Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenic Alopecia has become a common ailment nowadays. Losing hair at any age is a nightmare. Men, let’s be honest. All of us have searched on google on how we can prevent hair loss. There is so much information ranging from home remedies to Ayurvedic treatments to allopathy. However, most of this information is not backed by extensive research. Interestingly, that’s not the case for DHT. Sensitivity to DHT is one of the most common causes of hair loss or male pattern baldness.
In modern science, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) has been studied and has a statical significance in resulting in hair loss for men. In some studies, DHT inhibitors are believed to have helped 88% of men with their hair loss in a controlled experiment
What is dihydro-testosterone (DHT)?
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen that is catalyzed by the 5-α reductase enzyme. In simpler words, it’s a byproduct of testosterone. DHT is an important hormone that is responsible for forming male sexual organs and other physical functions of men.
Research has found that in people who are genetically susceptible to male pattern baldness, there’s a significantly higher chance that they also have a higher amount of 5-α reductase enzyme that converts a higher amount of testosterone into DHT.
Now the challenge with high levels of DHT is that it disrupts the hair growth cycle. In the cycle of a single hair’s growth, there are 4 stages: Anagen (growing) , Catagen (transitional), Telogen (resting) & Exogen (shedding phase). When DHT builds up in the hair follicles over time, DHT shrinks the growth phase of the hair follicle. And once this process begins, usually on the front of your hairline, it spreads across the scalp and follicles over time. This makes it more difficult for hair follicles to grow.
How do I know if I have high DHT levels in my body?
To get to know your DHT levels, you will have to take a blood test or a saliva panel test at a clinic. This test is not commonly available and you will need to consult your doctor on where you can get this test done. If you are worried about your DHT purely with regard to your male pattern baldness, we recommend you speak directly with a dermatologist. Dermatologists are trained to identify male pattern baldness and will direct you on the necessary steps.
Excess DHT can cause excess hair fall.
How do DHT blockers work?
DHT blockers are the most common form of tackling male pattern baldness. DHT blockers essentially slow down the production of DHT in your body and enable your follicles to grow through a healthy growth phase. Studies have shown DHT blockers to be the most efficient way to tackle hair loss in men with significantly strong results.
What are some effective ways to consume DHT Blockers?
DHT blockers prevent DHT from sticking to hair follicles in the scalp. DHT blockers can be taken orally as well. DHT blockers come in multiple forms. Finasteride is a great option if you want to opt for an oral DHT blocker. Finasteride is the most effective form, but there are other ways you can get DHT as well.
These come in the form of food, shampoo, oils, vitamins and supplements or medicines.
DHT Blockers in food
There are several foods that are natural DHT blockers because of their high zinc levels. Zinc contains a compound called phytosterol that blocks DHT. Some examples of food that meet this criteria is:
DHT Blockers in shampoo
DHT Blocking shampoos are getting increasingly common today and you’ll find many of them in the market. DHT blocking shampoos help in avoiding hair loss. They create an environment that is more conducive to hair growth. They have the potential to block DHT in the scalp and prevent the shrinking of hair follicles. There are many options to choose from. If you are looking to buy a DHT blocking shampoo, check the ingredients first. Not all components are equally effective. Try and use ingredients that have proven to be effective.Shampoos with DHT blockers usually come with these ingredients:
- Caffeine – This ingredient counteracts DHT by the inhibition of another hormone, phosphodiesterase. Caffeine is researched and found to be very useful in reducing the effects of DHT on hair
- Saw Palmetto – Studies have shown Saw Palmetto has shown effects of reducing DHT
- Ketoconazole – It’s known that ketoconazole has a significant impact on reducing hair loss in certain studies and has both properties that are DHT blocking as well as improving the androgenic phase of hair growth
DHT Blockers using Finasteride – Most effective
Finally, there’s no doubt that the most effective way to block DHT for men is using Finasteride. This, along with Minoxidil, is known to be the most effective way to fight hair loss among men according to the American Academy of Dermatology journal
Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase that has significant impact on DHT. It’s been studied in depth and found to be very effective. In fact, in some studies, up to 60% of men notice hair regrowth after 3 months of taking finasteride daily.