What is DHT — and how do DHT blockers work?

How to stop hair loss

Hair loss especially is men is something most men expect but it’s still embarrassing. You’re frantically searching the internet for some cure or treatment, hours reading medical pages. You can stop looking now! You have probably not heard about DHT so keep reading and you’ll be an expert by the end of this article. 

 

Hair growth 

To get a better understanding of DHT and how it works, we need to go back to start and learn about hair growth. So the thought of hair loss is unsettling, take comfort in knowing that it does not happen overnight. There are four stages of hair growth that occurs on your head. The anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen phase. You probably learnt this in biology class but don’t worry I didn’t remember what they were before my research. 

 

The anagen phase lasts for about two to six years. The catagen phase is known as the transition phase, it spans only a few weeks. The telogen phase is called the resting phase lasting about three months and finally, the exogen phase is when shedding occurs and you’ll notice about 100-150 hairs falling out each day. I used to be frightened at the amount of hair is lost in a day, but around 100 seems right and it’s not worrying anymore as I know this is normal. 

 

The exogen phase (hair fall) happens as the hair follicle is growing a new hair and it’s pushing the old one out. But how does this all relate to hair loss? Hair loss sets in as the hair follicles get smaller and smaller. This makes it harder for hair growth, the anagen phase becomes shorter and the telogen phase is longer. Male hair loss is a slow progressive process and spans a couple of years, it does not happen instantaneously. Do don’t go down without a fight, you have time to stop it. So this is where you can start using DHT. 

 

What is DHT?

DHT is known as dihydrotestosterone. It is a male sex hormone (an androgen) which consists of the male hormone we all have heard about, testosterone. This testosterone plays many roles in male sex characteristic development: facial hair, deep voice and muscles. An enzyme called 5alpha-reductase converts the testosterone into DHT. Male hair loss happens as the DHT binds to receptors in the hair follicles causing them to shrink and stop hair growth altogether. You’re probably wondering why it happens to you. Male hair has some sort of genetic predisposition, but scientist have not come up with an answer as to why it happens in some families and not others. 

 

Is there more I should know?

Yes, there are some key things you should know about. You’ll probably come across loads of sites on the internet claiming all different types of products acting as DHT blockers - shampoos, pumpkin seeds or even emu oil. But there’s only one type of DHT blocker known to work so before you go buying emu oil, please know it will not work. 

 

Finasteride is a DHT blocker that is only available via a doctor’s prescription. Yes, that’s very annoying I know but it needs to be regulated. Finasteride has its effects by binding to the 5alpaha reductase enzyme, stopping the conversion of testosterone to DHT as testosterone can’t do it on its own. By stopping the DHT production from the source, this can put a stop to that hair loss and receding hairline. 

 

Finasteride available as Propecia is a daily pill available on prescription. So yes you’ll have to make that doctors appointment and get a prescription. It can be annoying but most definitely worth it to stop the hair loss. Here at Medzino, we make it simpler for you. You won’t need to leave the comfort of your home to get that prescription. Just get a two minutes consultation and if you’re eligible for a DHT blocker medication, you’ll get it posted straight to your home. Easy peasy and hassle-free. 

 

If hair loss would stop overnight, that would be miraculous but you’ll have to be patient. It can take a couple of months before you start seeing a difference and you’ll have to keep taking it for the effects to last. 

 

As with all medications, Finasteride comes with side effects like lower libido and sexual function and an increased risk of prostate cancer. Pregnant women need to not come into contact with any tablets even touching it. If you’re forgetful like me, it can be pesky to remember taking a pill every day but if you miss a dose do not double up. Just take the next dose as normal. 

 

Nutshell

So the reason behind hair loss is DHT. It shrinks those hair follicles, stopping hair growth! That’s not what you want so by using DHT blockers it basically stops DHT from working and halts hair loss and even can even help future hair growth. 

 

References

  1. Mayo Clinic. Finasteride (Oral Route) Side Effects - Mayo Clinic. [Online] Mayoclinic.org. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/finasteride-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20063819?p=1
  2. Mayo Clinic. Hair loss - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic. [Online] Mayoclinic.org. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372932
  3. Viviscal. Viviscal hair vitamin supplements for men and women. [Online] Viviscal. Available from: https://www.viviscal.com/how-viviscal-works/#:~:text=Hair%20grows%20from%20the%20follicle%2C%20or%20root%2C%20underneath%20the%20skin.&text=Between%20starting%20to%20grow%20and [Accessed: 30th June 2020]

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