What is DHT and what does it have to do with Hair Loss?

Men and women experience hair thinning and hair loss.

 

Aside from genetics, autoimmune conditions and diet, one of the key causes of these conditions are hormones and the variety of hormonal changes both men and women experience throughout their lives.

 

Hair loss and hair growth are closely related to the androgen, a male hormone. Different people metabolize androgen differently and it is as a result of this process that hair loss can occur. It is mainly the alterations in the metabolism of androgen in the body that brings about hair loss. When androgen combines with an enzyme which in turn combines with the male hormone testosterone, then DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is the result. And it is DHT that is often pointed to as the main cause or reason of hair loss.

When DHT reaches the hair follicles and dermal papilla (the part of the hair follicle responsible for hair growth) it prevents or blocks nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals from properly nourishing the hair. In turn, as you would imagine, the hair follicles reproduce at a slower rate and the growing phase is shortened (or the “resting stage” is lengthened).

 

What’s more, DHT is also known to shrink the hair follicle. This process, known as “miniaturization,” causes the hair to fall out/off and is responsible for a whopping 95% of hair loss in both men and women. So those who lose the most hair are those who, for genetic and other reasons, produce the most DHT.

 

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