What is DHT?
If you’ve started to research male hair loss, there’s a strong chance you’ll have bumped up against the term DHT. It’s one of those ‘bogeyman’ chemicals in the body which is blamed for any number of ailments, but what exactly is DHT, and does your body really need it? Join us as we explain all.
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is an entirely natural but potent metabolite of the human body, and as you’ve probably read, the most common cause for hair loss in men. As the name implies, it’s a close chemical relative of testosterone, and is created when androgen metabolises and becomes involved with an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. If all that sounds complicated, don’t worry, just know that DHT is entirely natural.
Indeed, without DHT, your development into adulthood would have been severely hampered. Research has found that the chemical is essential in the development of masculine characteristics like facial hair. It also has an essential role in foetal development, helping to develop the penis and prostate. Put simply, it’s something that as a man, you don’t want to have been born without it.
Later in life though, DHT can cause a number of issues, such as acne, enlargement of the prostate and, yes, hair loss.
Most people assume that DHT makes your hair fall out, when the reality is somewhat different. For those who have a genetic tendency towards hair loss, the hair follicles on your head are particularly sensitive to DHT. The chemical restricts your hair follicles ability to produce hair growth, slowly closing the follicles so that your hair becomes thinner before eventually failing to grow all together. It does this by preventing proteins, vitamins and minerals from providing the nourishment required to keep your hair follicles in a life sustaining state.
Naturally, that can be an incredibly worrying thing to see happening, and leads to some feeling helpless in the face of their situation. There is, however, something that can be done about it.
The first step is proper nutrition, but that alone won’t halt the process of balding or reverse the loss that’s already taken place. Instead, you should look towards treatments which have shown results in the treatment of hair loss. Treatments like Low Level (Cold Laser) Laser Therapy.
Low Level Laser Therapy increases blood flow in the scalp and stimulates the metabolism in catagen or telogen follicles, resulting in the production of hair. The photons of light from these lasers lead to the production of ATP, which is converted to cyclic Amp in the hair follicle cells releasing energy and stimulating metabolic processes in hair growth. Increased blood flow to the scalp then nourishes your hair follicles and reduces the amount of DHT build up.