Hair loss isn’t just a trait which can be passed on from one generation to another via genes; there’s a hormone called DHT, and it plays a huge role in pattern baldness. Keep reading to learn more.
In this article:
- Genetic Male Pattern Hair Loss and DHT
- What Is DHT?
- What Does DHT Have to Do with Hair Loss?
- Why Does DHT Cause Hair Loss in Some People More Than Others?
- What Can You Do About DHT-Related Hair Loss?
- Using Hair Loss Medication
- Combining Surgery with Medicine
- Reducing Hair Loss Risk Factors
DHT in Male-Pattern Baldness
Genetic Male Pattern Hair Loss and DHT
If there is one thing we’ve all learned over the years, it’s the importance of genetics. What most people don’t understand is that your chances of losing your hair largely boil down to genetics and a little hormone known as DHT.
While some don’t see it that way, the truth is that genetics plays a large role in who we are.
Some people are world-class athletes, gifted in every sport they touch, while others trip over their own two feet. Some can learn a new skill or subject without a second thought, while others are constantly left behind.
Some consider that the luck of the draw. Others consider that simply having good genes.
However you look at it, this plays a big role in hair loss too. Some men hit their 80s with a full head of hair, while others go bald before they hit 30.
While good old Mother Nature might be to blame here when it comes to DHT, others attribute this to environmental and physical factors. Either way, the question becomes, is it possible to reverse the so-called hands of time?
What Is DHT?
DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone. It’s one of many male hormones which allow your body to develop male characteristics and do a variety of distinctly male functions.
Your body doesn’t produce DHT in a gland as it does with most other hormones. In fact, a particular natural enzyme converts a certain percentage of your testosterone to DHT.
What Does DHT Have to Do with Hair Loss?
DHT is an important part of your male anatomy but it has a downside. In many men, it can bind to receptors on the hair follicles in your scalp.
When it happens, it initiates a process called miniaturization.
What Is Miniaturization? This refers to the shrinking of hair due to the excessive amount of DHT in the system. This hormone-related process may eventually lead to alopecia or pattern hair loss if left without treatment.
The follicles with DHT bound to them get smaller and weaker. They produce weaker, slower-growing hair strands little by little until they stop producing hair altogether.
Interestingly, not all hair follicles are susceptible to this problem. The follicles around the back and sides of your scalp are resistant to DHT, which causes the well-known horseshoe hair pattern some men have.
Why Does DHT Cause Hair Loss in Some People More Than Others?
As we mentioned above, you’ve no doubt noticed some men lose more hair than others. Why does this happen?
First of all, it’s worth noting that hair loss hits almost all men at some point. In fact, 85% of men will be losing hair by the time they reach 50. However, hair loss starts earlier and has a more severe effect on certain men.
This is because some men are genetically more sensitive to DHT than others. Doctors aren’t exactly sure why, but it’s clear that DHT sensitivity runs in families.
What Can You Do About DHT-Related Hair Loss?
Hair loss may be a naturally occurring process but that doesn’t mean you need to sit by and watch it happen. Thanks to extensive medical research, there are treatments which have been proven to be effective in fighting androgenetic alopecia and androgenic alopecia.
Using Hair Loss Medication
Now that you know how DHT causes hair loss, how can you stop it in its tracks?
The answer lies in a combination of two medications: finasteride and minoxidil.
Finasteride for Hair Loss
Finasteride is an oral medication. You may know it under the brand name Propecia, but generic versions like the finasteride we offer at Alpha Now are less expensive and just as effective.
Finasteride binds to an enzyme which converts testosterone to DHT, serving as one of the DHT blockers. This blocks the enzyme from creating as much DHT as it previously did.
With less DHT in your system, your hair follicles won’t feel its harsh effects.
For most men, finasteride is effective for stopping or slowing the progression of their hair loss. In some, though, it can help some of the lost hair regrow.
Finasteride is a prescription-only medication, but that doesn’t mean a trip to your doctor. Alpha Now can connect you to physicians digitally who will assess your needs and issue you a prescription, allowing us to send the medication to your home.
Minoxidil for Hair Loss
The other top medication for hair loss is called minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine.
Minoxidil is a topical medication for scalp hair. While finasteride stops your hair loss from continuing, minoxidil fights back against the hair loss which has already happened.
With consistent use, minoxidil reverses the miniaturization process to allow your hair follicles to regain their ability to grow hair. It further helps by pushing your follicles into the hair growth phase or anagen phase and keeping them in there for longer.
Like finasteride, minoxidil is FDA-approved as safe and effective. While Rogaine is available over the counter, our Alpha Now Minoxidil is more budget-friendly.
Combining Surgery with Medicine
Some men think, “Can’t I skip the medication and have a hair transplant surgery instead?” This is a common myth though.
In truth, finasteride and minoxidil are crucial follow-up medications for any hair transplant surgery.
While a hair transplant seems to provide fast results, it doesn’t do anything to stop that pesky DHT from binding to the transplanted follicles and creating the same problem all over again.
Finasteride and minoxidil are essential for maintaining hair transplant results. In fact, you’d have a hard time finding a transplant surgeon who doesn’t recommend that their patients use the medications after surgery.
Reducing Hair Loss Risk Factors
The vast majority of men lose their hair because of male pattern baldness: the type of hair loss DHT causes. However, there are other factors which can make the problem worse.
Stress, poor nutrition, and certain underlying health conditions can cause hair loss. If any of these issues are adding to your hair loss, getting them under control will make your finasteride and minoxidil even more effective.
While it’s hard to know if you’re suffering ill effects from stress, malnutrition, or other issues, it’s a good idea to improve these problems regardless.
Find ways to control the stress in your life. Be mindful about maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet. Keep up with regular physical exams and blood work to detect any other problems.
For countless men, hair loss has become a part of life. They choose to cope with the problem and let their self-esteem take a hit because they think they have no practical choice.
The truth is that hair loss due to DHT is rather easy to combat. All you need is a consistent routine with a combination of finasteride and minoxidil and you can fight back against hair loss.
To start the road toward feeling great about your hair again, take our simple hair loss questionnaire. You’ll quickly discover that our hair loss treatments are fast, effective and potent.
The best part? We’ll discreetly ship our products straight to your doorstep.
Have you tried using minoxidil or finasteride on your scalp? Share your experience with Alpha Now products in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 15, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.