There are a lot of different factors that contribute to hair loss (like stress, lifestyle, genetics, etc), however, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the primary hormone that is most commonly linked to balding in men. Now, before you start cursing at a hormone and Googling DHT blockers, let’s take a look at everything this hormone does.
DHT and Its Effects
DHT is the chemical derivative of testosterone and, is essential in the development of male characteristics during the earlier stages of a man’s life. For example, DHT helps with the growth of facial hair, muscle growth, deepening of the voice, and many other biological developments. Yes, you read that right. The hormone that is responsible for putting hair on your face early in life is also the one that takes it away as you get older. Biology is great, isn’t it? However, that means you can thank DHT for both your awesome beard and sick bald look. I won’t get into the scientific reasons why the hormone has these effects, but it is worth noting that the way the body reacts to this hormone early in life and during development also leads to the negative effects it causes later in life, such as hair loss and acne.
DHT and Hair Loss
Now let’s talk about DHT and its impact on hair loss. A common myth with male pattern baldness is that a guy loses his hair because his body is producing too much testosterone. Despite the increased levels of DHT in guys who have begun to show signs of balding, studies show that there is no correlation between these increased levels of DHT and greater production of testosterone in the body.
In reality, hair loss really has nothing to do with the levels of DHT and is more related to the way your hair follicles interact with the hormone. Guys whose hair are more genetically sensitive to DHT will lose their hair quicker and more severely. DHT binds to the receptor cells on the root of each hair follicle and blocks nourishment from reaching the follicle. As a result, the individual hairs shrink, weaken, and eventually die. This process is called miniaturization and eventually leads to the complete end of hair growth in any DHT affected hair follicles. Essentially, hair in these areas just does not grow again and at some point, that area will be completely bald.
If you haven’t decided to rock the bald look yet, you may be thinking that some DHT inhibiting medicine could be the solution to all of your hair loss problems. It’s important to understand that these medicines can merely delay the inevitable balding process and often have some unfortunate side effects.
There you have it: a pretty quick overview of the biological reason you are losing your hair. Hopefully getting a better understanding of this might help you stop worrying about your hair loss and maybe even embrace the situation and completely shave your head. There are a lot of guys out there who can vouch for that decision!