Warning signs of balding: your drain is clogged with a clump of hair every morning when you shower, your hair is getting thinner, and you see your forehead getting bigger. This makes you stress over what causes it. Is it stress? Poor lifestyle? Bad eating habits? Maybe it has to do with age? Or is it your genetic imprint?
Scientifically, most hair loss in men is primarily caused by dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. This can eventually progress to male pattern baldness when not properly managed. For the most part, hair loss is more common in men but there is also such thing as female pattern baldness and it can be upsetting too.
Preventing hair loss is about balancing hormones and controlling the amount of DHT in our body. The concept of DHT could be a bit overwhelming, but it gets simple once you understand how your body produces DHT and how DHT affects the hair follicles.
Below, we will cover what DHT is, how DHT occurs and functions in our body, and the necessary measures to counteract them from causing negative effects on your hairline. We’ll also talk about the best ingredients to look for when choosing a shampoo with DHT blockers.
What is DHT?
DHT, short term used for dihydrotestosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on your head. Your body produces DHT testosterone combine with 5α-Reductase enzyme. This enzyme converts almost 10% of the testosterone in an adult’s body into DHT each day. And unfortunately, DHT wants those hair follicles on your head dead and your hair to fall out.
If you are genetically programmed for male pattern baldness, DHT plays an important role when you start losing hair. Your hair follicles have unique receptors in them. When DHT flows around, it fits right into these receptors. When DHT clogs into these receptors, this limits the ability of the hair follicle to absorb nutrients and minerals. This ultimately deprives the hair follicles of the protein they need in order to grow. DHT basically starves the hair. It weakens them, causing them to shrink and eventually die out. And when a hair follicle dies, there’s no way it can grow back new hair. It just stops.
Interestingly, DHT is also the same hormone responsible for making men resemble basic male features. DHT is a powerful male hormone responsible for things like forming the male genitalia during pregnancy. It fuels hair growth in areas of the body such as the chest, back, and beard.
What Causes High DHT Levels in Females?
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Developing bald spots on the head and having a thinner crown are some of the symptoms. This condition is called androgenetic alopecia, generally known as male or female pattern baldness. Thus, balding caused by genetics is not limited to the guys. Although testosterone is considered a male sex hormone, the ladies produce traces of testosterone in their bodies and can be affected by DHT as well.
The hormonal process of testosterone forming DHT happens in both men and women. Testosterone and DHT level are directly related. As testosterone levels in the blood increases, more of it is also DHT-converted, resulting in higher levels of DHT. This could be a result of hormonal imbalance in women.
Too much DHT may result in increased body, facial, and pubic hair growth in women. It may also cause irregular periods, acne, mood swings, and of course thinning hair. Hair thinning is the symptom we will discuss in the next section and provide solutions for men and women to reverse it.
Should You Block DHT?
Hair shedding is a part of every day life. Yes, it clogs the drains and it turns your carpet into a hairy rug. But hair loss is totally normal. On average, we lose around 80 hair strands daily. But if you notice that you are shedding hair significantly more than that and nothing grows back, it’s time to take action. It is important to remember that while poor diet and overstress can have significant effects on your hair, hair loss is more likely caused by DHT and how your body reacts to it.
You already know that DHT primarily causes much of this hair fall in men and women. And using DHT blockers to stop its negative effects will help you. The best way to start blocking DHT is to find a good pair of shampoo and conditioner that can block DHT in your scalp. Make them a part of your anti-hair loss stack and use regularly to see great results.
Which Anti-DHT Shampoo Ingredients are Effective?
DHT blockers come in different types. Over the last few years, the DHT hair care industry has grown with hair products giving the same promises of putting hair loss to stop. But to look for a good and effective one, you need to look at the ingredients. Some shampoos contain natural or pharmaceutical ingredients designed to block DHT.
Common DHT-blocking ingredients you will find in shampoos are chemical compounds such as finasteride and ketoconazole. These compounds help block DHT and help you stop hair loss. But the downside is your scalp may develop dependence to it. When you stop using it, your hair follicles may react differently and affect its natural functions.
Try finding shampoos infused with natural DHT blockers. Natural ingredients are safer and less harmful to your health. Great examples of natural DHT blockers are green tea extract, rosemary extract, saw palmetto, and fenugreek extract. They are also the best choices if you want to avoid some toxic side effects.
Some DHT blocking Shampoos also contain vitamins and other natural ingredients that promote hair growth. These ingredients work synergistically with DHT blockers by nourishing the hair follicles with nutrients needed for hair growth.
Biotin is a known hair growth agent you can find in some DHT blocker shampoos. Effective plant extracts that nourish the hair for better hair growth include castor oil, helichrysum extract, and jojoba oil. Other shampoos may also have anti-hair fall ingredients in them such as aloe vera. Aloe vera improves the strength and moisture level of your hair. While the DHT blockers stop hair loss, these added natural hair growth ingredients increase your hair volume. They nourish your hair and scalp, providing added benefits.
If you want to block DHT and restore healthy hair growth, you will want to look for shampoos that contain at least two of the active ingredients mentioned above, or more preferably a blend of several ingredients known to affect DHT levels and hair growth.
Last Hope to Hold Your Hairline
Ideally, the earlier you start using DHT blockers, the more successful you will be in avoiding further hair loss.
Statistics show that 20% of men may experience significant hair loss upon the age of 20. And that percentage grows proportional to the age. So 30% of men will experience it in their 30s, 40% in 40s, and so on.
While very significant in men, women are also susceptible to hair loss due to certain changes in body chemistry. For women, up to 5% of under 30 and 60% of those over the age of 70 are affected by hair loss. If you see signs of excessive hair fall that could potentially lead to hair loss, it is best to do something to stop it before you lose every hair strand on your head.