Blocking DHT: Does it Help Regrow Hair?

Dihydrotestosterone DHT (androstanolone, endogenous androgen sex hormone) - structural chemical formula and molecule model. Sheet of paper in a cage. Vector illustration

Hair loss is something that can be frustrating and even embarrassing at times. Knowing some of the main causes of hair loss can be the first step in growing your hair back again. DHT is one of those things you should know about, since more than half of hair loss can be attributed to DHT.

What Is DHT?

DHT is an abbreviation of the word dihydrotestosterone. Like you might guess by reading its full name, it is actually a form of testosterone. In fact, if your body makes more testosterone than what it needs it will turn the extra into the DHT hormone.

This is a hormone that attaches itself to your hair follicles, causing them to shrink. This literally kills your hair follicles. It can do this by shrinking them to the point where there’s no longer hair, or by sealing it shut. It does this by fusing it with your scalp.

When it comes to shrinking your hair follicles, this is something that deprives your hair of  nutrients. Your hair needs these to grow and be healthy. The DHT hormone does this in either men or women, though it causes baldness more frequently in men.

There are actually three main things that cause your body to make DHT. One is being hereditary, so if you have family members that suffer from this problem then you might well suffer with it too at some point.

The second is that your body can have a nutritional deficiency. Usually, this is a deficiency in trace minerals that your body needs, but it can also be other things like a Vitamin C or E deficiency.

Lastly, the environment and certain chemicals and toxins in the air can cause problems with your hair. Any of these three things can cause balding.

woman holding her hair

How To Block DHT

Now that you know what DHT is and what it does, the next thing you need to know is how to block it. There are two main ways that you can fight the damage that DHT does, a topical  that you apply to your scalp, or medication taken internally.

There are ways to treat it naturally. However,  it depends how severe your hair loss is. Natural treatments can still be used in addition to more vigorous methods for the best results.

Blocking DHT will not necessarily cause new hairs to grow. It instead focuses on stopping your hair from falling out. The average adult loses some hair every day, but it generally grows back at the same rate. With hair loss, you lose hair at a faster rate than you can grow it back. Slowing this process down is only the first step to getting a full head of hair.

Internal DHT Blocks

Internally, there are both natural options as well as medications that can really help you to block DHT. These medications in many cases prevent your body from making the DHT hormone in the first place and can also increase your blood flow.

It’s best to start with small amounts. Never take more than your doctor suggests. This is because some of the medications can have possible side effects. Use them responsibly. Sometimes this means taking a pill once a day, and sometimes it means taking a pill twice a day.

There are a few different ways these medications work. The first way is by preventing it from attaching to your hair follicles, leaving it to float around harmlessly until your body filters it out of your blood.

The second blocks DHT is by preventing your body from turning testosterone into DHT. This means that your body will still be making the testosterone that it needs. It will simply filter the extra out in that form.

Additionally, if you suspect that you’re deficient in a trace mineral, take care of this as well. A blood test will be the most accurate way of telling what you might be deficient in. Your doctor can tell you what supplements you need to take to correct this.

External DHT Blocks

External options are great to use with the internal DHT blocks, especially if you know that you’re not missing any nutrients. To get the most out of these, it’s best to clean your hair and scalp first. Get rid of dandruff or anything else that might prevent the treatment from absorbing.

One thing that you can use is a shampoo that has a DHT blocker in it. The fact that you use it just like regular shampoo makes it simple and convenient. There are also hair masks that you can let sit in your hair for a while and then wash out.

A few other options that are easy to find are various ointments and creams. When applying things to your scalp, do so in small amounts in the beginning. The scalp is a very sensitive part of your body and can have a reaction.

A Word On Natural DHT Blocks

Sudden Hair Loss in Men

When it comes to other natural things you can do, there are foods, oils, and other plant parts have DHT blocking capabilities. While these aren’t enough to treat the problem all on their own, adding these to your diet and using them on your scalp can be helpful.

Caffeine is one thing that some believe can help, so drinking coffee in the mornings is actually a good thing for your hair, as is drinking green tea. Pumpkin seed oil is a good option both for internal use as well as for applying it to your scalp on your balding areas.

Mushrooms, and in particular reishi mushrooms, are a great food to eat with oyster mushrooms being a fairly close second. These can be eaten, put into a tea, taken in capsule form, or put into a hair mask.

There are plenty of lesser-known products that can help as well. Some of these are Ecklonia Cava which is a type of algae, Fo-Ti root which has been in use in the East for a while, amla fruit extract, and saw palmetto.

Other natural things to try are castor oil, apple cider vinegar, and sesame and flax seeds. Options like stinging nettle and rosemary oil require more care and need to be diluted if you place them on your scalp.

Side Effects And Problems

Some things that are used to block DHT do so by decreasing a person’s levels of testosterone. This can be unhealthy for a number of different reasons since our bodies need this hormone for more than one purpose.

Plant and food based toxins aren’t prone to having as many side effects. However, in extreme cases one of the side effects can be sexual disfunction. Other symptoms to watch out for are headaches, dizziness, and swelling of the hands and feet.

If you experience any of these side effects or others such as anxiety or being unusually depressed, you should let your doctor know and stop taking them.

Conclusion

There are many ways you can try to regrow your hair, just keep in mind that you want to take care of the root problem. Sometimes this can be something that doesn’t need medication at all.

For example, stress is something that can get your hormones out of balance.  For this reason, be sure that you deal with your excessive stress, and try to get enough sleep at night.

Also remember. extra testosterone is turned into DHT. This being the case, if you’re taking supplements or medications that encourage your body to make more testosterone, ask your doctor to switch you to something else.

Finally, give your DHT blocker enough time to work. Sometimes it can take from 8 to as many as 24 weeks before you can realistically see results. Try to be patient, and use one thing at a time early on, so you can see which is actually helping and aren’t left guessing.

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