If you are suffering from hair loss and/or interested in treatments, you may have seen products that claim to block DHT. This is a common approach to tackling hair loss, especially from androgenetic alopecia or male and female pattern baldness. However, you may be left wondering if blocking DHT is an effective solution and whether it will cause hair to regrow.
What Is DHT?
DHT is short for dihydrotestosterone. This hormone is a sex steroid produced in the gonads. It is also an androgen hormone meaning that it helps develop the biological characteristics of males. This includes things like a deep voice, strong muscles and hair on the body. At the fetal stage, DHT is essential for growing male sex organs. At later ages, it helps males have more masculine characteristics.
However, DHT also has many negative effects. It is linked to issues with the prostate including enlargement and cancer. DHT is also linked to slowed hair production and hair loss, which is why blocking DHT is often a priority in treating hair loss.
DHT starts are free testosterone in the body. It is converted into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. Typically, around a tenth of your testosterone is converted into DHT. The converted hormone is more potent than normal testosterone and binds to sites around the body for longer.
How Does Blocking DHT Affect Hair Loss?
Your hair grows from follicles in your scalp. These go through three phases of growing hair:
Anagen: This is the growth phase during which the strand of hair is continuing to get larger. It can last up to around six years. Most of the hairs on your head are currently in this phase.
Catagen: This transition phase allows the follicles to renew itself. It only lasts a few weeks.
- Telogen: The final phase is a resting period. The follicle will lie dormant for a few months before reentering the anagen phase.
Under normal circumstances, the strand is pushed our when the follicle reenters the anagen phase. However, the process can be affected by DHT.
In the scalp, DHT causes hair follicles to shrink. In turn, this causes the hairs that the follicles grow to be smaller and weaker. This also reduces the length of the anagen phase and prolongs the telogen phase. Eventually, the hairs will not even sprout through the skin. Furthermore, the blood vessels will stop bringing as much oxygen and nutrients to the follicles.
Everyone loses hair naturally at a rate of around 50 to 100 hairs per day. In a healthy head of hair, the follicles regrow hair at a roughly equivalent rate. However, as DHT causes the follicles to become less healthy, they are not able to keep up with the rate of loss.
As you may have guessed, blocking DHT helps to prevent the hair follicles from becoming unhealthy. This is one of the main mechanisms for treating hair loss because it addresses one of the major causes of baldness.
Will Blocking DHT Lead to Hair Regrowth?
The primary benefit of blocking DHT is that it can slow or even stop hair loss. It is often considered to be the most effective way to treat hair loss because it combats one of the major causes of baldness.
However, DHT blockers do not directly promote new hair growth. Instead, they are preventing your hair follicles from shrinking due to DHT. That can lead to the growth of new hairs depending on your stage of hair loss. In a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, around two-thirds of the participants using a popular DHT-blocker experienced some regrowth. Even more of them preserved their original hair follicles.
DHT blockers are highly effective. Nonetheless, they should be paired with other treatments if you want to see significant hair regrowth. You can think of DHT blockers as being like a barrier stopping a flood. They won’t directly fix the damage but are an important step in fully addressing the problem.
What Products Can Block DHT?
There are a few substances with clinically-proven effects on DHT. These are a few examples:
Ketoconazole: Studies show that this antifungal medicine is capable of preventing the conversion of testosterone into DHT. It also helps fight the fungal colonization of follicles in the scalp and reduce inflammation, both important parts of improving hair health.
Azelaic Acid: This substance is a potent 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. As mentioned above, that enzyme is what converts testosterone into DHT. Inhibiting it can significantly reduce the amount of DHT in your scalp.
Caffeine: This may surprise you, but caffeine is also a clinically-proven DHT blocker. It is good for more than just waking up in the morning! It helps reverse the effects of DHT and can improve blood flow in the scalp, helping to encourage new hair growth.
- Lupine: This is a botanical 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor and DHT blocker. It is also shown to improve the metabolic activity of hair follicles.
If you want to find a product that will help you with your hair loss, consider Revita Shampoo and Conditioner. These products contain powerful DHT blockers including ketoconazole, caffeine and lupine. They also both include ingredients that help promote the growth of new hairs. In other words, they are DHT blockers that can also help you to regrow the hair you’ve already lost.
Another option is Spectral.DNC-N. This topical treatment includes azelaic acid and caffeine to block DHT. It also has ingredients to increase hair growth and improve hair health. Notably, it includes Nanoxidil, a powerful vasodilator that opens ions channels to hair follicles. This helps them to grow new hairs and extends the anagen phase of growth. Better yet, it has no side effects, unlike the commonly used minoxidil vasodilator.
Order Today From DS Laboratories
DS Laboratories is dedicated to offering your hair health solutions that are backed by science. All our products include clinically-tested ingredients. Take a look at our full lineup of hair health products. If you need help, use our hair assessment to help identify which products are right for you. You don’t have to accept hair loss. Place your order today.