Testosterone and Hair Loss
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that male pattern baldness, known as androgenic alopecia, affects an estimated 30 million women and 50 million men in the United States. This condition causes hair follicles to shrink, leading to finer hair that is more fragile. Eventually the hair follicles on the head become dormant and can no longer produce hair.
Most people associate this form of hair loss with genetics or the aging process. However, hormones also play an important role. Scientists have determined that androgenic alopecia is related to a specific type of androgen hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This article will explore how DHT can contribute to hair loss and what you can do about it!
What is dihydrotestosterone (DHT)?
DHT is a powerful androgen hormone that controls the development and maintenance of male characteristics. Some of the male characteristics that androgens are responsible for include hair on the chest, facial hair, a deep sounding voice, and increased muscle mass. Both men and woman have this androgens in their bodies, although men typically have higher levels.
An enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase creates DHT from testosterone, which is another potent androgen hormone. Approximately 5% to 10% of a person’s testosterone is converted into DHT. It is created in the prostate gland, testes, adrenal glands, ovaries, and hair follicles.
DHT is one of the most powerful androgens found in the human body and is capable of staying in the body for long periods of time. It helps to the penis and prostate to grow during fetal development and puberty. DHT is also used by the skin and hair follicles.
How is DHT related to hair loss?
DHT plays an important role in the development of hair on the body. It is required to grow hair in areas that are related to sexual development, including armpit hair, facial hair, and pubic hair.
Unfortunately, DHT can also affect the hair follicles on a person’s head. DHT attaches itself to androgen receptors in hair follicles on the head — which affects their ability to receive the proteins, vitamins and minerals they need for hair growth. Without those nutrients hair follicles begin to miniaturize.
As the hair follicles become miniaturized, they produce hair at a slower rate. The hair that is produced is also finer and weaker. Eventually, the follicles stop producing hair at all.
Scientists have discovered that people with hair loss usually have higher levels of DHT in their plucked hair follicles compared to people without hair loss. Some of the possible reasons why this occurs include:
- Higher than normal levels of DHT or testosterone are being produced at the follicle or elsewhere in the body
- The DHT receptors in the hair follicles are more sensitive to DHT
- There is an increased number of DHT receptors in the person’s hair follicles
The obvious solution is to somehow reduce the levels of DHT in the body or change how the hair follicles are responding to DHT. Fortunately, DHT can be reduced using natural DHT blockers.
What are the natural DHT blockers?
While there are drugs on the market that can lower the levels of DHT in your body, they carry some serious side effects. A better approach is to prevent DHT from miniaturizing the hair follicles by using natural DHT blockers.
Natural DHT blockers are natural organic compounds that reduce the levels of DHT reaching your hair follicles. They typically work by:
- Reducing the overall level of DHT in your system
- Reducing the levels of the enzyme responsible for creating DHT (5-alpha-reductase)
- Preventing DHT from binding with hair follicle receptors
Some of the most effective natural DHT blockers include:
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seeds contain amino acids that can break down DHT in the body.
- Pygeum Bark
This is a herbal remedy that has been shown to alleviate the side effects of benign prostatic hyperplasia and reduce hair loss. It does so by balancing the level of hormones in the body, including DHT.
- Saw Palmetto
This is a very strong DHT inhibitor that has been used to treat hair loss for many years. It works by lowering the level of 5-alpha-reductase in the body, reducing the amount of testosterone being transformed to DHT.
This is an essential amino acid that can help moderate DHT levels. It does not act directly on DHT itself, but helps other natural DHT blockers be more effective. It can be found in different types of nuts including walnuts, almonds, peanuts and pecans.
- Stinging Nettle Root
This is a herb that has been used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia for hundreds of years. It moderates DHT levels, which has the added benefit of reducing the rate of hair loss.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical found in red or orange fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, watermelon, mangoes and carrots. A number of studies have shown that lycopene can reduce the level of different androgens in the body, including DHT.
- Beta Sitosterol
Beta Sitosterol is a plant extract that has a similar structure to cholesterol found in the human body. It can lower cholesterol levels and reduce DHT levels.
- Linolenic Acid
This is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is a mild anti-androgen. It can be found in high levels in emu oil. It works by slowing the rate that 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone to DHT.
By incorporating more of these natural DHT blockers into your diet, you can prevent hair follicle miniaturization and maintain a healthy head of hair. KerCysteine contains many of these amino acids and natural DHT blockers, making it easy for you to prevent hair loss.