansi for hair- One of the most powerful herbs in ayurveda for hair is Jatamansi. Here’s everything you need to know about how to use Jatamansi for Hair
Looking for a complete list of herbs? Here is the list
How much Lycopene to block DHT?
Inorder to solve DHT related hair loss ensure you are consuming atleast 2 portions of foods rich in lycopene daily. This over time will help curb the lycopene production by the body enabling growth of new hair follicles.