DHT Hair Loss in Men: What Is DHT Hair Loss & How to Treat It?
Hair loss in men can be attributed to a wide variety of issues including things like stress, poor diet, dandruff, lifestyle choices,and genetics. Primarily, however, hair loss in most men is caused by a steroid hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). While that might sound like a complicated “science term” understanding how it affects your receding hairline is fairly simple. All you have to do is look into how your body produces it and what it has to do with your hair follicles.
What is DHT and What Does it Have to do With Your Hair?
Simply put, dihydrotestosterone or DHT as it is commonly abbreviated, is an androgen that is produced as a byproduct of testosterone. In men, DHT is responsible for quite a number of important factors such as the formation of male genitalia during pregnancy.
DHT is primarily produced in your body as a byproduct of testosterone. Thisis done through an enzyme that is responsible for converting a small percentage of testosterone to DHT called the “5α-Reductase enzyme”. Thisis typically done in major tissues such as your prostate, liver, skin and hair follicles.
If your genes make you susceptible to hair loss, this DHT will bind to the receptors in your hair follicles and make them weak, shrunken or dead through a process called “miniaturization.” Eventually, miniaturization brings hair growth in DHT affected follicles to a complete stop.
What is interesting, however, is that the very same hormone (DHT) that is responsible for a complete stop in hair growth is also a very important hair growth hormone. While it might cause balding, DHT also fuels hair growth on your back, chest and other areas of your body.
How Can You Treat Hair Loss From DHT?
It would stand to reason that since DHT causes hair loss in men the best way to prevent this is to stop DHT. The problem is that DHT is not the only cause of hair loss in balding men. In many cases, genetics come into play. But, let’s for a moment assume that in your case the only issue is the high levels of DHT in your system. How can you prevent hair loss by stopping DHT?
Thankfully, the procedure for stopping DHT is simple enough. All you have to do is attack it at the follicle level by using DHT blocking sprays or shampoo. Although this is highly effective when it comes to keeping DHT off your hair follicles, it doesn’t exactly do much to keep it from binding with the hair follicle receptors within your scalp. For this, you would have to go to the source.
You can block DHT at the source by taking drugs that are designed to block the process that converts a percentage of your testosterone into DHT. This effectively prevents your body from producing DHT in the first place.
What Happens When You Block DHT Production?
What you need to remember here is that DHT production is a natural bodily function that is there for a reason and blocking it will probably have some side effects. Thankfully, however, blocking DHT does not have severe or even noticeable side effects for most men. These lucky men often just go on their merry way with thicker, healthier and a fuller head of hair.
However, there are those unlucky few who experience negative side effects from using DHT blockers. Some of those side effects include:
- Higher levels of testosterone:tomany, they maythink this sounds like a good thing because testosterone is one of those hormones that make men, men! The problem is that this increase in testosterone levels comes with its own side effects such as increased aggression and irritability. Also, if you are a professional athlete, this spike in testosterone levels might get you on a watch list for banned substances.
- Weak erections:this side effect alone is enough to get most men to say they are okay with the hair loss. There have been reports of this rare side effect in men who use DHT blocking drugs such as finasteride.
- Lower sex drive:this goes without saying; when you get weaker erections your sex drive isn’t exactly going to be through the roof.
It should be stated that while these negative side effects sound scary and are enough to make many run for the hills and let their receding hairlines be, the truth is that they only occur in a very small percentage of men who use DHT blocking drugs. The vast majority do not report these side effects and actually get their hair back.
Do These DHT Blockers Actually Work?
It is natural for you to be skeptical of all this, but the truth is that DHT blockers doactually work. There was a study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology which found that drugs such as finasteride or minoxidil promote hair growth in men who are genetically susceptible to DHT and hair loss.
Actually, as opposed to just stopping the hair loss occasioned by the DHT attacking the receptors on your hair follicles in your scalp, these drugs can actually spur future hair growth and give you back that receding hairline.
Should You Use DHT Blockers?
Thisreally all depends on you and how badly you want to stop that hair loss. While these DHT blockers have been scientifically proven to work, there is that small matter of the possible negative side effects to consider. Increased testosterone levels, lower sex drive,and weaker erections are no laughing matter. However, as we have already mentioned, these only occur in a very small percentage of men.
It is advisable to try the drugs for some time while keeping an eye on your sex drive levels to ensure that you do not fall under those unlucky few. This will help you achieve two things: give your hair growth a chance while ensuring that you are not blocking your sex life as well as your DHT. What do you have to lose?