If you read anything about hair loss (male pattern baldness type), then you will know that the DHT is the evil chemical that leads to hair loss.
In reality, like everything in life, it’s a little more complicated than that. Men who suffer from baldness have hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT, which leads to these hair follicles getting smaller and smaller when put into contact with DHT.
In a perfect world, we would beat hair loss by changing the genetic code of men with Male pattern baldness, so they are no longer affected by hair loss. Sadly a treatment like this is a very long way off.
So most modern hair loss treatment tries to block DHT or help keep DHT from staying in the scalp.
What is DHT?
Androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern balding is the primary reason some men lose hair, as they get older.
Although women may experience this kind of hair loss, it is very rare, unlike men. Studies believe that sex hormones in the body are the culprit behind male pattern hair loss.
DHT or Dihydrotestosterone is a derivative of testosterone, which scientifically has been linked to hair loss. DHT is an androgen, which contributes to the development of male sex characteristics, which also include body hair.
Nevertheless, it can make an individual lose his or her hair earlier than expected and at a faster rate.
Usually, because of hormonal changes or genetics, hair follicles develop sensitivity to DHT and then begin to shrink.
This process curtails the normal hair growth cycle and ultimately prevents new hair from growing. Because of this, people with high-level DHT become prone to experiencing hair loss.
The Problem with Reducing DHT Levels
Propecia is popular because of its effectiveness in reducing the DHT level in the body. Studies have shown that it is 70% effective in reducing the level of DHT.
However, the issue is that DHT does more than it contributes to hair loss. DHT plays an important role in mode regulation and sexual development in men.
- Read Also: Does Exercise Help With Hair Growth?
Therefore reducing DHT levels whether intentionally or unintentionally may affect the body’s hormone system and cause:
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Gynecomastia (male breast development)
- Difficulty achieving orgasm
- Lower sex drive
In addition, since DHT blockers such as Propecia have an impact on the hormone system, it is advisable for expectant mothers or those that may become pregnant to avoid it because it may increase the tendency of having birth defects in male babies.
Potential Treatment Options for Blocking DHT
Here are two medical treatment options for blocking DHT that might work for you:
The most popular drug for blocking DHT from being produced or at least reducing it to lower levels is called Finasteride sold under the brand name Propecia or Proscar.
This drug was first used to treat prostate issues, but it was found that it also stopped hair loss.
In simple terms, Propecia works by reducing the production of DHT, which means less harmful DHT in the scalp and thus less damage to the hair follicles.
2. Saw Palmetto
Another treatment that works similar to Propecia is called Saw Palmetto, which is a herbal drug that similarly blocks DHT.
However, there has been no formal testing, so the jury is still out on its effectiveness.
The problem with the above type treatments is that they are making significant hormonal changes to affect just a small part of the body.
These hormonal treatments thus have significantly more side effects regardless of what people tell you about the “natural, side effect free” properties of Saw Palmetto.
Potential Diet Options for Blocking DHT
There has been some discussion about adjusting the diet to try and reduce DHT levels as the majority cases of baldness has been seen in developed, western affluent economies.
The following diet changes are worth testing but don’t expect it to stop your hair loss overnight:
Zinc is a natural DHT blocker, so be sure to make sure you get enough in your diet.
Eat a lot of seafood to get more zinc into your diet!
Why Does DHT Affect People Differently?
DHT Blocker Side Effects
Although these side effects may be connected with all DHT blockers, it is safe to note that these side effects are more severe and common with pharmaceuticals like dutasteride and Finasteride.
DHT is a healthy and normal hormone in males. Therefore, unnatural reduction in the hormone level may have some side effects.
It is also important to note that not all men experience these side effects. Some have noticeable side effects while others report no side effects. These side effects include:
- Lower Libido: In women, there is a noticeable decrease in libido and low sexual drive.
- Reduced ejaculatory volume: Some men may experience reduced ejaculation during sexual intercourse. There are also claims of watery ejaculation.
- Weaker erection: DHT blockers cause weaker erections.
- Tenderness and swelling in breasts: There are reports of swelling and tenderness of the breast for some men probably because of the artificial hormonal imbalance.
- Congestive heart failure
- Feeling sick
How to Reduce DHT Blocker side effects
Undoubtedly, the best way of reducing these side effects is by reducing the amount of DHT blocker you take. Additionally, you can find other means of doing this without depending on DHT blockers. Remarkably, you can do this in the following ways:
- Scalp massages to reduce stress and tension in the scalp while improving circulation
- Natural minoxidil solution or minoxidil for the scalp
- Meditating to reduce stress
- Performing breathing exercises to reduce stress and increase the blood oxygen content
- Improve minerals nutrient, and enzyme content of the blood
- Taking a cold shower
- Reduce delayed allergic reactions
- Improve microbiome balance and gut bacterial for increased nutrient uptake
- Reduce masturbation
Besides these, you may consider using biotin (vitamin H), which helps convert liquids and food into energy used by the body. Furthermore, this vitamin helps in maintaining and boosting the level of keratin, which is present in the skin, nails, and hair.
Biotin is present in whole grains, nuts, and egg yolks. It is also available in an oral supplement.
Additionally, the following can help reduce hair loss caused by DHT. These include pumpkin seed oil, pygeum bark, caffeine, Vitamin B-6, and B-12.
How Common Are These Side Effects
The beautiful thing is that these side effects can occur in a small minority of men especially those that use DHT blockers like Propecia.
However, if you observe any sexual malfunctioning due to DHT blockers, note that they are always temporary and will return to normal once you stop using the drug.
Regarding any medication, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or physician. Discuss with your doctor whether DHT blockers or other treatment is suitable for you. You can also seek for a practical and effective option in putting your hair loss problem to a stop.