What Is DHT Hair Loss and How to Stop or Prevent it?
Dihydrotestosteron, which in short is called DHT, is a male sex hormone androgen, synthesized in the body by an enzyme. This hormone is produced in the hair follicles, adrenal glands, testes and prostate. This is a very active hormone and is responsible for many of the masculine characters like hair growth, libido and even aggression in some men. DHT produced in the body mainly depend on various genetic factors.
One of the main causes of hair fall in men and women are changes in hormone levels. When there is a variation in the metabolism of androgen and the levels of DHT increase, men suffer from hair fall problems, especially baldness, which is also called Androgenic Alopecia. Baldness in men cause various patterns of hair fall like receding hair line, patchy hair loss, thinning of the crown and even complete hair loss.
The hair follicles of people suffering from Androgenic Alopecia have more sensitivity to DHT. This sensitivity is mainly genetic and therefore baldness usually runs in a family and is hereditary. If the father is bald, the sons are also bald, except in rare cases. Due to increased sensitivity towards DHT, the hair follicles start to shrink in size. As a result, abnormal production of hair is caused and the hair strands have shorter life span than the healthy hair. All these symptoms finally lead to baldness.
What is DHT Hair Loss?
It is the dermal papilla or hair papilla that determines proper and healthy growth of the hair. Dermal papilla is located inside the scalp and is responsible for taking all the vital nutrients that are needed for the growth of the hair follicles from the blood capillaries. It is also the hair papilla that produces new hair follicles by dividing and forming new cells. So, if you need strong and healthy hair that is well nourished and shiny, proper functioning of the dermal papilla is essential.
The dermal papilla is also equipped with a large amount of androgen receptors. These androgen receptors bind with DHT and interrupt the proper absorption of nutrients by the hair papilla. As a result, the hair follicles do not get enough nutrients to ensure proper growth of the hair. This also affects the life cycle of the hair follicles. Normally the life cycle of the hair follicle consists of a resting phase and a growing phase. In the presence of DHT, due to the unavailability of proper nutrients, the duration of resting phase or dormant phase increases. As a result, miniaturization of the hair follicles takes place.
What is Miniaturization?
Miniaturization here means a gradual and progressive shrinking of the hair follicles. Hair strands grow for a shorter period of time and fall off quickly. The hair becomes lighter and finer, loses its strength, becomes smaller in length and finally reaches the vellus stage. At this stage the hair is light in color, very fine and thin that it is hardly visible on the scalp. Miniaturization takes place as a result of DHT production and the more it is produced, more will be the miniaturization, leading to increased hair loss. 95% of baldness in men is due to the harmful effects of DHT on the hair follicles and the scalp.
DHT Hair Loss Treatment:
- 5α-reductase inhibitors are effective for treating hair loss due to DHT. These drugs increase the flow of blood in the scalp and in the hair follicles, thus reducing the production of DHT in the body. However, they have some side effects also and so you have to consult a doctor before taking these drugs.
- Using coconut oil on your scalp and hair is said to be a natural way of treating this problem. Apply pure coconut oil on your scalp and massage with your fingers. Coconut oil is said keep your scalp hydrated and promotes hair growth.
- Maintaining the pH balance of your hair is another way to reduce hair loss.
- Using natural shampoos and hair products help in reducing hair fall to a great extent. Use good quality herbal oil and massage your head at least twice a week. This will increase blood circulation and help in healthy hair growth. After you shampoo your hair, dry your hair thoroughly. Wet hair may put stress on hair follicles.
- Like in all other problems, there is a home remedy for hair loss too. Take an egg yolk and massage on your scalp. Wash after a few minutes, but let the residue stay in the hair. Wash off next morning. Mix vinegar, orange juice and milk and spray this mixture on your scalp and hair. Gently brush your hair and then use a prickly brush and remove the dead skin from the scalp. Wash with water.
- To treat male pattern baldness, lower the level of testosterone in your body and prevent the testosterone from getting converted in to DHT.
- Some foams and lotions help in stimulating growth of new hair strands. Minoxidil is one such foam that helps in hair growth.
- Getting hair transplantation is another way. The hair is removed from one part of the scalp area and transplanted to the area where there is baldness. This process is expensive but it is a permanent remedy.
- Consuming foods that have the power to fight hair loss is also effective to some extent. Liver and fish oil, red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, eggs and fortified milk are some such foods.
- Drinking lots of water keeps your skin and hair cells hydrated and help in healthy growth of the hair.
- Having a healthy and balanced diet is also needed for fighting this problem.
- A large number of hair treatments are also available for treating Androgenic Alopecia. Choose the treatment that suits your lifestyle, medical history and preferences.
- Lead a stress free life and also take care not to stress your hair follicle by wearing hat or by any other ways.