EXPERT GUIDE

15 DHT Blocker Against Hair Loss

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Sternberg Written by Alex Rode on 28 Jul 2022

At least 40% of all men and 20% of all women are affected by hair loss. Excess DHT is one of the main causes of hair loss in men and women. Through various foods, drinks, but also medications, you can counteract the excess DHT and hair loss. Learn on this page, which means sustainably DHT block.

What is DHT anyway?

DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone and is a biological male sex hormone, an androgen and can cause hair loss if the hair roots are hypersensitive. Although DHT as a sex hormone contributes mainly in men for the formation of biological sex characteristics, it is present in men as well as in women.

DHT is produced by conversion from testosterone, in the testes and prostate in men and in the ovaries in women. Testosterone is converted to DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.

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What is the function of DHT?

DHT, the sex hormone is present as a chemical messenger in the human body. And serves in men for the expression of the male phenotype. In general, these androgens are also male sex hormones, important for the development and expression of male body characteristics. And are especially important during puberty for the development of boys into men. In men, the androgens DHT and testosterone are mainly responsible for the development of the sex organs, the increase in muscle mass, for the body and beard hair and the deeper voice.

In women, however, the concentration of DHT is significantly lower, where the normal value in men is about 0.16 to 1.1 ng/ml, in women this is between 0.06 and 0.2 ng/ml.
In women, however, DHT plays another important role. Thus, DHT serves as a precursor for female sex hormones such as estradiol, so testosterone in women is not only the prohormone for DHT but also for estradiol. The androgens also have other important roles in the female body, so on the one hand they are responsible for the libido, but also on the other hand for strengthening the muscles and bones.

Why does DHT cause hair loss?

However, DHT is not only found in the body, but also in the human scalp. There, DHT binds to special androgen receptors that promote proteins that are crucial for hair growth.
In male pattern hair loss, too much DHT is located at the receptor for androgens and causes the body to react too strongly. The resulting hormonal imbalance reduces blood vessels, especially in the scalp. As a result, the hair roots can no longer be supplied with sufficient nutrients. Their natural reaction is to recede and become smaller over the following hair cycles. The scalp hair slowly decreases and becomes thinner and thinner due to the death of the hair roots.

Hair Growth Cycle

 

Increased DHT content in the scalp also disturbs and shortens the growth phases. This causes the hair to fall out even faster and creates a chain reaction of hair thinning and hair loss.
However, the hair on the back of the neck and the back of the head are not as sensitive to the DHT and thus fall out later.

 

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The 10 best natural DHT blockers

1. Coconut oil

Through its oleic acids, myric acids and lauric acid, coconut oil is able to alleviate 5-AR activity. By inhibiting 5-AR activity, it is believed to inhibit the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Not only is coconut oil generally good for the hair and scalp, but it can also serve as a natural hair loss remedy.
The oils are to be taken orally and can then act directly on the DHT.

2. Pumpkin seed oil

In a Korean study, it was found that pumpkin seed oil can help with hereditary hair loss. In 2014, Korean men with hereditary hair loss were given 400 ml of pumpkin seed oil orally every day for a period of one year. Compared to the control group, which received a placebo, hair density increased by 40%, showing that pumpkin seed oil definitely has an effect.

3. Kale

Kale has become known as a superfood in recent years, and not without reason. Due to its lowering effect on cholesterol levels as well as its anti-inflammatory effect and its effect on strengthening the bones, this is also no wonder. But kale is also excellent as a natural blocker of DHT. Due to its high content of zinc, it prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

4. Castor oil

Castor oil is obtained from the seed of the tropical miracle tree castor. Due to its own smell and taste, as well as its effect as a laxative, castor oil has become known. However, it is not only helpful as a laxative, but also as a hair loss remedy. Due to its high content of omega-9 fatty acids, it strengthens, fortifies and nourishes the hair and prevents hair loss. The oil is best applied directly to the affected areas on the scalp.

5. Green tea

Not only is green tea generally very healthy due to its high content of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is a type of antioxidant, it can prevent testosterone from being converted into DHT. The catechin, EGCG, helps by inhibiting 5-AR activity. This makes green tea perfect as a DHT blocker.

6. Nettles

According to various studies, it is now clear that the consumption of nettles can help with many diseases. The stinging nettle is also perfect as a DHT blocker. However, it should be cooked, dried or further processed before that it does not sting when eaten.

7. Bananas

As a natural source of biotin, potassium and magnesium, bananas are considered the perfect fruit against hair loss. Due to their natural content of biotin, bananas are perfect as a blocker of DHT and are also extremely healthy for the body.

