When you notice your hair getting thin in certain parts of your head, it is often indicative that you are dealing with a common form of hair loss called androgenic alopecia. This type of hair loss has one main culprit behind it – a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, and the best way to combat it is with DHT blocking ingredients.
What is DHT?
DHT is part of a set of hormones called androgens, which are found in the male and female body. Androgens regulate masculine physical and sexual characteristics in men and women – they’re often categorized as “male sex hormones.”
However, although androgens are found in higher levels in the male body, these hormones play an important role in the female body, too.
DHT and Other Androgens Have Major Roles in the Physical Changes That Occur During Puberty
Dihydrotestosterone and other androgens are behind the dramatic physical changes that the human body undergoes during puberty.
If you are a man, dihydrotestosterone levels increasing in your body contributed to your voice getting deeper during puberty, the newfound ability to grow facial hair, initial growth of pubic hair, and more.
For women, DHT plays a role in puberty, too, albeit not in as dramatic of a way as in the adolescent male body.
DHT Isn’t Your Enemy, But It Can Mess With Your Hair’s Ability To Grow Normally
So, as you can tell, DHT is not just out to get you and cause you to lose your hair. This hormone is biologically significant, especially in the earlier decades of your life. However, your body’s levels of DHT can continue increasing long after you are through puberty, and that’s when the hormone can start causing problems for your hair.
To give you a deeper understanding of how androgenic alopecia works, let’s dive into the science behind hair loss. Let’s cover the impact that DHT can have on your hair and the ingredients you can use to prevent, and even reverse, hair loss.
The Hair Growth Cycle: How DHT Can Sabotage Hair Growth
Your hair’s natural cycle of growth goes through three phases:
- The anagen (growth) phase is when your hair is actively getting longer.
- The catagen (transition) phase is when your hair follicles are moving from growth into rest
- During the telogen phase, your hair is resting from growth.
When your levels of DHT are too high, the hormone can have a shrinking effect on your hair follicles. This shrinkage constricts the follicles, inhibiting your hair’s ability to grow. Shrunken follicles produce thinner, slower, more uneven growth, leading to the instantly recognizable look of androgenic alopecia.
What Does Androgenic Alopecia Look Like?
DHT-related hair loss does not cause complete baldness. Instead, the hormone typically affects specific parts of your head and causes significant thinning in these areas.
Men with androgenic alopecia often notice the most hair loss occurring at the hairline and the top of the head.
For women, androgenic alopecia can look similar to the condition in men, but more often causes thinning in the part between the two sections of a woman’s hair.
DHT Can Shrink Your Follicles and Slow Hair Growth
When your follicles have been constricted by DHT, your hair will spend more time in the telogen (rest) phase and less time in the anagen (growth) phase. This means that although your hair may still be growing, the amount of growth you can get is far less in certain affected areas than throughout the rest of your head. The thinning caused in specific areas caused by androgenic alopecia has led to the condition often being called pattern baldness.
How Common is DHT-Related Hair Loss?
Male and female pattern hair loss are extremely common, especially later in life. This type of hair loss can start showing up as early as your 30s, but for most people, it arises between their 40s and 50s. Androgenic alopecia affects a quarter of women over 50, and half of men over 50, making it the most common form of hair loss for adults.
Although it is an extremely common, and extremely frustrating, form of hair loss, androgenic alopecia is far from impossible to treat.
The best way to go after DHT-related hair loss and stop it at its roots is by taking care of your hair with powerful DHT-blocking ingredients.
Powerful DHT Blockers To Look For in Hair Growth Formulas
There are numerous ingredients that can inhibit DHT’s growth-sabotaging effects on your hair.
GroMD’s shampoo, conditioner and follicle activator spray are packed with natural DHT blockers that can get your hair’s natural cycle of growth back on track.
These are the ingredients that make GroMD’s hair care products so effective. All of these natural DHT-blocking ingredients can help to stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss by reducing the follicle-shrinking effects of DHT on your hair and scalp.
- Saw palmetto. The berries of the saw palmetto plant have natural DHT-blocking properties. This DHT blocker has been thoroughly researched and found to have a positive impact on hair growth. Using shampoo with saw palmetto can keep your hair growing at a healthy rate.
- Stinging nettle. This natural DHT blocker is rich in antioxidants, vital nutrients for the health of your hair and scalp. One of the powerful antioxidants found in high quantities in stinging nettle is biotin. This antioxidant is especially beneficial for your hair, skin, and nails, and can help to keep your hair growing healthy and strong.
- Licorice root extract. Because DHT is a product of testosterone, one of the best ways to counteract its effects on your hair is through the use of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens like licorice root extract are substances that have the same effect as estrogen in your body. This means they can help balance out the effects of testosterone on your hair, inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Licorice root extract is a phytoestrogen that can effectively block DHT’s growth-slowing effects on your hair.
- Caffeine. More than just a stimulant that wakes you up in the morning, caffeine can also wake up your hair follicles, enlarging them after they have been constricted by DHT. The growth-slowing impact of DHT on your hair follicles leads to thinner hair, and treating your hair and scalp with caffeine can lead to fuller, thicker hair over time.
In addition to these powerful ingredients, GroMD’s hair care products are packed with even more science-backed DHT blockers. Korean red ginseng, pumpkin seed extract, niacinamide, and more are all included in our growth-boosting shampoo, conditioner and follicle activator spray.
These ingredients can help you get the hair you’ve been hoping for, stimulating your follicles to move out of their resting phase and back towards growth.
There’s No One “Best” DHT Blocker
When it comes to hair loss prevention, one of the biggest keys to success is giving your hair and scalp the care they need and deserve. Taking great care of your head will leave you with happier, healthier hair that grows the way you want it to.
Although some advertisements may make lofty claims about specific ingredients, touting them as the secret to hair growth, there is no one DHT-blocking ingredient that is objectively the most effective.
Instead of relying on one ingredient to promote hair growth, stick with GroMD’s proprietary blend of DHT blockers. This powerful combination of ingredients work in harmony to keep your hair and scalp healthy and nourished, all the while reducing the effect of DHT on your growth rate.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.