What Is DHT & Why Should I Block It?

If you’ve noticed any of the telltale signs of hair loss, chances are you’ve been googling why this is happening to you and what, if anything, you can do about it. Which means you’ve seen three little letters pop up everywhere: DHT. You’ve probably read that DHT causes baldness and that, if you want to treat or prevent further hair loss, you should “block” it. But what does that even mean? Why does DHT matter -- what is it?

Dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT, is a sex steroid derived from -- you guessed it -- testosterone. Biologically speaking, it’s really important. Your body uses DHT to develop your male genitalia in utero and to mature said genitalia when you hit puberty. It also plays a role in the development and maintenance of the prostate gland, so it makes sense that 5α-reductase inhibitors, also known as DHT blockers, can be used to treat prostate diseases.

But what does any of that have to do with hair loss?

DHT also affects the growth of facial, body, and pubic hair at maturity -- and after. The hairs of balding men typically test higher for DHT. Doctors think this is because DHT “shrinks” hair follicles. When DHT attaches itself to the hair follicle, it prevents the absorption of the nutrients needed to keep the hair growth cycle going, which means that individual hairs get thinner and shorter. Eventually this can prevent new hairs from growing in at all, resulting in baldness. This is why you’ve read about reducing or “blocking” DHT -- it’s an effective way to prevent hair loss and even stimulate regrowth.

So why don’t we just block all the DHT and kiss male pattern baldness goodbye? Because DHT isn’t the only thing that causes hair loss. In a 2017 study, scientists at the University of Edinburgh linked 287 genetic regions to baldness. Until we better understand the (literally) hundreds of factors impacting hair loss, it’s safe to say we still have a ways to go before anyone will have the magic elixir that eradicates hair loss for good.

In the meantime, DHT blockers are an effective and safe way to prevent hair loss, showing a low incidence of adverse effects. Medications such as finasteride target the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, and there are dietary supplements advertised as DHT blockers available on the market.

But the easiest way to block DHT without drastically altering your routine is finding a shampoo designed to block it, like GroMD. GroMD shampoo is specially formulated with a proprietary blend of DHT blockers that help reduce hair loss and thinning, which makes fighting hair loss as simple as taking your daily shower. You can combine using GroMD shampoo with other hair loss prevention measures like finasteride or minoxidil to create a custom hair care routine, but you don’t have to. To learn more about the benefits of using GroMD shampoo, click here.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, around two thirds of American men will suffer from some degree of hair loss by age 35. By age 50, that number goes up to 85%. While we can’t claim to understand all the nuances of why this happens for every individual, we do know that DHT is one of the key factors behind male pattern baldness. GroMD blocks DHT, and that’s why we believe in it -- our shampoo is a highly effective and safe way to treat and prevent hair loss.