For men facing the harsh reality of thinning hair, understanding the physiological causes in the body can provide insight into what actions to take. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the science of hair loss and how this information can lead to a solution. We now know that 95% of male pattern baldness is caused by an increase in production and sensitivity to a male sex hormone known as Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. While DHT is produced in both men and women, levels are naturally higher in men, and variation from person to person is almost entirely determined by genetics. DHT blockers are a popular treatment for combating male pattern baldness. What is a DHT blocker?

The hormone is synthesized in four major areas of the body: the adrenal glands, testes, prostate, and hair follicles. The presence of DHT at the base of the hair follicle blocks the absorption of nutrients necessary to stimulate hair growth. Eventually, as the follicle is starved of nutrients, it begins to shrink, leading to shorter periods of growth and greater periods of inactivity. These longer periods of inactivity promote hair loss and ultimately the death of the follicle.

Fortunately, pegging DHT as the cause of hair loss has allowed for the development of ways to block the action of this hormone, thus stopping hair loss. DHT blockers range from prescription medications to natural methods. Regardless of the type of blocker, one of these four methods are used to reduce hair loss:

  • Blocking the attachment of DHT at hair follicle receptors. If the hormone cannot attach at this key location, the follicle will not be cut off from growth promoting nutrients, and the DHT hormone will simply move on to circulate throughout the blood.

  • Reducing the production of DHT altogether.

  • Inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, known as alpha 5 reductase.

  • Reducing the precursors to this enzyme, such as cholesterol.

Employing these strategies can reduce the presence and effectiveness of DHT. Importantly, when the process of DHT formation and attachment is reversed, hair loss is halted, and normal patterns of hair growth should return. Understanding how this hormone works in the body is the key to stopping you hair loss in its tracks with the use of DHT blockers.

Back to blog