You may see the word DHT all over the internet and you may be unsure if it applies to you or not.
If you suffer from hair loss, then it does.
Many researchers concluded DHT is the number one reason why we can suffer from hair loss. Although it’s inevitable, it can be prevented.
This concept is easy to understand. This article lays down the foundation of DHT and how to overcome its effects.
What Is DHT?
Dihydrotestosterone(DHT) is the derivative of the male sex hormone testosterone. Women also have small traces of this hormone which makes DHT the main reason why they suffer from hair loss.
Testosterone converts to DHT with the help of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. DHT is seen in male’s puberty process through facial, axillary pubic and body hair growth.
This conversion is more prominent when we age.
What is DHT Good for?
Our body produces DHT naturally so there has to be a reason why we need it. A normal level of DHT is found mostly to benefit men through the puberty process. It helps with the growth of the prostate and body hair.
Other benefits of DHT include:
- It helps control blood sugar
- Increases memory
- Increases strength for men
- Effective in treating autoimmune diseases
- Maintains a healthy cognitive function
- It can help treat anxiety and depression
- Promotes bone growth
Effects of Elevated DHT Levels
The number one effect high DHT levels have on our body is it causes hair loss. Elevated DHT has other negative effects that may not be good for our health. These consist of:
- It can cause prostate cancer
- It can cause breast cancer
- Women are more likely to inherit depression
- It can spread acne
- It can cause a male-like hair growth in women
Why Does DHT Cause Hair Loss?
When testosterone converts to DHT it harms the hair follicle. DHT thrives of damaged or dead follicles as it gives them a place to live inside. DHT gets attached to the receptors of the follicle which stunts hair growth.
There are three stages of hair growth:
- The Anagen is the growth phase
- Catagen lasts for two weeks in which it allows the hair follicle to renew itself
- Telogen is known as the resting phase where the hair follicle remains dormant for one to four months
Thereafter the cycle begins again.
DHT interrupts this cycle causing great amounts of hair loss. When the hair follicle is harmed through the conversion process the anagen phase is reduced significantly where the new hair growth doesn’t peak through the surface.
The telogen phase is extended. The hair that is on the scalp is not secure and strong this makes it easier for the hair strand to fall out.
Hair becomes thinner when the follicles become smaller. Eventually, vellus hair will grow out which is the same texture and feel of babies’ hair.
What Is DHT Blockers?
DHT blockers are all those methods employed which reduce the effects of elevated DHT levels in our body. These methods have one primary aim which is to prevent DHT from miniaturizing or damaging hair follicles. The two ways can be through the foods you consume or the products used.
The products can be in the form of pills or shampoo. When people mention DHT blockers they associate it with any product that works to:
- Lower baseline production of DHT
- Reduce production of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase that converts to DHT
- Prevent DHT from attaching to the hair receptors of the hair follicles
- Reduce cholesterol which contributes to enzyme 5 reductase
- Purify the scalp and remove any excess sebum & DHT
The main ingredients found in DHT blockers include:
- Beta-sitosterol has a powerful androgenic property which blocks existing DHT and prevents their transformation
- L-Lysine slows down hair loss and in some cases reverses it & starts hair growth again
- Saw palmetto has several active ingredients which inhibit the 5 alpha-reductase type 2
- Green tea extract reduces the testosterone concentration and DHT in the bloodstream
There are so many DHT blockers on the market. You may need to test the different brands. When you find the one perfect for you it’ll make a difference to your hair growth.
Food as DHT Blockers?
Most natural foods are good for our health. There are some foods that have proven to negate the effects of DHT in our system. These foods and their associated vitamins are so effective they’re found in DHT blocker products.
If you want to slow down hair loss and prevent the effects of DHT you must certain food. It’ll boost your entire immune system which is perfect for combating those DHT effects that aren’t related to hair loss.
Which Food Groups Help Reduce the Effects Of DHT?
Most of these foods are what you already eat on a daily basis. They’re very easy to find do you to eat and slow down hair loss.
Pumpkin seeds contain the detta 7 stearine steroid which blocks DHT build up in the hair follicle.
Lycopene which is found in tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, and mangoes regulates or inhibits the 5 alpha reductase.
Foods that are rich in Zinc such as spinach, kale, cashews, wheat germ and cooked white mushrooms are also DHT inhibitors. They limit the DHT conversion and built up in the hair follicle.
Biotin found in berries, wheat germ, bananas, peanuts, legumes, cooked eggs, tuna, salmon and swiss chard conditions the scalp & remove DHT. They provide a healthy environment for your hair to grow thick and strong. Biotin also facilitates a proper hair growth cycle.
This vitamin also has fatty acids and DHA which supports healthy hair, eyes & brain function.
This basic information is sufficient for you to implement into your daily life. It’s never too late to promote healthy follicles for your hair to grow thick. As you age your hair will be as healthy as it is now.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is the freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.