Using DHT Blockers: Do DHT Blockers Affect Beard Growth and Hair Growth?
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most frequent kind of hair loss in men. Hormonal variables, particularly a male sex hormone known as dihydrotestosterone, appear to have a role (DHT). Hair loss affects over half of all males over the age of 50, and approximately 50 million men in the United States (U.S.). DHT has also been linked to female pattern baldness, although this article will focus on male pattern baldness.
Fun facts about Dihydrotestosterone
- DHT is an androgen and helps give guys their male traits.
- DHT is thought to cause shrinkage of hair follicles, which contributes to male pattern hair loss.
- Over half of men in the United States will most likely experience DHT-mediated hair loss by the age of 50.
- Treatments that block DHT may help prevent hair loss.
What is DHT?
DHT serves numerous functions. Aside from hair growth, it has also been related to benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
DHT is a sex steroid, which means it is made in the gonads. It is an androgen hormone as well.
Androgens are responsible for male biological traits such as a deeper voice, body hair, and increased muscle mass. DHT is essential for the development of the penis and prostate gland during fetal development.
The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) turns testosterone to DHT in men’s testicles and prostate. Normally, up to 10% of testosterone is turned into DHT.
DHT has a higher potency than testosterone. It binds to the same locations as testosterone, but with greater ease. Once there, it is bound for a longer period of time.
Hair growth and hair loss
The most frequent type of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness. Hair on the temples and crown thins and eventually falls off.
Although the specific cause is unknown, genetic, hormonal, and environmental variables are all likely to play a role. DHT is thought to be a primary contributor.
Three phases of hair growth
To comprehend male pattern hair loss, we must first comprehend hair development.
The growth of hair is divided into three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen:
Anagen is the stage of development. Hairs can stay in this phase for up to 6 years. The hair grows longer the longer it lasts. Normally, 80 to 85 percent of the hairs on the head are at this stage.
Catagen is only active for two weeks. It enables the hair follicle to regenerate.
Telogen is the dormant phase. For 1 to 4 months, the follicle is dormant. Typically, between 12 and 20% of hairs are in this phase.
After that, anagen resumes. Existing hair is forced out of the pore by new growth and loses spontaneously.
Male pattern hair loss occurs when follicles gradually miniaturize, the anagen phase shortens, and the telogen phase lengthens.
Because of the reduced developing period, the hair cannot grow as long as it used to.
The anagen phase becomes so short over time that the new hairs do not even peek through the skin’s surface. Telogen hair growth is less firmly attached to the scalp, making it more prone to falling out.
With each cycle of growth, the hair shaft becomes thinner as the follicles shrink. Hairs eventually become vellus hairs, the soft, light hairs that cover a child and usually disappear throughout puberty in reaction to androgens.
DHT levels are increased in anabolic steroid users, especially bodybuilders. They do, however, frequently experience hair loss.
The hair on the head grows in the absence of DHT, but armpit, pubic, and beard hair cannot grow in the absence of androgens.
Individuals who have been castrated or have 5-AR deficiency do not have male pattern baldness, but they do have very little hair on the rest of their body.
DHT is required for most hair growth for unknown reasons, however it is damaging to head hair growth.
DHT is believed to bind to androgen receptors on hair follicles. It then appears to activate the receptors to begin miniaturizing via an unknown method.
Researchers discovered in 1998 that plucked follicles and skin from a balding scalp have higher levels of androgen receptors than skin from a non-balding scalp.
Some researchers believe that some people have a hereditary predisposition to otherwise normal levels of circulating androgens, notably DHT. This combination of hormonal and genetic variables may explain why some people are more prone to hair loss than others.
Why does DHT affect people in different ways?
DHT has a variety of effects on people. This could be because of:
- a boost in DHT receptors in the follicle
- an increase in local DHT production
- increased androgen receptor sensitivity
- More DHT is created elsewhere in the body and enters the circulatory system.
- increased testosterone in the blood, which acts as a precursor to DHT
Although DHT binds to follicle receptors five times more strongly than testosterone, the amount of DHT in the scalp is negligible when compared to levels in the prostate.
It is still unknown how levels are managed and why they change.
The role of 5-alpha-reductase
The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) transforms testosterone into the considerably more potent androgen, DHT.
If 5-AR levels rise, more testosterone is turned into DHT, resulting in more hair loss.
There are two types of 5-AR enzymes: type 1 and type 2.
- Type 1 is mostly found in sebaceous glands, which create sebum, the skin’s natural lubricant.
- Type 2 is primarily found in the genitourinary tract and hair follicles.
Type 2 is thought to be more crucial in the hair loss process.
Male pattern hair loss can have a detrimental impact on a man’s self-esteem. Some treatments have already been developed to assist alleviate this.
Finasteride, or Propecia, was certified for safety and efficacy by the FDA in 1997. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It is a type 2 5-AR selective inhibitor. It is considered to suppress DHT formation by acting on the 5-AR enzyme, which is concentrated in hair follicles.
Although studies on its efficacy have shown very spectacular findings, several people have questioned its effectiveness.
According to research, it can slow the progression of baldness and, in some circumstances, restore hair growth. However, throughout a 5-year period, the number of hairs effectively grown in a square inch of scalp was 227, while the normal number of hairs in a square inch is around 2,200.
Finasteride can be taken orally once a day at a dose of 1 milligram (mg). Injections are also an option. Hair loss will continue if treatment is discontinued.
A reduction of libido, a diminished ability to create and maintain an erection, and a decrease in ejaculate are all side effects.
Other causes of hair loss
Another explanation claimed to explain male pattern hair loss is that the follicles themselves become increasingly stressed by the scalp as they age.
In younger people, the follicles are protected by fat tissue beneath the skin. Youthful skin also retains moisture better. As the skin dehydrates, the scalp compresses the follicles, causing them to shrink.
Because testosterone contributes to fat tissue reduction, higher levels of testosterone may further reduce the scalp’s ability to buffer the hair follicles.
Some experts believe that increased enzyme activity occurs in the site as follicles strive to preserve their status. More testosterone is converted to DHT, which causes more eroding and hair loss.
More research on DHT and male pattern baldness may one day allow scientists to ultimately solve the code of male pattern baldness. For the time being, it is a game of waiting.
Can DHT Blockers Affect Beard Growth and Hair Growth?
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that causes hair loss and beard growth. DHT blockers are a type of treatment that can be used to stop the production of DHT in the body. There is no scientific evidence to show if DHT blockers affect beard and hair growth. DHT blockers have been shown to have varying effects on people with different genetic backgrounds. The effects of DHT blockers on your beard and hair growth depends on your genetic background. Men who are genetically wired to grow beards will not notice any changes from taking DHT blockers, while men who actively use beard growers or hair growers will be more likely to experience DHT Blocker side effects such as hair loss.