What Role Does Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Play in Hair Loss & Thinning Hair?
Dihydrotestosterone, commonly known as DHT, is a hormone that plays a crucial role in the development of male characteristics. DHT is derived from testosterone, which is a hormone produced in the testicles. It is formed when an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into DHT. DHT is responsible for the development and growth of male sex organs during puberty, as well as the development of secondary male characteristics such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth.
Understanding DHT & Hair Loss
While DHT plays an important role in the development of male characteristics, it is also the culprit behind hair loss. DHT is known to cause hair follicles to shrink, leading to the thinning of hair and eventual hair loss. Hair loss caused by DHT is often referred to as androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men, affecting over 50% of men over the age of 50. Male pattern baldness is characterized by a receding hairline and thinning hair on the crown of the head. It is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, with DHT being the primary hormone involved in hair loss.
DHT is known to bind to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and produce thinner, shorter hairs. Over time, the hair follicles become smaller and eventually stop producing hair altogether. This process is known as miniaturization and is the main reason behind male pattern baldness.
The Connection Between DHT and Hair Loss in Women
While DHT is primarily associated with male pattern baldness, it can also cause hair loss in women. Women have lower levels of testosterone than men, but they still produce small amounts of the hormone. When testosterone is converted into DHT, it can lead to hair loss in women, especially after menopause.
Women who experience hair loss caused by DHT may notice thinning hair on the crown of the head, similar to male pattern baldness. However, women are more likely to experience diffuse hair loss, which is characterized by a general thinning of hair all over the scalp.
What Does DHT Do in the Body?
DHT is a powerful hormone that plays a variety of roles in the body. In addition to its role in the development of male characteristics and hair growth, DHT is also involved in the development of the prostate gland and the regulation of sex drive. However, high levels of DHT can also have negative effects on the body. High levels of DHT have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, as well as an increased risk of developing acne and oily skin.
Dihydrotestosterone vs Testosterone: What’s the Difference?
While DHT and testosterone are both hormones produced in the testicles, they have different effects on the body. Testosterone is responsible for the development of male characteristics, such as muscle growth, deep voice, and body hair. In contrast, DHT is responsible for the development of male sex organs, as well as the growth and maintenance of facial hair.
DHT is also much more potent than testosterone, meaning that it has a stronger effect on the body. This potency is what makes DHT such a powerful hormone in the development of male characteristics, as well as in the development of hair loss.
How to Reduce DHT Levels and Prevent Hair Loss
Reducing DHT levels is an effective way to prevent hair loss caused by DHT. There are a variety of ways to reduce DHT levels, including natural hair loss remedies and medical treatments.
One natural remedy for reducing DHT levels is saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is an herb that has been shown to block the production of DHT in the body. One of the most common treatments is finasteride, which is a medication that blocks the production of DHT in the body. Minoxidil is another medication that is commonly used to treat hair loss caused by DHT.
In addition to medication, there is also hair transplant surgery, as well as non-surgical hair replacement.