8. White mushrooms

Their versatility in cooking as well as their nutrients make white mushrooms perfect as a food source against hair loss and DHT. Due to their high content of DHT, white mushrooms block 5-AR activity and thus the conversion of testosterone to DHT. In addition, they are perfect for any dish, making them perfect alongside bananas, nuts and tomatoes for the daily dose of DHT-blocking foods.

9. Nuts
Not only that they are very healthy for the body, nuts can also help block the DHT and thus fight hair loss. Depending on the nut, however, this is different content that causes this. So peanuts contain L-lysine and biotin, which blocks DHT, pecans contain L-lysine and walnuts contain L-lysine, proteins and vitamin E.

10. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are the perfect food when it comes to tastiness and effectiveness against hair loss. Especially the darker tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which can fight not only DHT but also cancer. Heating even increases the potency of lycopene. As a food, tomato is so perfect as an everyday food against hair loss.

svg Summary natural DHT blocker

Natural DHT blocker are inexpensive and usually do not cause side effects, but their effectiveness against hair loss is not scientifically proven or a high effectiveness.

Reduce DHT with medication?

The natural remedies and foods are usually perfect as a supplement to maintain a healthy balance in the body. However, if it is already advanced with the hair loss, one must also sometimes resort to more drastic measures such as medication. Below we present the 3 most common medications for hair loss, with their advantages and disadvantages.

Reduce DHT with Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is actually one of the high blood pressure medications, but it is also used as a hair loss remedy. The side effect as a high blood pressure medication is increased hair growth and headaches. As a hair restorer, it is applied as a solution or foam to the affected areas. The mechanism of action of the drug is not yet fully understood. Applied to the scalp as a foam or solution, minoxidil can help increase hair growth. As long as the drug is not taken orally, it seems to be well tolerated by the human body.

How do minoxidil and finasteride work?

 

Dutasteride against DHT?

Dutasteride mainly helps against hereditary hair loss, it inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme helps to convert the sex hormone testosterone into DHT. According to various studies, it has been shown to positively affect hair length and growth. So far, dutasteride can only be sold off-label, as it has not yet been approved.

The application is a bit more complicated, it is injected 4-5 mm deep all over the scalp after local anesthesia. After the treatment there may be a headache and a feeling of pressure on the scalp.

Or finasteride after all?

Finasteride is probably better known as Propecia and is a popular treatment for hereditary hair loss. Finasteride works by interfering with hormone balance and inhibiting the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme in the body’s cells, which are responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. Side effects of this drug may include loss of libido and erectile dysfunction due to its interference with hormone balance. Besides the oral finasteride, it is also possible to apply topical finasteride.

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Alternative treatments against hair loss

As an alternative to natural remedies and medications, there are of course alternative remedies for hair loss. “Platelet-rich plasma”, also known as PRP and hair transplants are the best known alternatives to medications and natural remedies.

PRP against hair loss
PRP, also known as Platelet-Rich Plasma, involves taking concentrated and enriched blood plasma. This enriched blood plasma from the patient contains high amounts of platelets, growth factors and proteins. The enriched blood plasma is then injected into the scalp, just like mesotherapy. And it also takes just under 45 minutes. According to Italian doctors, the treatment success of this therapy is 80% for diffuse hair loss, 63% for circular hair loss and 82% for other hair loss.

Hair transplantation as an alternative against hair loss
Also a very popular, but more costly remedy for hair loss is hair transplantation. During hair transplantation, not only the hair but also the hair follicles are transplanted into the scalp. The donor follicles are usually taken from the back of the patient’s head under local anesthesia. Holes are punched in the affected areas where hair is to grow and the follicles are inserted there. The whole procedure takes a few hours and after about three months new hair grows from the follicles. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of success and there may also be scars and infections.

Conclusion

Natural home remedies, foods and superfoods are mostly cheap and side effect free, but their effect is mostly not so well proven. They are suitable mainly to prevent hair loss and DHT. In contrast, the drugs, however, directly affect the hormonal balance, produce results, but may also have side effects and long-term consequences. The drugs can partially stop hair loss, but no new hair will grow through them. A balanced diet to keep DHT in check is usually helpful enough to stop hair loss before it even starts.

But in order to have full hair again in the long term without major side effects, the surgical procedures make the most sense. Since they have neither hormonal side effects, but have a proven effect.

Frequently Asked Questions

What blocks DHT best?

Is finasteride dangerous?

What causes the DHT level to rise?

Sources

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