Here is Everything You Need to Know About DHT and Hair Loss

Here is Everything You Need to Know About DHT and Hair Loss
Published : Sep 06, 2023
Last Updated : Jan 25, 2024

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that is essential for the development of new hair. Men's hair thinning and reduced hair follicles are both effects of DHT-related hair loss.

Androgenetic alopecia, often known as male pattern hair loss, is the main cause of hair thinning in about 50% of cases.

Dihydrotestosterone, often known as DHT, is the hormone in your body that causes this type of hair loss.

What do you understand by DHT?

Your body creates DHT, also known as dihydrotestosterone, as a byproduct of testosterone.

Androgens are hormones that produce masculine traits and are in charge of preserving several facets of sexual health and function. Before you are born, DHT aids in developing your male sexual organs and scrotum.

As you enter adolescence period, this hormone promotes the growth of facial hair, pubic hair, and body hair.

In some men, dihydrotestosterone triggers thinning and loss of hair on the head. For different men, this process starts at diverse stages. Some men begin to experience hair loss from 17 to 18 years of age.

Also, some men can start experiencing DHT-related hair loss problems later in their life.

Relation between DHT and hair loss

DHT-induced hair loss is called androgenic alopecia and 10% of testosterone in adult men & women gets converted to DHT.

Once DHT starts to be present in your bloodstream, sometimes it links itself to receptors on hair follicles in the scalp.

This further causes them to shrink and become less effective in supporting a healthy head of hair. You need to know that hair follicle receptors are necessary for hair growth because they signal the loss of old hair.

In this way, the growth of new hair from follicles is promoted. Shrinkage of follicles decreases their ability to grow hair thicker.

Normal levels of DHT can result in male pattern baldness and having unusually high levels of DHT is linked to slow healing from injuries.

What is the role of DHT in hair loss?

DHT hormones and hair loss have a complicated relationship. To know what is DHT hair loss, first understand the science behind it.

Your hair follicles are made from dermal papilla cells which are responsible for hair growth and production.

These papilla cells are androgen receptors and are rooted right inside your scalp. DHT has a propensity to connect itself to receptor cells. 

Once DHT is attached to these cells, it starts obstructing the flow of vital nutrients to your follicles.

When there is a lack of important nutrients, the resting phase of these follicles is increased automatically.

Moreover, your new hair shafts have not progressed in an ideal manner. This makes your hair shafts thinner and causes bald patches.

As DHT is responsible for causing hair loss, you need to take the help of the best DHT blockers for hair loss treatment.

Why does DHT affect people in a different way?

Your inclination to hair loss is genetic which means it is passed down in your family.

If you are male and have a father experiencing male pattern balding then it is likely that you will go through the same balding pattern. 

When you are already prone to male pattern baldness, then the follicle-shrinking effect of DHT is more common.

Both the size and shape of your head can also contribute to how quickly DHT is shrinking your follicles.

What high levels of DHT can cause?

High levels of DHT are associated with a number of medical problems, including:

  • Androgenic alopecia
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Prostate cancer

How to decrease DHT and stop hair loss?

As DHT is the main hormone responsible for hair loss in men, and the most effective way to prevent it is by blocking DHT.

Nowadays, the most effective way to decrease DHT levels is by taking medicine like finasteride. Also, you can block DHT at your scalp level by using medicated shampoos that contain ingredients like saw palmetto.


Finasteride is marketed as Propecia, a prescription medication recognized by the FDA.

When used as prescribed by a doctor, this medication is safe and effective in the treatment of male pattern baldness.

Finasteride reduces DHT levels by inhibiting the actions of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.

When this conversion is stopped, finasteride lowers the total amount of DHT that is produced by your body.

You can consider finasteride as a protection that blocks DHT from shrinking your hair follicles and contributing to hormonal hair loss.

It is believed that a normal dose of finasteride can lower your DHT levels by 70%. This further is beneficial to slow down, stop, or reverse hair loss problems in men.

Reduction in DHT levels means your hair follicles are no longer under continuous damage due to the effects of dihydrotestosterone.

Finasteride is easy to use and as a man, you can notice improvements after three months of constant use. Nevertheless, you will experience noticeable results of this medication only after one year.

DHT-blocking shampoo

Have you ever spent time looking for a men’s shampoo section at your local drugstore? If yes, then you must have come across a DHT-blocking shampoo that provides quick relief from hair loss.

The DHT-blocking shampoo contains active ingredients that remove additional DHT from the scalp and provide protection against hair loss.

One famous ingredient in hair thickening shampoo is saw palmetto which stops the buildup of DHT on your scalp.

Another is ketoconazole which is a topical antifungal medicine helpful in improving hair growth in men and low DHT levels.

Therefore, before you start any treatment for your hair loss problem, it is necessary to discuss it with a doctor.