Effects of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
Dihydrotestosterone (abbreviated as DHT) is a sex steroid and androgen hormone that plays a primary role in the growth of sexual organs as well as body hair. About 5% of testosterone is converted into DHT in men, which is synthesized by the 5a-reductase enzyme.
DHT and Sexual Development
DHT plays an essential role in forming the male genitalia during embryogenesis. As a male enters puberty and adulthood, DHT facilitates the growth of body hair. In some rare cases, a deficiency in the 5a-reductase gene can cause Pseudohermaphroditism, a condition in which a person is born without defined sexual organs. Persons afflicted with this very rare condition lack pubic or body hair and do not tend to experience the loss of hair.
DHT and Hair Loss
Through numerous research studies, researchers have found that high levels of DHT, low levels of total testosterone, and higher levels of 5a- reductase are directly related to male pattern baldness. In fact, researchers believe that the high DHT levels are the primary case of male baldness in up to 95% of men. For nearly all balding men, DHT is the chief culprit and plays a role in almost all cases of premature hair loss in men.
DHT causes hair loss in two different ways. While normal levels of DHT actually facilitate hair growth, excess DHT levels actually have the opposite effect. DHT binds to the receptors in the scalp, which causes the hair follicle to shrink. Eventually, the hair either completely shrinks or falls out.
DHT also blocks nutrients from reaching the dermal papilla, which is a small nipple-like extension that connects the hair follicle to the epidermis of the skin. As DHT obstructs the flow of nutrients to the follicle, the follicle weakens and its' growth phase is greatly reduced.
Treatment for Hair Loss
Eventually, DHT can cause hair follicles to stop producing new hair completely, unless treatment is pursued. There are a wide variety of prescription drugs available that are FDA-Approved to treat hair loss. These drugs work by inhibiting 5a-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. In some clinical studies, participants who took these drugs saw up to a 60% reduction in DHT levels.
There are also other surgical procedures you can consider like hair transplants or scalp reductions. Both surgical procedures are only cosmetic in nature and will not actually treat your condition. Plus, medical procedures can be extremely painful and can cost thousands of dollars.
Third and finally, there are some hair growth supplements available that promise to naturally decrease DHT production. While these supplements are not subject to FDA approval, there have been some reports of success using these types of supplements. If you opt to go for this route, make sure to do your research before buying any specific brand.
While DHT does play an important role in the growth of our sexual organs and maturation of our body early on, its effects later in life tend to be negative. In addition to obvious effects in male pattern baldness, science has also found a correlation between DHT and risks of BPH and other prostate problems that can negatively affect adult men. Products like Procerin show great promise in limiting the harmful effects of DHT in a safe and natural way.