About DHT And Hair Loss
added 6th October 2010
DHT is often the primary cause of androgenetic alopecia or genetic hair loss in men and women.
What is DHT?
DHT stands for Dihydrotestosterone. It is a sex steroid and androgen hormone, synthesised from testosterone by the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase in the prostate, testes, hair follicles, and adrenal glands.
Why Does DHT Affect Me?
In men and women genetically predisposed to androgenetic alopecia, an excess of DHT can impact the hair follicles. For men, too much DHT in the system can also lead to prostate enlargement.
DHT and hair Loss
To understand how DHT causes hair loss, it is important to know the chemical reactions that affect the hair follicles:
The enzyme 5 Alpha-Reductase converts testosterone to DHT.
DHT binds to androgen receptors .
DHT causes increased hair loss and gradual miniaturisation of the hair follicle.
Over time, the hair follicles die and the scalp becomes visible.
Essentially, DHT binds to the androgen receptors in hair follicles which cause miniaturisation of the hair follicle and eventually hair loss.
DHT Products – How Do They Work?
There are many products – pharmaceutical and natural – referred to as DHT blockers or DHT inhibitors.
They are claimed to either reduce the production of DHT by interfering with how testosterone interacts with the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase and/or they attempt to block or inhibit the DHT from binding with the androgen receptors. Some products do one or the other whilst some claim to do both.