More than half of all men fifty and older are affected by varying stages of hair loss. However, many don’t understand what or why they are losing their hair. Yet, there’s a clear scientific explanation for male pattern baldness. It’s a little sex hormone called DHT, also known as dihydrotestosterone or 5α-androstan-17β-ol-3-one.
What is DHT and how does DHT Affect Hair Loss?
What happens is the enzyme ‘5 alpha-reductase’ converts men’s testosterone into DHT. This occurs in different areas of the body, including the hair follicles. There, DHT prevents essential proteins, minerals and vitamins from nourishing the hair. This, in turn, causes the resting phase of the hair cycle (the telogen phase) to become extended. Gradually, the hair shaft becomes finer, the hair is reproduced at a slower rate, and eventually, it stops growing all-together as the follicle dies.
What Hair Loss Treatments Stop DHT From Attacking?
At the first sign of male pattern baldness, you should begin to use hair loss medications such as Finasteride or Dutasteride. Both of these hair loss treatments are anti-androgens meaning they work to block the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
What’s the Best Combination of Hair Loss Treatments?
The best way to prevent DHT from killing your hair follicles is to start early – at the first signs of hair loss. If you are completely bald unfortunately anti-androgens won’t help as it’s likely the hair cells have died from DHT.
A great hair loss treatment package is to use Minoxidil and Finasteride. Finasteride works to prevent DHT from cutting off the hair’s nutrients, while Minoxidil supports extra blood and oxygen to the hair follicles, maximising your hair’s growth.
A tool such as a derma roller is also a great addition. It creates tiny incisions into the scalp using micro-sized needles on a rolling wheel (don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt!). This encourages blood supply to the scalp and also opens up the hair follicles so that the topically applied hair regrowth serums (like Minoxidil) can be absorbed.
Can Women Use DHT Blockers?
DHT plays a role in female pattern baldness, however, women produce less testosterone than men and therefore less of its by-product, DHT. Some women have used DHT blockers with moderate success to treat female hair loss, however, anti-androgen medication is unsafe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. For these reasons, only in rare circumstances should post-menopausal women be recommended to try DHT blockers.
So now you know! If you’re ready to say goodbye to scalp DHT and hello to hair, contact to one of our hair loss consultants or visit our online clinic and take our medical questionnaire. See which hair loss treatment package is right for your, thicker, healthier hair awaits just around the corner.