What is DHT?
What is DHT (dihydrotestosterone), and how does it contribute to hair loss? That’s a question that many people who have thinning hair, and want to know what good options are available to treat it, should be asking. Dihydrotestosterone is an androgenic hormone in the body that is derived from testosterone. In adults, it is responsible for regulating male sexual function. The amount of the hormone in the body is directly related to a person’s genetics.
It is synthesized in the testes, prostate and adrenal gland by 5 alpha reductase, an enzyme also occurring naturally in the body. Androgenic Alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is the result of dihydrotestosterone interfering with hair follicles’ ability to absorb nutrients and causing miniaturization.
How does DHT affect hair growth?
For women, hair loss can be attributed to many different factors, and DHT may be only one possible cause for it. For men, male pattern baldness is directly attributed to how sensitive each man’s hair follicles are to the hormone. It can starve the follicles of vitamins and nutrients that are critical to healthy hair.
At a hair’s root is the dermal papilla. The dermal papilla makes hair grow, and also divides to create new hair follicles. When dihydrotestosterone attaches there, it begins to interfere with the follicle’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. Hair grows in phases, and then rests. Dihydrotestosterone can cause the resting phases to extend, and the growing phases to shorten in which case DHT needs to be blocked to avoid hair loss.
What is miniaturization, and how does it contribute to hair loss?
By blocking the vitamins and nutrients hair needs, dihydrotestosterone continues to shorten the hair’s growing phases until it reaches what is known as the vellus stage. Vellus hair is found all over the body, and is sometimes called “peach fuzz.” It is short, thin, and almost unnoticeable.
Miniaturization is a direct result of the dihydrotestosterone hormone, and eliminates healthy follicles. Depending upon which expert you choose, estimates calculate that between 93 to 98 percent of male pattern baldness is caused by this hormone blocking nutrients to healthy follicles.
Are there any ways to counter the effects of dihydrotestosterone?
While follicles that reach the vellus stage cannot, at present, be restored to healthy follicles, ones that are healthy, or in the beginning stages of decline have shown resilience when treated. The goal of a DHT shampoo, for instance, is to suppress the dihydrotestosterone in the body, or prevent it from attaching to the dermal papilla, which allows hair to grow naturally and retain the vital nutrients and vitamins it needs to be healthy.
One method of treatment is internal, and attempts to suppress the creation of dihydrotestosterone through medication or a DHT Blocker that mitigates the 5 alpha reductase enzyme deficiency that increases the amount of the hormone in the body. Another option is topical treatment for the hair follicles like ointments, follicle stimulators and shampoos. With these, the risks of side effects are less severe, and treatment can be supplemented with a direct infusion of vitamins and minerals that promote growth.
Hair loss does not have to be inevitable. With an understanding of the cause for it, consumers can find treatments that work. Finding a treatment to suppress or eliminate DHT in the follicle can prevent further loss, and using supplement, minerals and vitamins for hair growth can help maintain healthy, full-bodied hair.