Maybe you are having hard time seeing your scalp growing bald gradually, that you are scrounging for the possible causes behind the issue.
And in all the profound research you have done till now, DHT poses as the common and main culprit apart from other factors.
These other factors are environmental, genetic, diet, etc.
Being a chief trigger for hair loss problem, you have seized it alone, to understand what it is and how does it ward off hair from your head.
So, let’s begin with no more rants.
What is DHT and its roles in the body?
To begin with, DHT is an acronym for Dihydrotestosterone, which is an androgen hormone.
It is produced by the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase on the male sex hormone called testosterone.
DHT is generated in the gonads, in testes and prostate in men while in ovaries in females.
Thus, it is also a sex steroid and an androgen hormone.
This hormone is more powerful than its parent biochemical, i.e., testosterone, and only 10% of it is converted into DTH.
The hormone links to the same locations as testosterone, but does so with more facility.
And once attached to some site, it stays there for longer.
Roles of DHT in men and women
Although, DHT is mainly the cause of male pattern hair loss and hair issue in women.
Still, the Biochemical is not inherently evil, as it has got certain roles to do in the body.
Both testosterone and DHT are androgen hormones responsible for initiation of sex features in males while undergoing the phase of puberty.
These characteristics are as follows:
- Responsible for body hair
- Increases muscle mass
- Enlargement of voice box and deepens voice
- Development of scrotum, penis, and testicles while sperm production starts
- Fat storage mode alters
Testosterone, specifically being a male hormone, is present in men in greater concentrations.
While it can also show up owing to genetic and related factors in females too, giving them body hair.
In later mature ages, DHT also aids in enhancing sexual health and fertility, while it also regulates muscle mass.
How does DHT cause hair loss?
To grasp the action of DHT causing hair loss, you will have to first understand a skerrick of anatomy of a hair.
Each strand grows on our scalp from minute capsule like structures called hair follicles, present beneath the skin.
The complete growth cycle of each hair lasts for circa six years, irrespective of you shaving or gnawing them off.
The same hair even after cutting grows out of its follicle and not the new ones.
The cycle of hair nears its end also known as its resting phase, and eventually, it is completely removed, and a new hair comes up, with its cycle to cover.
Now DHT comes into the scene as a villain by attaching to the follicles for long, thereby shrinking them.
Due to this shrinkage, your hair may appear thinner and lighter, reducing your coverage.
It does not end here, this hormone also abates the six-year-long cycle of hair to lesser time, and hence your hair falls faster.
Furthermore, the rate of new hair popping out is also decreased by this offender.
So, you have your old hair follicles bye-ing you quickly, while new ones hardly have the courage to show up.
And you get bald. A nightmare, isn’t it!
This is what happens in a common male pattern hair loss problem and that in women as well, but it is still less usual in them.
How much DHT effects on scalp hair follicles, depends on a gene called androgen receptor (AR) gene.
And the variations in this gene are the reason everyone experiences different way of hair loss, such as some men lose hair from the top while others have it from the sides of a scalp.
AR gene are basically proteins that determine the binding ability of DHT, which has a role to play in body hair growth.
However, if there are any changes in this AR gene, especially if it intensifies the receptivity of hair follicles to androgen hormones, then you may suffer male pattern hair loss aka androgenic alopecia.
What other harm does DHT do?
DHT in higher concentrations can give other consequences apart from hair loss, such as:
- Untimely or slow injury healing, especially of skin
- Prostate cancer
- Coronary heart disease
- Prostate enlargement
While low levels of this testosterone-derived hormone can inflict the following issues:
- Improper fat distribution, leading to gynaecomastia
- Making you prone to hostile prostate tumours
- Untimely or imperfect maturation of sex organs in males
How can you reduce DHT levels to reduce hair loss?
Now that we know, DHT is the main one causing male pattern hair loss.
So, you might have got enough rage in you to subdue its high levels.
This can be done through two techniques which particularly focus on DHT production and its receptor binding ability.
- Inhibitors: These drugs decrease DHT production in the body.
- Blockers: This is associated with receptor binding and precludes DHT from binding to 5-AR receptors and further disables receptors in hair follicles as well.
- Blocker way has some side -effects, given below:
- Feeling ill
- Minoxidil can cause congestive heart failure
- Ejaculation issues
- Erectile difficulties
- Fat accumulation and soreness around breast area
There are other medications and natural remedies as well that can help with the issue, such as:
- Pygeum bark
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Vitamin B-12 and B-6
DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone, which stands to be the main culprit behind male pattern hair loss.
DHT is a derivative hormone of testosterone, formed by the action of an enzyme called 5-Alpha Reductase (AR).
It has many roles to play such as development of male sexual features, like body hair, voice deepening, fertility, etc.
However, high concentration of DHT can cause hair loss, usually treated by medications, natural oil, inhibitors, and blockers.
If you are experiencing hair loss, it is better to get consultation and prescriptions from physician rather trying medicines out of your sense.