What is DHT:
If you are learning about hair loss in your battle against it then you should have seen the three letters “DHT” before. But what is DHT and how does it affect hair loss, and how can we use the information we have from years of research in order to stimulate and sustain hair growth? Those are the questions we will be exploring below. So sit tight and get ready to learn one of the most important topics related to hair loss!
DHT stands for Dihydrotestosterone and is a sex hormone that is converted from Testosterone with the aid of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
DHT, Testosterone, and Hairloss:
The predominance of Testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts, was previously thought to be the main cause of hair loss. This is probably where the concept that “people who are balding have high levels of testosterone in their body” came from. However, recent studies have shown that even though testosterone is at the core of the balding process, the main culprit of hair loss is actually DHT.
If you’re genetically susceptible to hair loss, DHT can bind to receptors in your hair follicles (and scalp area) and cause them to shrink, weaken and eventually die. This process is called ‘miniaturization,’ and it ultimately leads to a complete end of hair growth in DHT-affected hair follicles. Since DHT is the primary hormone responsible for hair loss in men, the most effective way to slow down and prevent hair loss is to reduce the amounts of DHT around the affected hair follicles which can be achieved using DHT Blockers.
The hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women. Under normal conditions, women have a small fraction of the level of testosterone that men have, but in women, even a lower level can cause DHT- triggered hair loss.
Yes, when testosterone levels rise, DHT levels are thus elevated and the problem becomes bigger. DHT levels can be elevated and be within what doctors consider “normal range” on a blood test, but they may be high enough to cause a problem in regards to the hair follicles. The levels may not rise at all and still be a problem if you have the kind of body chemistry that is overly sensitive to even regular levels of chemicals, including hormones.
Blocking DHT to Promote Hairgrowth (Follicular Level)
You can slow down and help prevent hair loss at the follicular level by using topical DHT blockers such as DHT-blocking shampoos or DHT-blocking hair spray to keep DHT off your hair follicles. This method is most effective, but it doesn’t completely block the DHT from binding to receptors inside your scalp area.
The second major method in lowering DHT levels is to consume medication, supplements, and/or food that are intended to block DHT from forming inside the body. This is more effective in lowering the DHT levels in the scalp area.
Medication (Scalp Level):
One of the effective methods for blocking DHT is to block it at the source by using medication. Drugs like finasteride are made to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT by binding to the 5α-Reductase enzyme, preventing your body from producing any DHT which means less DHT is now available to bind and negatively impact hair follicles. While factors like stress and diet can have a significant effect on your hair, your hair loss is most likely caused by a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone or DHT.
Supplements (Scalp Level):
Supplementation can also be used as another method to block the Reductase enzyme which converts Testosterone to DHT thus effectively lowering the production of DHT.
The best DHT Blocking supplements (DHT-Blockers):
- Saw Palmetto Berry Extract
- Green Tea Leaf Extract
- Stinging Nettle Root(Urtica dioicia)
- Grape Seed Extract(Vitis vinifera)
- Pygeum Bark (Pygeum africanum)
- Pumpkin Seed Extract (Curcubita maxima)
- horsetail extract
- Nettle extract
Natural Food (Scalp Level)
If you are not a fan of medication or supplements you can try the food listed below that act naturally to block the conversion of Testosterone to DHT internally/at the scalp level.
Top 10 Foods That Block DHT and Promote Hair growth:
1. Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto works by stopping the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of dihydrotestosterone are associated with hair loss, while high levels of testosterone are associated with hair growth. As the conversion is blocked, testosterone levels increase. This can reduce hair loss and sometimes promotes hair regrowth through the increased testosterone levels. Dosage is usually recommended at 160 mg twice a day.
2. Pygeum (Prunus Africana): This blocks 5-alpha reductase enzyme from converting testosterone to DHT.
3. Nettle Root: This is another herb that blocks the 5-alpha reductase enzyme from converting testosterone to DHT.
4. Pumpkin Seeds: They contain a steroid called delta-7 stearine, which blocks DHT buildup in the hair follicle, so DHT is not able to affect the hair follicle.
5. Tomatoes, Watermelon, Carrots, and Mangoes: These contain lycopene which inhibits DHT naturally by inhibiting 5 alpha-reductase, from converting testosterone into its most active form, DHT.
6. Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pecans: These are rich in L-lysine which is a natural DHT inhibitor.
7. Spinach, Kale, Cashews, Wheat Germ: These are high in zinc, a known DHT inhibitor.
8. Cooked White Mushrooms.
9. Green Tea: Has been shown to reduce DHT blood levels significantly.
10. Fenugreek: This is another inhibitor of the conversion of testosterone to DHT
The Best Way to Prevent Hairloss and Promote Hair growth:
It is agreed that the best method of attack in your battle against hair loss and towards hair growth is to use a combination of topical DHT blockers that work on blocking DHT at the follicular level in conjunction with using internal DHT blockers that work on blocking DHT at the scalp level. As always, consult your doctor before starting any medication or treatment.
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