What is the Relationship of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to Thinning Hair & Balding?
There are many different causes of hair loss in both men and women, most of which aren’t well understood. Some sources are genetic while others are physical symptoms of disease processes. Others still are the result of hormones, which often affect so many aspects of our health. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is one of these hormonal processes that affects men and women alike. But what is it? And in particular, how is it related to thinning hair and balding? And most importantly, what can you do about it?
What Is DHT and Why Does It Matter?
DHT is an androgen, which is a hormone that produces male characteristics like body hair and deep voices. Although men’s bodies produce more androgens, women’s bodies also produce the hormone. This includes DHT. Up to 10% of a man’s testosterone is typically converted into Dihydrotestosterone. According to Medical News Today, DHT “attaches to the same sites as testosterone, but more easily,” and it tends to remain bound longer.
DHT serves a conflicting role in hair growth. While it’s necessary for hair growth in places like under the arms and on the face, it actually negatively affects hair on the head. The exact reason is unknown, but it’s thought that DHT binds to androgen receptors on the hair follicles, which triggers them to begin miniaturizing, a process which results in hair being unable to grow as long as it once did. Eventually, the hair becomes so short that it doesn’t even make it past the scalp. This hair easily falls out as well.
Is DHT Just a Men’s Thing?
DHT doesn’t affect everyone equally. No one knows precisely why some people experience DHT sensitivity while others don’t, but medical researchers theorize that this increased sensitivity could be due to greater levels of DHT production in the body, an elevated level of DHT or androgenetic receptor follicles, and higher overall levels of testosterone, which subsequently converts to higher levels of DHT.
Both men and women are affected by DHT-induced hair loss, but women are especially susceptible. All women produce a small amount of testosterone, but even those small amounts can spell trouble for her hair. For women, DHT can lead to problems either through direct increase in levels or through a hormone imbalance that creates a higher relative level of DHT compared to other hormones that keep it in check.
What Can You Do About the Effects of DHT?
There is no magic bullet cure, but some medications can lower the amount of DHT your body produces, which can slow the balding process or even delay it if taken early enough. Before starting any treatment, however, be sure to speak with your doctor, and reach out to the specialists at our St. Louis hair restoration clinic to explore the hair loss treatment and hair restoration options which are most appropriate to your specific situation.
Talk to a Hair Restoration Specialist
The best way to determine the most appropriate hair loss solution for you is to talk privately with a trained hair restoration and hair loss treatment specialist. At the Moore Hair Clinic in St. Louis, we constantly strive to give you the freedom to choose what is the absolute best solution for you. We provide our clients with personalized custom solutions, including state-of-the-art advanced hair transplant procedures and non-surgical hair loss treatment options that are so natural that there is simply no reason to suffer from hair loss or baldness any longer.