How Can You Slow Down or Block DHT?

Can you slow down DHT?


Whether it is loss of density (thinning hair) or full-on baldness many people fear or struggle with hair loss, especially as they age. One popular type of hair loss, androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness, which despite the name sometimes affects women as well, is triggered by rising levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Naturally, therefore, DHT hair loss can be prevented or reduced by strategies aimed at reducing the levels of the hormone in the body. But how do you slow down or block DHT? Let’s explore some options below.

DHT Blockers and Inhibitors

Tricologists and dermatologists rely on two main categories of drugs to treat DHT-related hair loss. These two treatment options are DHT blockers and DHT inhibitors. The DHT blockers prevent interaction between DHT and your body’s 5-AR (Alpha 5 Reductors) receptors. Among those receptors that are kept safe from interaction with DHT are the ones inside each hair follicle. If DHT is allowed to interact with the 5-AR receptors in hair follicles, it could cause follicle shrinkage and consequently, hair loss.

Popular DHT blockers include Finasteride (or prepecia) a prescription drug that tops the list of effective DHT blockers. A 2012 study revealed that Finasteride successfully blocked DHT in 87% of participants.  People who use Finsteride should note that it is fast-acting.  The drug reduced the body’s DHT levels significantly after just one dose with the maximum effectiveness being reached about eight hours after ingestion.

DHT Inhibitors, on the other hand, reduce the impact of DHT in the body by first reducing the amount of DHT that the body produces. Minoxidil, which is also known as Rogaine, is a DHT inhibitor that slows down the effects of high DHT. This over-the-counter cream is applied topically to reverse and prevent DHT related hair loss. As a peripheral vasodilator, the drug counters the follicle restricting action of DHT by widening and loosening blood vessels, thereby allowing blood to flow more easily. Healthier follicles result and this supports hair maintenance and growth. In other words Minoxidil increases blood flow to the follicles and extends the hair cycle’s growth phase.

This treatment is available in two strengths 5% and 2% and some dermatologists suggest starting with higher strength and then reducing to the lower strength if irritation or other adverse side effects occur.


Natural Options

Alternative medicine also offers some help with slowing down or blocking DHT.  Most natural remedies for hair loss focus on either improving blood flow to the hair follicle or strengthening hair strands. In doing so, they slow the impact of DHT. Pygeum bark is one such solution. Pygeum bark is an herbal remedy that is extracted from the African cherry Tree’s bark. Pygeum bark is used as an oral treatment that clocks DHT. Because of its DTH blocking reputation Pygeum bark is used as a natural treatment for prostatitis and enlarged prostate. Those who propose the use of this natural remedy for hair loss rely on the herb’s reputation as a DHT blocker.   

Another natural remedy that could help with higher than normal levels of DHT is pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil has powerful DHT blocking properties. A 2014 study put the remedy to the test and yielded encouraging results.  The study which had 76 participants found that there was a 40% increase in the strand count for men who had taken 400 milligrams of the oil daily for 24 weeks.

Dietary adjustments may also help to slow down or block DHT. Foods like turmeric, green tea and coconut oil are associated with DHT reduction.  Foods that contain quercetin such as onions, spinach, apples, berries and asparagus are also helpful in preventing DHT levels from increasing. This is because quercetin is an antioxidant and has DHT blocking properties.

Vitamin H, or biotin is also helpful for slowing down the impact of DHT and promoting hair growth. Biotin works by Biotin works best as a complement to a DHT blocker as it promotes hair growth. To benefit from the hair growth support offered by biotin you should eat egg yolks, whole grains and nuts or take the supplement. Two other vitamins; B6 and B 12 also help to promote hair growth.

Whether it is DHT related or not, hair loss is an unpleasant experience for many people. Natural solutions are typically weaker than prescription grade options. They won’t usually yield results as quickly and the results are usually not as impressive. They are therefore more effective as complements to conventional treatment.




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