Understanding the Role of DHT and Male Pattern Baldness
DHT, short for dihydrotestosterone, is a hormone that plays an important role in male pattern baldness – a condition estimated to affect over half of all men in the US and across the world. Male pattern baldness, unsurprisingly, is caused by an over-abundance of DHT, which affects the growth of hair on the scalp.
To understand the role of DHT in male pattern baldness, it is important to have a basic knowledge of hair growth. Hair follicles are responsible for the growth of hair on the scalp, and DHT is a hormone that, when in excessive amounts, can disrupt the normal hair cycle. In essence, DHT can shrink the hair follicles, decreasing the opportunity for new hair growth. As the follicles become smaller, hair typically grows in shorter, thinner, and weaker than before. Eventually, these follicles become unable to produce hair, and result in baldness.
Treating Male Pattern Baldness
Fortunately, there are treatments available to help restore and/or prevent male pattern baldness. The most commonly discussed are medications that are used to reduce the amount of DHT present in the scalp. One example is Finasteride, which is taken either orally or topically by men to prevent male pattern baldness. It is important to note that Finasteride is not considered a “cure” for the condition, but rather works to reduce DHT production, stopping further hair loss and allowing the remaining follicles to continue to produce hair.
In addition, research shows that Diet, Exercise, and Stress Reduction can help to reduce levels of DHT, as well as limiting exposure to environmental factors such as tobacco and other poisons. It is claimed that through a well-balanced lifestyle, levels of DHT can be lowered enough to reduce the effects male pattern baldness.
In summary, the role of DHT in male pattern baldness is clear. An over-abundance of DHT will cause the hair follicles to shrink, so hair grows weak and thin. The good news is that there are treatments available to reduce levels of DHT, such as Finasteride, along with a balanced diet, exercise, and stress reduction to help reduce levels and promote healthy hair growth.