Hair loss affects men and women in different ways and can have a dramatic impact on our lives. Hair loss will affect most men at some point in their lives and it affects many women too to some degree. DHT, or Dihydrotestosterone in full, is a steroid and hormone that plays an influential role in hair loss. Find out more about DHT and how you can mitigate its effects in our blog post.
What is DHT?
DHT, as it commonly abbreviated, is a sex steroid and an androgen (associated with masculine characteristics) hormone. The enzyme (a substance produced by the body to help bring about a biochemical reaction) called 5α-reductase synthesises DHT from testosterone in areas like the prostate and hair follicles, as well as the testes and adrenal glands. Essentially DHT is made from testosterone and helps the body grow and regulate itself.
What does DHT do?
DHT is involved in maintaining and developing sexual characteristics as well as metabolic activities such as the production of blood cells. So for men, DHT is an essential part of puberty that can quickly sour in the minds of many when experiencing thinning or balding on the scalp.
DHT inhibits and reduces the proper growth of hair in the follicles in a process called ‘miniaturisation’. ‘Miniaturisation’ affects genetically-susceptible hair follicles resulting in lighter, finer hairs. DHT attaches itself to receptor cells of the part of these follicles called dermal papillas (the root), preventing the necessary nourishment for the hair getting through for proper growth. DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink. The growing ‘anagen’ stage of the hair is shortened and the resting ‘telogen’ stage is extended. Eventually these hairs stop growing.
Male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, typically affects the front and top of the scalp first where the most genetically-susceptible hair follicles reside. DHT is the primary contributing factor in male pattern baldness. Female hair loss can be very complicated and DHT could be just one of the possible causes. In women DHT is influenced by a decrease in oestrogen and hair loss tends to result in thinning, rather than complete balding.
What can I do?
There is help. You can inhibit the production of DHT. 5α-reductase inhibitors are frequently used to treat male pattern baldness and can help some types of female hair loss. Finasteride – one of only two approved hair loss medications – is a 5α-reductase inhibitor. It is only effective whilst taking it but it is easy to take and it is popular.
The Private Clinic
Here at The Private Clinic we offer complete hair loss solutions. We offer the two approved hair loss medications – Finasteride and Minoxidil. In addition we offer FUE hair transplants, which utilise the latest technology to afford our patients permanent, successful results from our very experienced medical team.
For more information about our hair loss treatments: http://www.theprivateclinic.co.uk/treatments/hair-loss/
For information all about our world-class FUE hair transplants: http://www.theprivateclinic.co.uk/treatments/hair-transplant-men/