All about DHT

What is DHT?

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that plays a significant role in male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia. This condition is characterized by a receding hairline and thinning hair on the top of the head. It is a common form of hair loss that affects both men and women, although it is more prevalent in men.

It is a derivative of testosterone, the male sex hormone and is produced when testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. DHT is found in high levels in the scalp and is responsible for the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, such as facial hair and a deeper voice.

What issues can DHT cause?

DHT can also have negative effects on the hair follicles. It can cause the hair follicles to shrink, resulting in thinner and shorter hairs. This process is known as miniaturization. As the hair follicles continue to shrink, they eventually stop producing hair altogether, leading to hair loss.

The effects of DHT on the hair follicles can be seen in areas of the scalp where the hormone is most active, such as the front, top, and crown of the head. These are the areas where male pattern baldness is most common.

A man experiencing male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness is thought to be hereditary, and studies have shown that people with a family history of the condition are more likely to develop it. The gene that is responsible for the production of 5-alpha-reductase is passed down from the parents, so if a person has a parent with male pattern baldness, they may be more likely to develop the condition themselves.

Treatment options:

There are several treatments available to help slow or stop the effects of DHT on the hair follicles. One of the most common treatments is minoxidil, which is available over the counter as a topical solution. Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, which can help stimulate hair growth.

An image of tablets

Another treatment option is finasteride, which is a prescription medication that is taken orally. Finasteride works by inhibiting the production of 5-alpha-reductase, which helps to decrease the levels of DHT in the scalp. This can help slow or stop the miniaturization of the hair follicles and may even help regrow hair in some cases.

In addition to these treatments, there are several lifestyle changes that can help slow or stop the effects of DHT on the hair follicles. These include maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and avoiding stress. It is also important to avoid harsh hair care products, as these can damage the hair and make it more prone to breakage.

Woman making a smoothie in a blender

Another more holistic approach to treating hair loss is using a hair growth vitamin or serum, which can improve the health of your hair and in turn, can aid new growth. A great option for this can be found here, as it helps to naturally block DHT from damaging the hair follicles and provides a range of vitamins to sustain the health of your hair.

A variety of vitamin tablets

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