Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is one of the most common causes of hair loss. It is a steroid hormone that our bodies naturally produce. Both men and women have it, which means that the hair loss it causes affects both sexes. Here we’ll take a look at the role of this hormone and explain how DHT causes hair loss.
The Role of DHT
Our bodies derive DHT from testosterone. In men, this conversion usually occurs in the testes and the prostate. In women, this process takes place in the ovaries. As a rule, our bodies convert up to 10% of their testosterone supplies on any given day.
DHT is an androgen that gives men their male features. According to research, DHT plays an important role in the growth of facial hair. It also helps the development of male reproductive organs during the fetal development.
But this hormone is also among the most common hormonal causes of acne in both teens and adults. What’s more, it can affect your prostate and may even play a part in the development of prostate cancer.
How DHT Causes Hair Loss
As it travels through your body, DHT attaches itself to the receptors on the hair follicles. In doing so, it blocks the entry to the follicles, thus preventing some vital nutrients from getting in. As a result, the follicles will shrink and won’t be able to produce new hair.
You will still continue to shed the normal amount of hair each day, but the follicles will be unable to replace it. Your hair will thus start thinning out, which is how DHT causes hair loss.
Now, high levels of DHT won’t cause hair loss in all men and women. Its effects will vary based on how sensitive your hair follicles are to this hormone. And this depends on whether or not you’ve inherited the so-called “hair loss gene.”
If you’re losing hair due to the effects of DHT, you should talk to your doctor. They’ll recommend a treatment to lower your DHT levels and reduce hair loss.