Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, are you familiar with this androgen? This is testosterone’s potent form which causes hair loss. Once the testosterone inside your body is converted, it becomes DHT. Another enzyme is said to speed up the conversion of testosterone and that enzyme is called 5-alpha-reductase.
In short, testosterone and 5-alpha-reductase should go along together to produce DHT. If one of these two is controlled or reduced in number, then there would be less production of DHT. When there is less DHT, hair loss can be reduced or prevented.
One common DHT inhibitor is finasteride. It inhibits 5-alpha-reductase to lower DHT production. By taking finasteride, the number of enzymes present in the hair follicles and in the blood is reduced. But this drug is said to have several side effects like erectile dysfunction, enlargement of male breast tissues, and decreased sex drive. Finasteride is also not recommended for pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. Before using this DHT inhibitor, it would be best to consult your primary physician first.
The side effects of finasteride can be minimized or avoided by using topical solutions.
Now, there are individuals who are hesitant to use hair loss drugs because they don’t like the side effects. If you don’t want to take hair loss drugs, you can also go for alternative medications like herbs. One very good example of herbs that you can use for treating baldness is saw palmetto. This herb slows down balding or hair loss and can stimulate hair growth. Saw palmetto inhibits the formation of DHT which the major cause of hair loss or balding. You can use saw palmetto’s extracts or tinctures to block the cell membrane receptors for DHT.
Another good example is the herb pygeum that inhibits the production of DHT by reducing the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. The testosterone will not be converted into DHT since the enzyme is reduced. Green tea works the same way as pygeum so you can also use it if you like.
Instead of reducing the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, the stinging nettle acts on the testosterone preventing it from being converted to DHT. Somehow, the abovementioned herbs are closely related to each other and if you try to talk to a herbalist, he or she will recommend using these herbs together particularly the saw palmetto, pygeum, and stinging nettle.
Clinical studies have been truly helpful in determining the causes of balding. It is very evident that aside from being genetically inherited, the hormones inside the body have a lot to do with baldness or alopecia. Testosterone and the enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase produces dihydrotestosterone which is primarily responsible for balding.
By using drugs and herbs that inhibit these three important factors, further hair loss can be prevented. Since there is no known cure for hair loss, DHT inhibitors are already good alternatives to counter baldness or hair loss.
By seeking the help of your primary physician, you can ask for recommendations of DHT inhibitors that suit your condition. Remember that the body reacts to different kinds of drugs and medications. Just to be on the safe side, always consult first with your doctor before using any product.
Although over-the-counter hair loss products are widely available, be extra careful in choosing which product to use. Make sure that it has no harmful side effects that can worsen your present hair loss problems.